Decision 2013/755 - Association of the overseas countries and territories with the EU ( ‘Overseas Association Decision’ )

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Current status

This decision was in effect from January  1, 2014 until December 31, 2020.


Key information

official title

Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union ( ‘Overseas Association Decision’ )
Legal instrument Decision
Number legal act Decision 2013/755
Original proposal COM(2012)362 EN
CELEX number i 32013D0755


Key dates

Document 25-11-2013
Publication in Official Journal 19-12-2013; OJ L 344 p. 1-118
Effect 01-01-2014; Entry into force See Art 99
End of validity 31-12-2020; Repealed by 32021D1764


Legislative text



Official Journal of the European Union

L 344/1



of 25 November 2013

on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union

(‘Overseas Association Decision’)


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 203 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national Parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament,

Acting in accordance with a special legislative procedure,




This Decision replaces Council Decision 2001/822/EC (1) which applies until 31 December 2013. Pursuant to Article 62 of Decision 2001/822/EC, the Council is to establish the provisions to be laid down for the subsequent application of the principles set out in Articles 198 to 202 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).



In its conclusions of 22 December 2009 on the EU’s relations with Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), the Council invited the Commission to submit a legislative proposal to revise the Overseas Association Decision before July 2012. The Council endorsed the Commission’s proposal to base the future partnership between the Union and the OCTs on three key pillars: (1) enhancing competitiveness, (2) strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability and (3) promoting cooperation and integration between the OCTs and other partners and neighbouring regions.



The Commission held a public consultation between June and October 2008 and proposed a number of orientations for a new Association Decision. The results of this consultation were synthesised in a Communication of 6 November 2009 entitled ‘Elements for a new partnership between the European Union and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)’.



The TFEU and its secondary legislation do not automatically apply to the OCTs, with the exception of a number of provisions which explicitly provide for the contrary. Although not third countries, the OCTs do not form part of the single market and must comply with the obligations imposed on third countries in respect of trade, particularly rules of origin, health and plant health standards and safeguard measures.



The special relationship between the Union and the OCTs should move away from a classic development cooperation approach to a reciprocal partnership to support the OCTs’ sustainable development. Moreover, the solidarity between the Union and the OCTs should be based on their unique relationship and their belonging to the same ‘European family’.



The contribution of civil society to OCTs development can be enhanced by strengthening civil society organisations in all spheres of cooperation.



Given the OCTs’ geographical position, cooperation between them and their neighbours, despite the different status vis-à-vis Union law of each actor in a given geographical area, should be pursued in the interests of all sides with a particular focus on areas of common interest and the promotion of the Union’s values and standards. Moreover, the OCTs could act as regional hubs or centres of excellence in their regions.



The Union should support the policies and strategies of an OCTs in an area of mutual interest on the basis of the specific need, potential and choice of the OCTs concerned.



The association should aim at ensuring the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biological diversity and ecosystem services as a key element for the achievement of sustainable development.



The OCTs are host to wide terrestrial and marine...


This text has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Original proposal



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