Umowy o stowarzyszeniu jako narzędzie polityki zagranicznej Wspólnoty Europejskiej
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Association Agreements (AA) are specific tools invented by the EC for shaping relations with third countries. They may provide for preferential trade and economic cooperation but also may support political, economic and social reforms, may prepare them for membership or may substitute for being the EC member country. They reflect the center - perihery relations. Since the first AA with Greece and Turkey in the early 1960’s they grew in number and became more complex. The most important extension relates to political dialogue with associated countries. Still they do not cover security issues. The EC uses them to promote fundamental “European values”. Such policy serves to build her sphere of influence in order to increase economic and political stability in the continent. From this point of view the AA were only partly successful in the 1990’s. The biggest achievement was preparing 8 former communist countries for membership in relatively short time. The EC failed however in stabilizing relations in other sub-regions, like the Balkans and the Middle East.