Thursday, 22 January 2009

EU Law: Associated overseas countries and territories

The Treaty establishing the European Community sets out a special regime – association – for overseas countries and territories with a special relationship to one of the member states Denmark, France, the Netherlands or the United Kingdom.

These non-European countries and territories are not independent states. European Community (European Union) law does not apply directly to them.

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Current TEC


The Preamble of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) evokes the intention to confirm the solidarity which binds Europe and the overseas countries and the desire to ensure the development of their prosperity, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

Among the activities of the European Community Article 3(1)(s) TEC mentions the association of the overseas countries and territories in order to increase trade and promote jointly economic and social development.

Article 182 TEC sets out the geographical scope of the associated overseas countries and territories, OCTs in Eurojargon.

First of all, such relations exist only with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Further, these non-European countries and territories are listed in TEC Annex II (below).

The purpose and the aims of association can be described as benevolent. They are laid down in the second and the third paragraph:

PART FOUR
ASSOCIATION OF THE OVERSEAS COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES

Article 182 TEC

The Member States agree to associate with the Community the non-European countries and territories which have special relations with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. These countries and territories (hereinafter called the ‘countries and territories’) are listed in Annex II to this Treaty.

The purpose of association shall be to promote the economic and social development of the countries and territories and to establish close economic relations between them and the Community as a whole.

In accordance with the principles set out in the preamble to this Treaty, association shall serve primarily to further the interests and prosperity of the inhabitants of these countries and territories in order to lead them to the economic, social and cultural development to which they aspire.


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Original Lisbon Treaty (ToL)

Article 2, point 151 of the original Treaty of Lisbon (ToL) made a cosmetic change to Article 182 TEC (OJEU 17.12.2007 C 306/90):

ASSOCIATION OF THE OVERSEAS COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES

151) At the end of Article 182, first paragraph, the words ‘to this Treaty’ shall be deleted.

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Renumbering the Treaty of Lisbon (ToL)

The Table of equivalences of the original Treaty of Lisbon tells us that Article 182 TEC became Article 182 TFEU (ToL) and was then renumbered Article 198 TFEU in the consolidated version of the Lisbon Treaty (OJEU 17.12.2007 C 306/219).


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Consolidated Lisbon Treaty

Article 198 TFEU

In addition to the specific but cosmetic amendment, the usual horizontal amendment replaced Community by Union. Article 198 TFEU appears like this in the consolidated version of the Treaty of Lisbon (OJEU 9.5.2008 C 115/137):

PART FOUR
ASSOCIATION OF THE OVERSEAS COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES

Article 198 TFEU
(ex Article 182 TEC)

The Member States agree to associate with the Union the non-European countries and territories which have special relations with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. These countries and territories (hereinafter called the ‘countries and territories’) are listed in Annex II.

The purpose of association shall be to promote the economic and social development of the countries and territories and to establish close economic relations between them and the Union as a whole.

In accordance with the principles set out in the preamble to this Treaty, association shall serve primarily to further the interests and prosperity of the inhabitants of these countries and territories in order to lead them to the economic, social and cultural development to which they aspire.



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Annex II

The latest official version of the list of associated overseas countries and territories is annexed to the consolidated Treaty of Lisbon (OJEU 9.5.2008 C 115/334):

ANNEX II
OVERSEAS COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES TO WHICH THE PROVISIONS OF PART FOUR OF THE TREATY ON THE FUNCTIONING OF THE EUROPEAN UNION APPLY

— Greenland,
— New Caledonia and Dependencies,
— French Polynesia,
— French Southern and Antarctic Territories,
— Wallis and Futuna Islands,
— Mayotte,
— Saint Pierre and Miquelon,
— Aruba,
— Netherlands Antilles:
· Bonaire,
· Curaçao,
· Saba,
· Sint Eustatius,
· Sint Maarten,
— Anguilla,
— Cayman Islands,
— Falkland Islands,
— South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands,
— Montserrat,
— Pitcairn,
— Saint Helena and Dependencies,
— British Antarctic Territory,
— British Indian Ocean Territory,
— Turks and Caicos Islands,
— British Virgin Islands,
— Bermuda.



Ralf Grahn