In accordance with its conclusions of 16 December 2014, the EU Council has assessed the overall state of the EU relations with the following Western European countries that are not members of the EU: the Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, the Principality of Andorra, the Principality of Monaco and the Republic of San Marino. The Council will revert to the overall state of EU relations with the Swiss Confederation in early 2017. The Council will reassess the state of these relations in two years, as appropriate.
The EU Council notes with satisfaction that, over the past two years, relations with Andorra, Monaco and San Marino have continued to be characterised by a high level of stability and cooperation, reports European Council
The Council welcomes the opening, on 18 March 2015, of negotiations between the EU and Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, with a view to concluding one or several Association Agreement(s) (the ‘Agreement(s)’) to provide for the participation of these countries in the EU’s Single Market, as well as for cooperation with the EU in other policy areas.
The Council considers that the future Agreement(s) should be based on a number of fundamental principles, such as maintaining the good functioning and homogeneity of the Single Market and legal certainty, while at the same time taking into account the specificities of each country as well as their particular situations in line with the Declaration on Article 8 of the Treaty on European Union. In this context, the Council stresses the need for all parties to continue to make steady and concrete progress towards the finalisation of these negotiations.
Furthermore, the Council stresses the importance of establishing a coherent, efficient and effective institutional framework to underpin the Agreement(s) that, inter alia:
a) includes a forum for consultation between parties to ensure the good functioning and proper implementation of the Agreement(s);
b) ensures the dynamic take-over of the EU acquis by the three countries;
c) provides for the uniform application and consistent interpretation of the provisions of the Agreement(s); and
d) includes a fair, effective and efficient dispute resolution mechanism.
The Council welcomes the continued cooperation with Andorra, Monaco and San Marino in the area of CFSP, including through close contacts in multilateral organisations and voluntary alignment with EU positions, declarations and restrictive measures on a case-by-case basis, and calls for this cooperation to be strengthened.
The Council welcomes the signing of protocols between the EU and Andorra, Monaco and San Marino respectively on the implementation of the Global Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, as developed by the OECD and endorsed by the G20, and looks forward to their complete and effective implementation within the agreed timelines.
The Council notes with satisfaction that Andorra, Monaco and San Marino have become members of the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The Council also notes that Andorra, Monaco and San Marino have yet to commit to and implement the principles and the criteria of the EU Code of Conduct on Business Taxation and urges them to do so without further delay.