28 March 2012
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Thanks to the good work of the Polish government the text of the accession treaty for the ten countries joining the EU in 2004 is now available in English (until now is was only available in each of the national languages). Key sections, the Treaty, Act of Accession, free movement, justice and home affairs etc. are avaliable full-text below.
The full-text of key sections of the treaty:
1. The Accession Treaty
2. Act of Accession (Word) Act of Accession (pdf)
3. Annex 1: Schengen acquis
4. Free movement section
5. Free movement annex
6. Justice and Home Affairs: Annex II
8. Final Act
9. Draft Accession Treaty on the European Parliament website
The Statewatch analysis includes the following conclusions:
1. In the areas of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) and free movement of persons, the applicant Member States have sacrificed a great deal. There is to be a seven-year wait for full free movement of workers and services between the new and old Member States.
2. The wait for full application of the Schengen rules could be indefinite. But while it could take many years for border controls between the new and old Member States to be abolished, the new Member States are expected to apply the EU's external border control rules and much of its visa regime immediately, cutting communities at the eastern border of the future EU off from the traditional trade and relationships with people across the border.
3. The new Member States will be in the "second class" of EU integration for a number of years to come.
4. The European Court of Justice has stated that it can interpret the text of accession treaties and measures based upon them. However, it lacks jurisdiction to declare any part of the accession treaties themselves invalid.
5. There appear to be no transitional periods granted in the area of JHA except for the important transition period relating to the Schengen acquis.
6. From the date of accession, a special Protocol to the EC Treaty (dating back to the Treaty of Amsterdam, which entered into force in 1999) will create a presumption that all applications for asylum for citizens of the new Member States are unfounded.
7. In principle the text of the Accession Treaty is now fixed and will not be amended prior to its signature, scheduled for 16 April 2003 in Athens. If a Member State or applicant State wanted to request amendments it would likely be turned down. But it is possible that new declarations, particularly unilateral declarations, will be added before signature. There is no prospect of changes, even to add declarations, after the date of signature.
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