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The CENTRAL EUROPEAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (CEFTA) is a trade agreement between non-EU countries, members of which are now mostly located in Southeastern Europe . Founded by representatives of Poland , Hungary
Hungary
and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
, CEFTA expanded to Albania
Albania
, Bosnia and Herzegovina , Bulgaria
Bulgaria
, Croatia
Croatia
, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
, Macedonia , Moldova
Moldova
, Montenegro
Montenegro
, Romania
Romania
, Serbia
Serbia
, Slovakia
Slovakia
, Slovenia
Slovenia
and the United Nations
United Nations
Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
Kosovo
(UNMIK) on behalf of Kosovo
Kosovo
.

Once a participating country joins the European Union
European Union
(EU), its CEFTA membership ends. As of 1 July 2013, the parties of the CEFTA agreement are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia
Serbia
and the UNMIK on behalf of Kosovo.

CONTENTS

* 1 Members * 2 Membership criteria * 3 Current members

* 4 History

* 4.1 Original agreement * 4.2 2006 agreement

* 5 Relations with the European Union
European Union
* 6 See also

* 7 Notes and references

* 7.1 Notes * 7.2 References

* 8 External links

MEMBERS

As of 1 July 2013, the parties of the CEFTA agreement are: Albania
Albania
, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
, Macedonia , Moldova
Moldova
, Montenegro
Montenegro
, Serbia
Serbia
and Kosovo
Kosovo
(as UNMIK ).

Former parties are Bulgaria
Bulgaria
, Croatia
Croatia
, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
, Hungary
Hungary
, Poland
Poland
, Romania
Romania
, Slovakia
Slovakia
and Slovenia
Slovenia
. Their CEFTA memberships ended when they became member states of the European Union
European Union
(EU).

PARTIES OF AGREEMENT JOINED LEFT

Poland
Poland
1992 2004

Hungary
Hungary
1992 2004

Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(1993) 1992 2004

Slovakia
Slovakia
(1993) 2004

Slovenia
Slovenia
1996 2004

Romania
Romania
1997 2007

Bulgaria
Bulgaria
1999 2007

Croatia
Croatia
2003 2013

Macedonia 2006 —

Albania
Albania
2007 —

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
2007 —

Moldova
Moldova
2007 —

Montenegro
Montenegro
2007 —

Serbia
Serbia
2007 —

Kosovo
Kosovo
(as UNMIK ) 2007 —

MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA

Former Poznań Declaration criteria:

* World Trade Organization membership * European Union
European Union
Association Agreement with provisions for future full membership * Free Trade Agreements with the current CEFTA member states

Current criteria since Zagreb
Zagreb
meeting in 2005:

* WTO membership _or commitment to respect all WTO regulations_ * _any_ European Union
European Union
Association Agreement * Free Trade Agreements with the current CEFTA member states

CURRENT MEMBERS

FLAG CONTRACTING PARTY ACCESSION POPULATION AREA (KM²) CAPITAL GDP IN MILLIONS (PPP) GDP PER CAPITA (PPP)

Republic of Albania
Albania
2007-01-01 7006278761500000000♠2,787,615 7004287480000000000♠28,748 Tirana
Tirana
38.526 13,396

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
2007-01-01 7006383926500000000♠3,839,265 7004512090000000000♠51,209 Sarajevo
Sarajevo
47.048 12,260

Republic of Macedonia 2006-01-01 7006205979400000000♠2,059,794 7004253330000000000♠25,333 Skopje 33.748 16,243

Republic of Moldova
Moldova
2007-01-01 7006355950000000000♠3,559,500 7004338430000000000♠33,843 Chişinău 21.424 6,044

Montenegro
Montenegro
2007-01-01 7005621240000000000♠621,240 7004140260000000000♠14,026 Podgorica 11.555 18,539

Republic of Serbia
Serbia
2007-01-01 7006724129500000000♠7,241,295 7004883610000000000♠88,361 Belgrade
Belgrade
120.466 17,285

Kosovo
Kosovo
(as UNMIK ) 2007-01-01 7006179864500000000♠1,798,645 7004109080000000000♠10,908 Pristina 20.672 –

HISTORY

History of CEFTA members from 1992 to 2013. All of the original members of the trade pact became members of the European Union
European Union
(EU), and because of such, Southeast European nations, such as Albania
Albania
, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
, Kosovo
Kosovo
, Montenegro
Montenegro
, and Serbia
Serbia
, joined in and carried the CEFTA. ------------------------- CEFTA member states EU member states

ORIGINAL AGREEMENT

The original CEFTA agreement was signed by the Visegrád Group countries, that is by Poland, Hungary
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 came into force in July 1994. Through CEFTA, participating countries hoped to mobilize efforts to integrate into Western European institutions and through this, to join European political, economic, security and legal systems, thereby consolidating democracy and free-market economics.

The agreement was amended by the agreements signed on 11 September 1995 in Brno
Brno
and on 4 July 2003 in Bled .

Slovenia
Slovenia
joined CEFTA in 1996, Romania
Romania
in 1997, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
in 1999, Croatia
Croatia
in 2003 and Macedonia in 2006.

2006 AGREEMENT

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
Europe
Prime Ministers Summit_ in Bucharest
Bucharest
, a joint declaration on expansion of CEFTA to Albania
Albania
, Bosnia and Herzegovina , Moldova
Moldova
, Serbia
Serbia
, Montenegro
Montenegro
and UNMIK on behalf of Kosovo
Kosovo
was adopted. Accession of Ukraine
Ukraine
has also been discussed. The new enlarged agreement was initialled on 9 November 2006 in Brussels
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, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova
Moldova
and Montenegro, on 22 August for Croatia, on 24 October for Serbia, and on 22 November 2007 for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aim of the agreement was to establish a free trade zone in the region by 31 December 2010.

After the declaration of independence of Kosovo
Kosovo
on 17 February 2008 UNMIK continued to represent Kosovo
Kosovo
at all CEFTA meetings. At the end of 2008 Kosovo
Kosovo
changed its customs stamps replacing UNMIK with Kosovo. This resulted in a trade blockade from Serbia
Serbia
and Bosnia that do not recognise the Republic of Kosovo. The government in Pristina retaliated by imposing its own blockade on imports from Serbia. This led to clashes at border posts in July 2011.

RELATIONS WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION

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
European Union
membership. Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia
Slovenia
joined the EU on 1 May 2004, with Bulgaria and Romania
Romania
following suit on 1 January 2007. Croatia
Croatia
joined the EU on 1 July 2013.

Montenegro
Montenegro
and Serbia
Serbia
have been undergoing EU accession talks since 2012 and 2013, whereas Albania
Albania
and Macedonia are official candidate countries 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.

SEE ALSO

* Economy of Europe * Free trade areas in Europe * European Free Trade Association (EFTA) * Enlargement of the European Union
European Union
* Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe (includes a matrix of bilateral FTAs) * Mercosur
Mercosur

NOTES AND REFERENCES

NOTES

a. ^ Kosovo
Kosovo
is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo
Kosovo
and the Republic of Serbia
Serbia
. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory . The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels
Brussels
Agreement . Kosovo
Kosovo
has received formal recognition as an independent state from 111 out of 193 United Nations
United Nations
member states .

REFERENCES

* ^ _A_ _B_ Data for 2015. International Monetary Fund , World Economic Outlook Database * ^ http://www.eciks.org/english/lajme.php?action=total_news">(PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-04-09. * ^ GAP Policy brief #17: Kosovo
Kosovo
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