Special member state territories and the European Union
Location of the European Union and the special territories
|Largest settlements||Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Willemstad, Saint-Denis, Funchal, Nouméa|
|2,743,509 km2 (1,059,275 sq mi)|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (AD)|
politics and government of
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The special territories of the European Union are 31 territories of EU member states which, for historical, geographical, or political reasons, enjoy special status within or outside the European Union. The special territories divide themselves in three categories: 9 Outermost Regions (OMR) that form part of the European Union, though they benefit from derogations from some EU laws due to their geographical remoteness from mainland Europe. 22 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) that do not form part of the European Union, though they cooperate with the EU via the Overseas Countries and Territories Association. And 15 special cases where EU law make ad hoc provisions.
The Outermost Regions were recognised at the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and confirmed by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that both primary and secondary European Union law applies automatically to the outermost regions, with possible derogations due to the particularities of these territories. The Overseas Countries and Territories are recognised by the Article 198 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which allows them to opt into EU provisions on the freedom of movement for workers and freedom of establishment, and invites them to join the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) in order to improve cooperation with the European Union.
Collectively, the special territories encompass a population of about 6 million people and a land area of about 2,743,510 square kilometres (1,060,000 sq mi). The vast majority of this land area, 2,166,000 square kilometres (660,000 sq mi), is represented by Greenland, while the largest region by population, the Canary Islands, accounts for more than a third of the total special territories population. Pitcairn Islands, settled by the survivors of the mutiny on the Bounty, is the smallest settled territory with 50 inhabitants, while the smallest by land area is the island of Saba in the Caribbean (13 km2 or 5 sq mi).
The Outermost regions (OMR) are territories forming part of a member state of the European Union but situated a significant distance from mainland Europe. Due to this situation, they have derogation from some EU policies despite being part of the European Union.
According to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, both primary and secondary European Union law applies automatically to these territories, with possible derogations to take account of their "structural social and economic situation (...) which is compounded by their remoteness, insularity, small size, difficult topography and climate, economic dependence on a few products, the permanence and combination of which severely restrain their development". All form part of the European Union customs area, however some fall outside of the Schengen Area and the European Union Value Added Tax Area.
Seven outermost regions were recognised at the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. The Treaty of Lisbon included two additional territories (Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin) in 2007. Saint Barthélemy changed its status from OMR to OCT with effect from 1 January 2012.Mayotte, which was an OCT that joined the EU as a OMR with effect from 1 January 2014.
The nine Outermost regions of the European Union are:
|Azores||North Atlantic||2,333 km2 (901 sq mi)||245,746||Angra do Heroísmo,||Ponta Delgada||Portuguese|
|Canary Islands||North Atlantic||7,493 km2 (2,893 sq mi)||2,101,924||Santa Cruz de Tenerife
and Las Palmas
|French Guiana||South America||83,534 km2 (32,253 sq mi)||281,612||Cayenne||Cayenne||French|
|Guadeloupe||Caribbean||1,628 km2 (629 sq mi)||402,119||Basse-Terre||Les Abymes||French|
|Madeira||North Atlantic||801 km2 (309 sq mi)||289,000||Funchal||Funchal||Portuguese|
|Martinique||Caribbean||1,128 km2 (436 sq mi)||385,551||Fort-de-France||Fort-de-France||French|
|Mayotte||Indian Ocean||374 km2 (144 sq mi)||256,518||Dzaoudzi (de jure),
Mamoudzou (de facto)
|La Réunion||Indian Ocean||2,511 km2 (970 sq mi)||865,826||Saint-Denis||Saint-Denis||French|
|Saint Martin||Caribbean||53 km2 (20 sq mi)||36,286||Marigot||Marigot||French|
|Total||99,855 km2 (38,554 sq mi)||4,864,582|
Azores and Madeira are two groups of Portuguese islands in the Atlantic. Azores and Madeira are integral parts of the Portuguese Republic, but both have the special status as Autonomous Regions, with a degree of self-governance. While derogations from the application of EU law could apply, none do. Their VAT is lower than the rest of Portugal, but they are not outside the EU VAT Area.
The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago off the African coast which form one of the 17 Autonomous Communities of Spain-the country's principal first-level administrative division. They are outside the EU VAT Area. The Canary Islands are the most populous and economically strongest territory of all the outermost regions in the European Union. The outermost regions office for support and information is located in these islands, in the city of Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria.
French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion are five French overseas departments (which are also overseas regions) which under French law are, for the most part, treated as integral parts of the Republic. The euro is legal tender; however, they are outside the Schengen Area and the EU VAT Area.
Mayotte is the newest of the five overseas departments, having changed from an overseas collectivity with OCT status on 31 March 2011. It became an outermost region, and thus part of the EU, on 1 January 2014.
Saint Martin is the only overseas collectivity of France with the status of being an outermost region of the EU. As with the French overseas departments, the euro is legal tender in Saint Martin, and it is outside the Schengen Area and the EU VAT Area.
On 22 February 2007, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy were broken away from the French overseas department of Guadeloupe to form new overseas collectivities. As a consequence their EU status was unclear for a time. While a report issued by the French parliament suggested that the islands remained within the EU as outermost regions, European Commission documents listed them as being outside the European Community. The legal status of the islands was clarified on the coming into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, which listed them as an outermost region. However, Saint Barthélemy ceased being an outermost region and left the EU, to become an OCT, on 1 January 2012.
The overseas countries and territories (OCT) are dependent territories that have a special relationship with one of the member states of the EU. Their status is described in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and they are not part of the EU or the European Single Market. The Overseas Countries and Territories Association was created to improve economic development and cooperation between the OCTs and the EU, and includes most OCTs except three territories which do not have a permanent local population.
