This book examines the legal frameworks for integration provided by the EC Treaty; the Free Trade Agreement concluded between Sweden and the European Community in 1972, which was typical of EC-EFTA Free Trade Agreements; the Europe Agreement between Poland and the Community, which is typical of the Association Agreements concluded with Central and Eastern European States; and the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement.
The examination is based not solely on traditional legal materials, such as treaties and legislative acts, court decisions, and the academic literature. It also draws on a range of official materials published by national governments and the European Union. On the basis of both kinds of materials, the book not only compares the operation of four types of legal frameworks for integration but also, with the assistance of the comparisons, explores underlying problems in the integration of the European Community and third states in Europe.
Most EFTA States have over the years come to the view that the very status of a third state offers an unsatisfactory basis for their participation in European integration, though Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway consider the EEA Agreement satisfactory and Switzerland prefers to rely on a Free Trade Agreement, supplemented by other bilateral agreements, with the Community. The Visegrad countries, i.e., the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, seek replacement of their Europe Agreements by membership of the European Union, though the timing, if not the wisdom, of their admission to membership remains uncertain. In the case of many countries of the former Soviet Union, notably Russia, membership of the Union does not appear to offer a feasible basis for their participation in European integration processes, and so the construction of a mutually acceptable legal framework for close relations between such countries and the Community arguably constitutes one of the most serious and pressing problems to be tackled by European integration law.
The present writer would further argue that construction of such a framework depends on lessons being drawn from the operation of existing or preexisting frameworks governing relations between the Community and third states. Much the same might be said in respect of plans for the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Economic Area, involving countries such as Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. At the same time, it is felt that a comparison of such frameworks with the EC Treaty may offer insights into problems raised in discussion of the 'internal' development of the Union itself.
The book, therefore, is written for teachers and students of advanced courses in EU law as well as for policy makers, officials, and practitioners in the