Remarks by Executive Vice-President Šefčovič at the press conference on the EU Association Agreement with Andorra and San Marino

Bonjour à tous.

Je suis très heureux d'accueillir Monsieur le chef du gouvernement d'Andorre et Monsieur le Ministre des Affaires étrangères de Saint-Marin à la Commission européenne

et très heureux d'avoir eu ainsi l'opportunité d'échanger avec eux sur plusieurs questions européennes et surtout sur les relations de l'Union européenne avec les deux pays, notamment notre accord d'association.

Cette visite montre en soi l'importance que la Commission européenne accorde à ces relations.

At the end of April, we dotted the i's and crossed the t's in completing the work on the legal text of the Association Agreement, based on the positive, ambitious outcome of our negotiations last December.

Our proposal is now awaiting the green light from the Council, whose work is well underway, with the upcoming Hungarian Presidency also interested in swift progress.

Following this, the Association Agreement will be passed on to the European Parliament for its consent.

So, on the EU side, we are heading into the homestretch, towards a successful ratification of the Agreement.

And the rapid pace of this progress mirrors the importance we place on the Agreement and our relations with Andorra and San Marino in general.

In parallel, Andorra and San Marino will be completing their own ratification procedures, which for the former, includes a referendum, and for the latter, approval by the national parliament.

You have heard me say before – but it's worth repeating – that the current geopolitical context has given a whole new dimension to the need to consolidate our partnership with neighbours and other countries sharing the same values.

The Association Agreement with Andorra and San Marino – one of the most far-reaching offered by the EU to outside partners – is a testimony to these efforts.

On one hand, aligning the two countries with the EU's internal market framework will bring mutual advantages. At the same time, it will strengthen our political ties.

Therefore, I am truly glad that today, we are marking this important milestone together.

And I look forward to further opportunities to join forces, in order to achieve our shared objective of bringing the Association Agreement across the finish line – and in doing so, opening a new chapter in our relations, to the benefit of people in Andorra, San Marino, and the EU alike.

In this context, I appreciate your invitation to once again visit your beautiful countries.   

Monsieur le Chef de gouvernement, Monsieur le Ministre, permettez-moi de répéter que c'est un plaisir de vous accueillir à la Commission européenne.

À cette occasion, j'avais souhaité que votre visite aujourd'hui injecte une dose d'enthousiasme supplémentaire pour notre travail.