Acquis communautaire

Acquis communautaire

The term acquis communautaire, or (EU) acquis (IPA2|aˈki), is used in European Union law to refer to the total body of EU law accumulated thus far. The term is French: "acquis" means "that which has been acquired", and "communautaire" means "of the community".

Chapters of the acquis

During the process of the enlargement of the European Union, the acquis was divided into 31 chapters for the purpose of negotiation between the EU and the candidate member states for the fifth enlargement (the ten that joined in 2004 plus Romania and Bulgaria which joined in 2007). These chapters were:

Such negotiations usually involved agreeing transitional periods before new member states needed to implement the laws of the European Union fully and before they and their citizens acquired full rights under the "acquis".

Other uses

The term is also used to describe laws adopted under the Schengen treaty, prior to its integration into the European Union legal order by the Treaty of Amsterdam, in which case one speaks of the "Schengen acquis".

The term "acquis" has been borrowed by the World Trade Organization Appellate Body, in the case "Japan - Taxes on Alcoholic Beverages", to refer to the accumulation of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and WTO law ("acquis gattien"), though this usage is not well established.

It has been used to describe the achievements of the Council of Europe (an international organisation unconnected with the European Union): [Section 12, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Resolution 1290] :The Council of Europe’s acquis in standard setting activities in the fields of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental human rights and freedoms should be considered as milestones towards the great European political project, and the European Court of Human Rights should be recognised as the pre-eminent judicial pillar of any future architecture.

It has also been applied to the body of "principles, norms and commitments" of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE): [ [ Intervention by Ambassador Aleksi Härkönen, Permanent Representative of Finland to the OSCE] , Annual Security Review Conference.]

:Another question under debate has been how the Partners and others could implement the OSCE acquis, in other words its principles, norms and commitments on a voluntary basis.

The OECD introduced the concept of the OECD Acquis in its " [ Strategy for enlargement and outreach] ", May 2004.


External links

* [ EUR-Lex] : European Union Law.
* [ JRC-Acquis] , Aligned multilingual parallel corpus: 23,000 Acquis-related texts per language, available in 22 languages. Total size: 1 Billion words.
* [ Translation Memory of the EU-Acquis] : Up to 1 Million translation units each, for 231 language pairs.

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