Acquis

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(Redirected from Acquis communautaire)

The term acquis (or sometimes acquis communautaire), deriving from French, is used in European Union law to refer to the total body of EU law accumulated so far. 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.

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. These chapters were:

  1. Free movement of goods
  2. Free movement of persons
  3. Freedom to provide services
  4. Free movement of capital
  5. Company law
  6. Competition policy
  7. Agriculture
  8. Fisheries
  9. Transport policy
  10. Taxation
  11. Economic and Monetary Union
  12. Statistics
  13. Social policy and employment
  14. Energy
  15. Industrial policy
  16. Small and medium-sized enterprises
  1. Science and research
  2. Education and training
  3. Telecommunication and information technologies
  4. Culture and audio-visual policy
  5. Regional policy and coordination of structural instruments
  6. Environment
  7. Consumers and health protection
  8. Cooperation in the field of Justice and Home Affairs
  9. Customs union
  10. External relations
  11. Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
  12. Financial control
  13. Financial and budgetary provisions
  14. Institutions
  15. Others

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 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 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 (a body unconnected with the European Union):

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.

(Section 12, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Resolution 1290)


It has also been applied to the body of "principles, norms and commitments" of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE):

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.

Intervention by Ambassador Aleksi Härkönen, Permanent Representative of Finland to the OSCE, Annual Security Review Conference [1] (http://www.osce.org/documents/sg/2004/06/3241_en.pdf)

External links

pl:Acquis communautaire

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