An Introduction to the Association Agreements between the EU and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

Michael Emerson

The three Association Agreements signed between the EU and Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in 2014 are very long and complex legal texts, incorporating ‘Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas’. Their immediate impact is both political and economic. Politically they mark the ‘European choice’ of the three states, in terms of fundamental values, including democracy, human rights and the rule of law.  Economically the signing of the agreements has seen the EU scrap virtually off its tariff on imports from these three states on ‘day 1’. For the medium and long run the agreements amount to a comprehensive charter for economic modernisation and good governance, with a large reliance on adopting EU regulatory norms and technical standards, mostly over periods of three to seven years. The agreements do not imply commitments to full accession to the EU, but neither is that excluded for the longer run. This short introductory document marks the beginning of a three year project to analyse and explain in depth the challenges and opportunities presented by the three agreements, and the results will be continuously made available at the present website.