Thu. Jul 18th, 2024
Brussels, 30 November 2022

Bonjour à tous. Je suis très heureux d’accueillir Monsieur le Chef du gouvernement d’Andorre, M Xavier Espot, à la Commission européenne et très heureux d’avoir eu ainsi l’opportunité d’échanger avec lui sur plusieurs questions européennes et surtout sur les relations de l’Union européenne avec l’Andorre et les négociations en cours en vue d’un accord d’association.

Cette visite montre en soi l’importance que la Commission européenne accorde à ces négociations, et à notre objectif de parvenir à un accord d’association d’ici la fin 2023 pour renforcer encore nos relations.

This political objective – to further strengthen our ties with Andorra, through integration into the EU’s Single Market with four freedoms – was confirmed not only in our bilateral meeting but also by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

And we both appreciate the time she devoted today to meet Prime Minister Xavier Espot and send this clear signal.

We are all aware of the need to consolidate our partnership with our neighbours and other countries sharing the same values – something which has gained a whole new dimension following Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.

As you know, with Andorra, we are building on the roadmap proposed by the Commission last June, which contains an ambitious programme and timeline  to conclude the negotiations on the future association agreement under the Spanish EU Presidency during the second half of next year.

Andorra is setting a good example, showing strong commitment to our negotiations.

I see our agreement as mutually beneficial:

o On one hand, it needs to preserve the integrity of the EU’s single market, while respecting our four fundamental freedoms and ensuring a level-playing field.

o At the same time, we are ready to take into account Andorra’s specificities.

This is well reflected in the progress already made during seven negotiation sessions this year.

We have covered most of the policy areas and their technical annexes. And we have also identified the issues that will require further discussion with a constructive approach. This includes mainly the free movement of persons and the right of establishment, as well as the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector.

We have now agreed to further accelerate the pace of our talks, including by holding six sessions between January and July next year.

There is a clear window of opportunity, and we jointly intend to make the most of it.

When agreed, our future Association Agreement could be amongst the most far-reaching offered by the EU to outside partners.

Pour conclure, Monsieur le Chef de gouvernement, permettez-moi de répéter que c’est un plaisir de vous accueillir à la Commission européenne, après avoir visité votre beau pays en octobre.

À cette occasion, j’avais souhaité que ma visite injecte une dose d’enthousiasme supplémentaire pour nos négociations – et je suis convaincu que votre visite aujourd’hui aura le même effet.

Source – EU Commission

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