Foreign Affairs

San Marino and Andorra one step closer to finalising the Association Agreement with the EU

May 2024
By Diana Adly Zaki

In a significant step towards strengthening its relationships with neighboring nations, the EU is nearing the finalization of the Association Agreement with Andorra and San Marino. This milestone was marked by a political meeting held on Tuesday 7 May in Brussels on the finalisation of the draft legal texts of the Association Agreement between the European Union and, respectively, Andorra and San Marino. 

Maroš Šefčovič, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission, along with the Head of Government of Andorra, Xavier Espot, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of San Marino, Luca Beccari, highlighted the positive implications of the agreement for their respective states and the EU as a whole. “At the end of April, we dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s in completing the work on the legal text of the Association Agreement, based on the positive, ambitious outcome of our negotiations last December”, said Executive Vice President Šefčovič, “On the EU side, we are heading into the homestretch, towards a successful ratification of the Agreement. And the rapid pace of this progress mirrors the importance we place on the Agreement and our relations with Andorra and San Marino in general”.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of San Marino, Luca Beccari

Minister Beccari underscored the agreement’s significance in enabling San Marino’s full integration into the EU’s Single Market while preserving its delicate institutional mechanisms. The alignment of the agreement with EU standards, known as the acquis communautaire, ensures a smooth transition and immediate execution of compatible aspects upon its entry into force.

The geopolitical context was recognized as a driving force behind the EU’s efforts to consolidate partnerships with neighboring countries that share common values. The Association Agreement with Andorra and San Marino, described as one of the most comprehensive agreements offered by the EU to external partners, symbolizes this commitment.

The political meeting was also preceded by a meeting between the three delegations, where the proceedings leading to the finalized draft of the legal texts pertaining to the Association Agreement were presented. Discussions centered on the procedures leading to the signing and implementation of the agreement, as well as coordination efforts in communication and support by the European Commission. Emphasis was placed on the importance of ensuring widespread dissemination of the agreement’s contents to national audiences prior to its signing.

The ratification process on the EU side is progressing, with the Council’s approval pending and the European Parliament’s consent expected thereafter. Simultaneously, Andorra and San Marino will undertake their own ratification procedures, including a referendum in Andorra and parliamentary approval in San Marino.

Expressing satisfaction with the progress made, Executive Vice President Šefčovič reiterated the EU’s dedication to fostering mutually beneficial relationships with its neighbors. He emphasized the importance of the Association Agreement in aligning economic and political interests, thereby opening new avenues for cooperation.

Looking ahead, Šefčovič expressed anticipation for future collaboration opportunities, aimed at realizing the shared objective of finalizing the Association Agreement. 

This significant milestone in the EU’s efforts to strengthen its ties with neighboring nations holds the promise of fostering closer economic integration and political cooperation, benefiting the people of Andorra, San Marino, and the EU.