The Overseas Association Decision (OAD)

The OCTs are not part of the territory of the European Union, but because of their special relationship with four EU Member States (Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), they have been associated with the EU since the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Their relations are governed by the Overseas Association Decisions (OAD) adopted by the Council of the European Union.

With Greenland, the European Union (EU) also has an extensive partnership, complementary to the DAO arrangements and based on the Greenland Decision (Council) and the Fisheries Partnership Agreement

In Detail


An implementing convention annexed to the Treaty of Rome of 25 March 1957 laid down the conditions and procedures governing the association of the Overseas Countries and Territories with the Community for the first five years after the entry into force of the Treaty, i.e. until 31 December 1962. Thereafter, the detailed provisions and procedures for the OCT-EC association were the subject of five-year decisions until 1991. Since then, the Council has adopted new decisions on the association of the OCTs with the EU, each with a validity of ten years.

However, the duration of the Overseas Association Decision of 27 November 2001 was extended in 2007 to 31 December 2013 to coincide with the duration of the 10th European Development Fund and the multiannual financial framework 2007-2013.

The Curent OAD (Effective 2014)

The detailed provisions of the OAD are divided into five titles:


-Part 1: General Provisions Applicable to the Association of the OCTs with the Union ;

- Part 2: Areas of Cooperation for Sustainable Development Within the Framework of the Association ;

- Part 3: Trade and Commercial Cooperation ;

-Part 4:Tools for Sustainable Development ;

-Part 5: final provisions.


The revision of the 2001 OAD was initiated in 2008 with :

  • The public consultation and thepublication of the "Green Paper on future relations between the Overseas Countries and Territories and the European Union ;
  • the publication of the Commission's 2009 communication "Elements for a New Partnership between the European Union and the OCTs ;
  • the signature of a common position paper between Member States and OCTs in February 2011.

The new OAD was unanimously adopted by the Council on 25 November 2013. The association pursues the general objectives set out in Article 199 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, by increasing the competitiveness of the OCTs, strengthening their adaptability, reducing their economic and environmental vulnerability and promoting their cooperation with other partners.