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Commonwealth of Independent States

    Russian Federation is the biggest neighbor country of the EU. The EU also intends to establish closer relations with its neighbors to the east (Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus) and plans to give those countries an access to the many advantages of the common market, to offer even more trade privileges and financial assistance. EU relations with Moscow  become very important  in the middle of the year 1999 – it was agreed for a common strategy for relations with Russia for the next four years. This initiative represents a new phase of Russia-EU relations. It was also a first adopted document by the EU's foreign policy, which was prepared in accordance with the new common foreign and security policy attitudes of the Amsterdam Treaty, signed in 1997. After six months a similar strategy of relations with Ukraine was accepted.
    None of these initiatives are limited to the “partnership and cooperation agreements”, though such kind of agreements  the European Union has signed with all countries, after they regained its independence from the Soviet Union. These initiatives aim to strengthen democracy, the rule of law and state institutions, also to help countries to integrate into the common European economic and social space. Finally, the main aim is to become a zone of free trade with EU. The main initiatives also include cooperation in disarmament and the fight against organized crimes. Although the EU tries to forge closer links with the above-mentioned countries, but it will not hesitate to criticize any noticed violations of human rights. Need to mention, that there were strong criticism about Russia’s intervention to Chechnya too.
    The main remedy for the EU trying to help its partners in Eastern Europe and Central is a TACIS programme. It is intended for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan. TACIS program was launched by the European Commission  in 1991 and, for example, a budget for years 2000-2006 is worth 3.138 billion euro. From the 2007-2013 EU Financial Perspective, the Tacis Programme has been replaced for the countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy and Russia by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. However Tacis projects programmed from 2006 will continue to operate until the end of the decade. The EU still remains the single largest donor of foreign assistance in the world.
    It is worth to mention that some of these countries – Russia, Moldova, Ukraine and the other smaller countries from South Caucasus and Central Asia have signed agreements with EU of the trade, as well as political, environmental, scientific and cultural cooperation. And with its biggest neighbour, Russia, the EU is developing a whole system of cooperation which will cover a wide spectrum of branches.

Middle East

    Considering the free-trade agreement, EU is negotiating also with Middle East countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE). The European Union is contributing to efforts to reach a global peace agreement in the Middle East, because such an arrangement has long been one of the main foreign policy challenges. The European Union has granted the region a special envoy. It also cooperates on an equal footing with the United States and Russia to reach the goal.
    The European Union believes that cooperation between the countries of this region, economic progress as well, would strengthen a long-term political agreement which was reached in accordance with relevant resolutions made by United Nations.  The EU has warned that broad agreement will require a huge financial assistance and that, in order to avoid global dissatisfaction and instability, it will be necessary to ensure a balanced economic growth.
EU It is the largest donor to territory of Palestine.  In the year 1994-1999 EU awarded Palestine of 1.6 billion euro, and this loan was 60 percent of  full international support. The support significantly strenghtened the Authority of Palestine and helped to rebuild a poor infrastructure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well.
    In addition, the EU Member States  remit more than 100 million euro to UNRWA – a human development agency, which provides education, health care, social services and emergency aid to over 4.7 million Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Relations with Israel are based on bilateral trade which became effective in 2000 June. It has helped to contract a political dialogue between the two partners and find many prospective fields of cooperation.

North America

    United States of America, of course, is the largest partner of the EU with which the European Union cooperate especially closely in many ranges, to start with trade and policy and to finish with foreign policy and security. U.S. and EU cooperates not only when bilateral issues are solved, but also when international forums by WTO, NATO or G8 are held. It takes action in such troubled places of World as a Balkan region as well.  U.S. and EU develop „enabling relationships“ therefore when the U.S. and the EU work together, they are a powerful force which encourages to make a progress in solving almost all the issues, without exception.
    The EU and the United States is the world's two largest economies, becoming increasingly dependent on each other. Taken together the EU and U.S. account for nearly half the global economy and transatlantic flows of trade, their investments are nearly one billion euro per day. EU and U.S. is a most important source of foreign investments to each other. Although disputes about bananas and beef with growth hormones have been made to the headlines of newspapers, such cases account for only 2 percent of all trans-Atlantic trade, and is basically thing of the past. „An early warning system“ now is operating, a cooperation in the field of control is ensured - in order to prevent from potential problems as soon as possible.
    EU-Canadian bilateral relations are based on the  General Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation signed in 1976. It was the first such agreement between the then European Community and developed countries. Relations between EU and Canada took on a whole new dimension when a transatlantic declaration of EU – Canada bilateral relations was signed in 1990. Another step forward in the field of quality of relations took place in 1998 when both sides accepted the obligation to launch „ an initiative trade between EU- Canada“. It was focused on bilateral acceptance, various services, procurement, copyright, rights of intellectual property and competition issues, cultural cooperation and business relations.


The European Union's influence in world affairs is growing constantly. As the world's largest trading partner, the EU is determined to make certain of competitiveness in the international market and to promote a global trade with liberalization of trade rules.
It is worth to conclude, that the significant part of EU’s trade is concentrated in three regions – three huge and mighty countries that have strong economies and wide markets. These are: United States, Russia and China. About 37 percent of global trade by EU is kept with these regions so far.  Considering the future, it is obvious, that one of the most fastest growing economy of India will change the global statistics. Critics of economics say, that it is possible, that relations between EU and India will be closest of all forthcoming cooperations.
Over the years, the European Union has strengthened its cooperation not only with individual countries and regions but also with many international organizations. Nowadays, EU closely cooperates with United Nations (UN), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe, Western European Union (WEU), NATO,  Word Trade Organisation (WTO) and various other organizations. The European Union is particularly active in cooperating with the UN, when solving issues of the economy, also solving social and environmental problems. It is in the fight against drug traffic, cooperates in humanitarian assistance and human rights protection, in the fields of crisis management and conflict prevention.

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