Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)
|Official languages||Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Moldovan, and Serbian|
|Member states|| Albania
Bosnia and Herzegovina
|-||Signed||21 December 1992|
119,354 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2007 (IMF) estimate|
|Currency||Albanian Lek, Bosnia and Herzegovina konvertibilna marka,
Euro, Macedonian denar, Moldovan leu, Serbian dinar
|Time zone||CET / EET (UTC+1 / +2)|
|-||Summer (DST)||CEST / EEST (UTC+2 / +3)|
CEFTA member states EU member states
The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) is a trade agreement between Non-EU countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe.
|Parties of agreement||joined||left|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2007||—|
Former Poznań Declaration criteria:
Current criteria since Zagreb meeting in 2005:
|Flag||State||Accession||Population||Area (km²)||Capital||GDP in millions (PPP)||GDP per capita (PPP)|
|Albania||1 January 2007||3,619,778||28,748||Tirana||21,828||6,859|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1 January 2007||4,590,310||51,209||Sarajevo||30,389||7,611|
|Croatia||1 January 2003||4,491,543||56,542||Zagreb||82,272||18,545|
|Macedonia||1 January 2006||2,061,315||25,333||Skopje||18,818||9,157|
|Moldova||1 January 2007||4,324,450||33,843||Chişinău||10,746||3,174|
|Montenegro||1 January 2007||678,177||14,026||Podgorica||6,944||11,111|
|Serbia||1 January 2007||7 400 000||88 361||Belgrade||79,662||10,792|
|UNMIK (Kosovo)||1 January 2007||2,126,708||10,908||Pristina||4,000||2,300|
Original CEFTA agreement was signed by Visegrád Group countries, that is by Poland, Hungary and Czech and Slovak republics (at the time parts of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic) on 21 December 1992 in Kraków, Poland. It entered into force since July 1994. Through CEFTA, participating countries hoped to mobilize efforts to integrate Western European institutions and through this, to join European political, economic, security and legal systems, thereby consolidating democracy and free-market economics.
Slovenia joined CEFTA in 1996, Romania in 1997, Bulgaria in 1999, Croatia in 2003 and Macedonia in 2006.
All of the parties of the original agreement had now joined the EU and thus left CEFTA. Therefore it was decided to extend CEFTA to cover the rest of the Balkan states, which already had completed a matrix of bilateral free trade agreements in the framework of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. On 6 April 2006, at the South East Europe Prime Ministers Summit in Bucharest, a joint declaration on expansion of CEFTA to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Nations Interim Administration Mission on behalf of Kosovo, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro was adopted. Accession of Ukraine has also been discussed. The new enlarged agreement was initialled on 9 November 2006 in Brussels and was signed on 19 December 2006 at the South East European Prime Ministers Summit in Bucharest. The agreement went into effect on 26 July 2007 for Albania, UNMIK, Macedonia, Moldova and Montenegro, and on 22 August for Croatia. Bosnia and Herzegovina ratified it on 6 September, while Serbia completed the final legal procedures on 24 September 2007. The agreement aims at establishing a free trade zone in the region by 31 December 2010.
All former participating countries had previously signed association agreements with the EU, so in fact CEFTA has served as a preparation for full European Union membership. Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia joined the EU on 1 May 2004, with Bulgaria and Romania following suit on 1 January 2007. Croatia does not yet have a date specified, but is in the process of accession negotiations, and is expected to join EU in 2011 or later. Macedonia is also an official candidate country of the EU.
At the EU's recommendation, the future members prepared for membership by establishing free trade areas. A large proportion of CEFTA foreign trade is with EU countries.
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The Assembly of Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence on 17 February 2008, a move that is recognised by 65 of the 192 UN member states and the Republic of China (Taiwan), but not by other UN member states. Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory.|