“membership,” the act by which a state accepts the offer or the possibility of becoming a party to a treaty already negotiated and signed by other states. It has the same legal effect as ratification. Membership normally takes place after the treaty comes into force. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, as custodian, has also agreed to accede to certain conventions before they come into force. The conditions under which accession can take place and the procedure in question depend on the provisions of the treaty. A treaty could provide for the accession of all other states or a limited and defined number of states. In the absence of such a provision, accession can only take place if the negotiating states have done the business of the State concerned or then agree on it. The Treaty of Amsterdam amended Article 113 so that the Council could unanimously extend the scope of the common trade policy to international negotiations and agreements on services and intellectual property. The Treaty of Nice also amended Article 113 to allow such agreements to be concluded by qualified majority.
However, there are exceptions for agreements reached in areas where jurisdiction is shared between Member States and the Community, which remain subject to unanimity. These exceptions include trade in cultural and audiovisual services and trade in educational services. The act of membership is often linked to the shareholders` pact in the form of an annex. The increasing application of provisional enforcement clauses in contracts is a consequence of the need to implement contractual obligations before formal ratification/accession of a treaty by a state. The obligations related to provisional application are assumed by deliberate voluntary action by the State, in accordance with its national legal framework. The Textiles and Clothing Agreement (ATC) is a WTO agreement that provides that trade in textiles and clothing is subject to GATT rules within ten years, i.e. before 1 January 2005. It replaced the multi-fiber arrangement. A bilateral agreement is an agreement between two states that is legally binding only for these two states and whose benefits are generally not shared with other (third countries).
The distinction was established in the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice and is based on the principle of implied liability, the external liability resulting from the existence of internal liability. The treaty confers express responsibility in only two cases: trade policy (Article 133, former Article 113) and association agreements (Article 310, ex-Article 238). The provisional application of a treaty that has entered into force may occur when a state undertakes to temporarily comply with contractual obligations, while its national ratification/accession procedures have not yet been completed. The state`s intention would be to ratify and accede to the treaty as soon as its national legal requirements have been met. The provisional application can be discontinued at any time. On the other hand, a state that has accepted the contract limitation by ratification/accession or final signature is subject to the withdrawal rules provided by the treaty in question (Articles 54, 56, the Vienna Convention on treaty law of 1969). In its recommendation of 6 October 2004, the Commission concludes that Turkey meets the Copenhagen political criteria and recommends the opening of accession negotiations. That is why the December 2004 European Council has scheduled accession negotiations with Turkey to begin on 3 October 2005.
The Council expressed the hope that these negotiations should be based on the strategy outlined by the Commission in its October 2004 recommendation.