Agreements with other Countries

Working discussions between Robert Zoellick, US trade representative and Commissioner for Trade Pascal Lamy in 2002 (Photo: European Commission)
Both the EU and the Member States can have agreements with other countries. The EU can enter into agreements on behalf of the Member States for some. but not all issues. It can sign agreements when it has legal personality. The full European Union does not yet have a full legal personality. If the EU wants to sign an agreement, all Member States often have to also sign.

The European Community, the EC, does have a legal personality and can sign agreements with countries outside the EU ("third countries"). The EC has the competence to sign agreements when stated in the treaties. The EC can also make agreements with other countries when it has the internal competence to regulate a topic. See also AETR case.


See also

Bilateral Agreements Switzerland - EU.