EU, Azerbaijan continue discussions on new agreement
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 24
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Discussions on the new partnership agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan are underway in Baku, the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan told Trend.
Reportedly, the discussions are taking place with the participation of the EU delegation headed by Representative of the European Commission for Trade Petros Sourmelis.
The new agreement envisages a closer cooperation in trade, political, and socio-economic fields on the principles of equality, sovereignty, and mutual confidence. However, the new agreement doesn't come anywhere close to free trade agreement and will not create obligations of political association with the EU. Negotiations on text are still ongoing.
The European Council adopted a mandate for the European Commission and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to negotiate, on behalf of the EU and its member states, a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan in November 2016.
The new agreement should replace the 1996 partnership and cooperation agreement and should better take account of the shared objectives and challenges the EU and Azerbaijan face today.
The agreement will follow the principles endorsed in the 2015 review of the European Neighborhood Policy and offer a renewed basis for political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan.
Currently, bilateral relations between the EU and Azerbaijan are regulated on the basis of an agreement on partnership and cooperation that was signed in 1996 and entered into force in 1999.
The new agreement envisages the compliance of Azerbaijan’s legislation and procedures with the EU’s most important international trade norms and standards, which should lead to the improvement of Azerbaijani goods’ access to the EU markets.
Creation of a common aviation area is an initiative of the European Commission and aims to open and integrate aviation markets. This will lead to new opportunities for consumers and operators, and, most importantly, to high standards in terms of flight safety as well as air traffic management.
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