EU History

  • Two major facts which had a significant impact on launching the process of European integration at the initial stage were Marshall Plan (1947) and Schuman Declaration (1950).
  • Secretary of State George Marshall in his address at Harvard University in June 1947 presented the plan, which envisaged US long-term aid program to help recovery of the
  • war-underwent European countries. With that end in view, Committee for European Economic Cooperation was established, which later transformed into the Organization for European Economic Cooperation. The program lasted till 1952. Marshall Plan promoted cooperation among European countries and emerged the concept of "Single European Ownership", which paved the way for the future European integration.
  • In 1951 by the initiative of Foreign Minister of France, European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was established. Six countries joined the union: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The ECSC was run by a High Authority, independent, supranational executive institute. The common market for coal, steel, ore and scrap was opened in 1953.
  • Building on the success of the Coal and Steel Treaty, the six countries expanded cooperation to other economic sectors. In 1957, they signed the Treaty of Rome, creating the European Economic Community (EEC), or ‘common market’ and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) . The idea was for people, goods and services to move freely across borders. In 1967, three institutions (Coal and Steel Treaty, Euratom and European Economic Community) were merged into one organization, It was called European Community. This name remained until the signing of the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. On the basis of Treaty of Rome the six remove customs duties on goods imported from each other, allowing free cross-border trade for the first time. They also apply the same duties on their imports from outside countries.
  • In 1958, the first session of European Parliamentary Assembly (European Parliament) was held in Strasbourg, France. The first election to the European Parliament was held in 1979.
  • The first enlargement was occurred in 1973, when Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined the European Community. As a result of the second and third enlargements the new members joined the Community: Greece (1981); Spain and Portugal (1986).
  • Although customs duties disappeared in 1968, trade was not flowing freely across EU borders. The main obstacles were differences in national regulations. The Single European Act of 1986 launched a vast six-year programme to sort these out. It was a major component in completing the single market and came into force on 1 July 1987.
  • The Treaty on European Union was signed in Maastricht. According to the treaty the Union transformed to not only economic but also political union. Under the treaty, the name ‘European Union’ officially replaced ‘European Community’. The treaty established the three pillars of the European Union—the European Community (EC) pillar, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) pillar, and the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) pillar.
  • In 1979 European Monetary System (EMS) entered into force. The third stage of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union aimed at establishing of a single currency. At the start of 1999 the euro as a currency was launched. In 2002 Euro became the sole currency within the twelve participating Member States, as the period of dual circulation came to an end.
  • In 1995 Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU.
  • In 1997 the Treaty of Amsterdam was signed. According to the Treaty the Schengen Agreements been incorporated into the legal system of the EU. The treaty introduced a High Representative for EU Foreign Policy.
  • As a result of fifth enlargement in 2004 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined the European Union. Part of the same wave of enlargement was the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007.
  • According to Treaty of Lisbon signed in 2007 the legal structure of the European Union has changed. It also created the post of President of the European Council and a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
  • The European Union received the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for having "contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human rights in Europe.
  • In 2013 Croatia joined the EU.

European neighborhood policy

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was developed in 2004, with the objective of avoiding the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours and instead strengthening the prosperity, stability and security of all. It is based on the values of democracy, rule of law and respect of human rights.
This ENP framework is proposed to 16 EU's closest neighbours – Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.
Within the ENP the EU offers its neighbours a privileged relationship, building upon a mutual commitment to common values (democracy and human rights, rule of law, good governance, market economy principles and sustainable development). The level of ambition of the relationship depends on the extent to which these values are shared. The ENP includes political association and deeper economic integration, increased mobility and more people-to-people contacts.
The ENP also offers to its partners a very concrete set of opportunities through its sector policies. These cover a broad range of issues, reaching from employment and social policy, trade, industrial and competition policy to agriculture and rural development, climate change and environment. They include energy security, transport, research and innovation, as well as support to health, education, culture and youth.
In 2010-2011, the EU reviewed the ENP and put a strong focus on the promotion of deep and sustainable democracy, accompanied by inclusive economic development. Deep and sustainable democracy includes in particular free and fair elections, freedom of expression, of assembly and of association, judicial independence, fight against corruption and democratic control over the armed forces. The EU also stressed the role of civil society bringing about deep and sustainable democracy. The EU unveiled "more for more" principle, under which the EU will develop stronger partnerships with those neighbours that make more progress towards democratic reform.
A key element of the Neighbourhood Policy is the bilateral ENP Action Plan mutually agreed between the EU and each partner country. The Action Plan sets out an agenda of political and economic reforms with short and medium-term priorities. It is preceded by the Country Report.
The European Commission first prepares country reports covering the political, economic, social and institutional situation in each country and progress in the implementation of bilateral agreements and reforms. The reports assess when and how it is possible to deepen relations with that country.

Neighbourhood Policy covers the following spares:

  • Harmonization of standards and regulations;
  • Granting of preferential treatment for trade, to easy access to the EU market;
  • Developing the foundations for free movement and migration of human resources;
  • Enhancing cooperation in security issues, such as terrorism, Trans -national organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and Corruption;
  • EU’s active engagement in Conflict Resolution and Crisis Management;
  • Deepening cooperation in human rights and culture spares;
  • Integrating participant states to EU transport, energy and telecommunications networks, as well as European Research Area;
  • Creating new instruments for promoting and protecting the investments;
  • Providing assistance focused on needs of each states;
  • Finding new sources of funding, including availability to the loans of European Investment Bank (EIB).

