EU-Macao relations are based on a Trade and Co-operation Agreement concluded on 14 December 1992, which came into effect on 1 January 1993. This agreement covers trade and industrial, scientific and technical co-operation. A Joint Committee meets annually to oversee the operation of the Agreement and devises ways of developing trade and co-operation. The agreement remained in force after the transfer to Chinese sovereignty control in 1999.

The Commission’s 1998 Communication "Building a Comprehensive Partnership with China" stated that EU policy was to support Macao’s high degree of autonomy. This policy stems naturally from the EU’s strong economic links and historical ties with Macao.

On 12 November 1999, the Commission adopted a Communication to the Council and the European Parliament, entitled "The EU and Macao: Beyond 2000". In this communication the EU considers that the respect for the principles set out in the Basic Law of the SAR and the full implementation of the concept “one country, two systems” guarantee the specific social, economic and cultural identity of Macao. The Commission committed itself to monitor the situation in the territory by issuing annual reports.

Given its status as a separate customs territory, as stated in China’s Basic Law, Macao continues to be treated by the EU as a separate entity for trade policy purposes.

As of April 2001, the EU grants visa-free access to Macao SAR passport holders.


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