Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The term acquis (or sometimes acquis communautaire), deriving from French, is used in European Union law to refer to the total body of EU law accumulated so far. The term is also used to describe laws adopted under the Schengen treaty, prior to its integration into the European Union legal order by the Treaty of Amsterdam, in which case one speaks of the Schengen acquis.
Chapters of the Acquis
During the process of the enlargement of the European Union, the acquis was divided into 31 chapters for the purpose of negotiation between the EU and the candidate member states. These chapters were:
Such negotiations usually involved agreeing transitional periods before new member states needed to implement the laws of the European Union fully and before they and their citizens acquired full rights under the acquis.
The term acquis has also been borrowed by the World Trade Organization Appellate Body, in the case Japan - Taxes on Alcoholic Beverages, to refer to the accumulation of GATT and WTO law ("acquis gattien"), though this usage is not well established.
It has also been used to describe the achievements of the Council of Europe (a body unconnected with the European Union):
- The Council of Europe’s acquis in standard setting activities in the fields of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental human rights and freedoms should be considered as milestones towards the great European political project, and the European Court of Human Rights should be recognised as the pre-eminent judicial pillar of any future architecture.
(Section 12, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Resolution 1290)
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