Eastern partnership

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a European Union initiative directed at six countries of Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The EaP was launched at a summit in Prague on 7 May 2009.
Accelerating the initiative was reasoned by Georgia’s occupation by Russia in 2008.
The initiative aims at tightening the relationship between the EU and the Eastern partners by deepening their political co-operation and economic integration. It offers deeper integration with the EU structures by encouraging and supporting them in their political, institutional and economic reforms based on EU standards, as well as facilitating trade and increasing mobility between the EU and the partner states.
Eastern partnership based on shared values including democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights and principles of market economy.
Cooperation in the framework of the Eastern Partnership follows two parallel dimensions: Bilateral and Multilateral. The goal of the Bilateral Dimension is to create broader political and legal frameworks and to enhance cooperation between the EU and each partner country. The Multilateral dimension provides a new format in which common challenges can be addressed. This dimension is designed to contribute to the development of regional cooperation in the spheres of security, migration, trade, as well as to implement joint projects in transport, energy and the environment.

The Bilateral format is designed to create a closer relationship between the EU and each partner country by:

  • Establishing new and broader contractual relations by replacing the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCAs) with Association Agreements in order to address the aspirations of each partner country. These Agreements will be concluded with partner countries that are willing and able to take on far-reaching commitments with the EU;
  • Creating Free Trade Areas between the EU and the partner countries on the basis of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreements, as an integral part of the Association Agreements;
  • Promoting citizen mobility in a secure environment. The EU offers partner countries an opportunity to sign the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements. Further, gradual steps will be taken to introduce a visa-free regime with the EU;
  • Strengthening the energy security of the EU and partners countries in regard to long-term energy supply, transit, the efficiency of energy resources and the use of renewable energy sources.
The Multilateral Dimension is comprised of flagship initiatives, panels and four thematic platforms:

  • Platform I - Democracy, good governance and stability
  • Platform II - Economic integration and convergence with EU policies
  • Platform III - Energy Security
  • Platform IV - Contacts between people

On May 2012 EU published Eastern Partnership Roadmaps, Which is an instrument to evaluate achieved progress in implementation of Eastern Partnership.

Georgia & EU

By joining Georgia into Parliamentary Assembly of Council of European in 1999, Georgia moved to a new phase of EU integration. It in turn has opened the new prospects for cooperation with EU. Georgian-EU cooperation counts more than twenty years. The cooperation has been developed on the base of various treaties and agreements concluded during the years. Signing of Association Agreement with EU is planned for June 27, 2014, which will move the process to a new significant level.
Relations between the European Union and Georgia started in 1992 just after Georgia regained its independence. The European Commission opened its Delegation to Georgia in Tbilisi in 1995.
Georgia started preparation process to sign the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) from 1994. The Agreement was signed in Luxembourg on 22 April 1996. The PCA determined the major framework for future relations between the EU-Georgia. It entered into force in 1999.
The PCA provides for wide-ranging cooperation in the areas of political dialogue, trade, investment, economic, legislative and cultural cooperation. Through the PCA, which also eliminates trade quotas and the protection of intellectual, industrial and commercial property rights, the parties have accorded each other Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment. In December 2005 the EU granted Georgia General System of Preferences + (GSP+) , which was extended in 2008. The GSP + provides non-reciprocal tariff reduction on duty free access to Georgian exports to the EU.
The inclusion of Georgia in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) on 14 June 2004 marked a significant step forward in EU – Georgian relations. The EU – Georgia ENP Action Plan was adopted on 14 November 2006. The Action Plan is a political document laying out the strategic objectives of the cooperation between Georgia and the EU.
In spring 2009, the EU launched the Eastern Partnership with the objective of supporting political and socio-economic reforms in Georgia, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. The Eastern Partnership foresees stronger political engagement with the EU namely the prospect of a new generation of Association Agreements and far reaching integration into the EU economy with Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton launched the negotiations for an EU – Georgia Association Agreement in Batumi on 15 July 2010.
The EU and Georgia completed the negotiation of an Association Agreement (AA), including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) element, in July 2013 and initialled the Agreement at the Eastern Partnership Vilnius Summit of November 2013.
The visa liberalization dialogue between the EU and Georgia was launched on 4 June 2012.
Since the early 1990s, the EU has been assisting Georgia’s efforts to overcome the consequences of internal conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In July 2003 a European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus (EUSR) was appointed.
During the Russia-Georgia war the EU and the U.S. partners were actively involved in conflict resolution. The EU engagement led to the signature of "Six-point Cease-fire Agreement between Russia and Georgia". The French Republic convened the emergency EU summit on 1 September 2008. Leaders of the EU Member States condemned Russia for unilateral declaration of the independence of Georgian regions and called on other countries not to recognize their independence.
The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) was established on 15 September 2008. The Mission aimed at monitoring the "Six-point Agreement.
Geneva negotiations were launched between leaders of the EU, OSCE, UN, U.S. and representatives from Georgia and Russia on 15 October 2008. Main subject of the discussion was stability and security in the region, return of IDPs and refugees based on internationally recognised principles.
Georgian Donor's Conference, organised by the European Union and the World Bank was held in Brussels on 22 October 2008. Partner countries and international donor organizations pledged 4.5 billion dollars to support Georgia for 2008-2010.
European Union assistance to Georgia mainly takes the form of Annual Action Programmes under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). Other funding sources are the thematic assistance programmes which focus on specific sectors such as human rights and civil society. Total budget allocated for Georgia is 117.4 million EUR in 2007-2010 and 180.7 million EUR in 2011-2013.
In addition to this, extra funding of 22 million EUR was made available for Georgia via the Eastern Partnership Integration and Cooperation (EaPIC) programme.