The OCTs have been explicitly invited by the EU treaty to join the EU-OCT Association (OCTA). They were listed in the Article 198 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which aside from inviting them to join OCTA, also provided them the opportunity to opt into EU provisions on the freedom of movement for workers and freedom of establishment. Yet, the freedom of establishment is limited by Article 203 TFEU and the respective Council Decision on OCTs. Its Article 51(1)(a) prescribes only that "the Union shall accord to natural and legal persons of the OCTs a treatment no less favourable than the most favourable treatment applicable to like natural and legal persons of any third country with whom the Union concludes or has concluded an economic integration agreement." Again this can be, according to Article 51(2)(b) limited. The obligations provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article shall not apply to treatment granted under measures providing for recognition of qualifications, licences or prudential measures in accordance with Article VII of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) or the GATS Annex on Financial Services.
The OCTs are not subject to the EU's common external customs tariffs but may claim customs on goods imported from the EU on a non-discriminatory basis. They are not part of the EU and the EU acquis does not apply to them, though those joining OCTA are required to respect the detailed rules and procedures outlined by this association agreement (Council Decision 2013/755/EU). OCTA members are entitled to ask for EU financial support.
When the Rome Treaty was signed in March 1957, a total of 15 OCTs existed: French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Comoros Archipelago, French Madagascar, French Somaliland, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, French Togoland, French Cameroons, Belgian Congo, Ruanda-Urundi, Trust Territory of Somalia, Netherlands New Guinea. The list was since then revised multiple times, and comprised—as noted by the Lisbon Treaty—25 OCTs in 2007. One of the French territories subsequently switched status from OMR to OCT (Saint Barthélemy), while another French territory switched from OCT to OMR (Mayotte). As of July 2014, there are still 25 OCTs (twelve with the United Kingdom, six with France, six with the Netherlands and one with Denmark) of which 22 have joined OCTA. The three OCTs which are not part of OCTA (British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands) do not have a permanent population.
|Flag||Arms||Name||Location||Area||Population||Capital||Largest settlement||Official language(s)||Sovereign State|
|French Polynesia||Pacific||4,167 km2 (1,609 sq mi)||275,918||Pape'ete||Fa'a'?||French|
|New Caledonia||Pacific||18,576 km2 (7,172 sq mi)||268,767||Nouméa||Nouméa||French|
|Curaçao||Caribbean||444 km2 (171 sq mi)||160,337||Willemstad||Willemstad||Dutch, Papiamento, English|
|Aruba||Caribbean||179 km2 (69 sq mi)||104,822||Oranjestad||Oranjestad||Dutch, Papiamento|
|Bermuda||North Atlantic||53 km2 (20 sq mi)||63,779||Hamilton||St. George's||English|
|Cayman Islands||Caribbean||264 km2 (102 sq mi)||60,765||George Town||George Town||English|
|Greenland||North Atlantic & Arctic||2,166,086 km2 (836,330 sq mi)||56,483||Nuuk||Nuuk||Greenlandic|
|Sint Maarten||Caribbean||37 km2 (14 sq mi)||33,609||Philipsburg||Lower Prince's Quarter||Dutch, English|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Caribbean||616 km2 (238 sq mi)||31,458||Cockburn Town||Providenciales||English|
|British Virgin Islands||Caribbean||153 km2 (59 sq mi)||28,054||Road Town||Road Town||English|
|Bonaire||Caribbean||294 km2 (114 sq mi)||18,905||Kralendijk||Kralendijk||Dutch|
|Anguilla||Caribbean||91 km2 (35 sq mi)||14,764||The Valley||The Valley||English|
|Wallis-et-Futuna||Pacific||142 km2 (55 sq mi)||11,899||Mata-Utu||Mata-Utu||French|
|Saint Barthélemy||Caribbean||25 km2 (10 sq mi)||9,279||Gustavia||Gustavia||French|
|Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon||North Atlantic||242 km2 (93 sq mi)||6,080||Saint-Pierre||Saint-Pierre||French|
|Montserrat||Caribbean||102 km2 (39 sq mi)||4,900||Plymouth (de jure)
Brades (de facto)
|Saint Helena||South Atlantic||121 km2 (47 sq mi)||4,534||Jamestown||Half Tree Hollow||English|
|Falkland Islands||South Atlantic||12,200 km2 (4,710 sq mi)||3,398||Stanley||Stanley||English|
|Sint Eustatius||Caribbean||21 km2 (8 sq mi)||3,193||Oranjestad||Oranjestad||Dutch|
|Saba||Caribbean||13 km2 (5 sq mi)||1,991||The Bottom||The Bottom||Dutch|
|Pitcairn Islands||Pacific||47 km2 (18 sq mi)||50||Adamstown||Adamstown||English|
|French Southern and Antarctic Lands||Indian Ocean & Antarctica||439,781 km2 (169,800 sq mi)||0[b]||Saint-Pierre||Port-aux-Français (base)||French|
|Total||2,643,654 km2 (1,020,720 sq mi)||1,162,985|
The Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) is an organisation founded on November 17, 2000 and headquartered in Brussels. Its purpose is to improve economic development in overseas countries and territories, as well as cooperation with the European Union. On 25 June 2008, a Cooperation Treaty between the EU and OCTA was signed in Brussels. The current chairman is the Premier of Turks and Caicos Islands, Sharlene Cartwright Robinson.
22 of the 25 OCTs have joined OCTA as of July 2014, following the adhesion of Bermuda. The three OCTs which are not part of OCTA (British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands) do not have a permanent population.
The French Southern and Antarctic Lands (which also include the French Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean, and the French claim of Adélie Land in Antarctica) is a French Overseas Territory but has no permanent population. It has sui generis status within France.
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Barthélemy, French Polynesia, and Wallis and Futuna are overseas collectivities (formerly referred to as overseas territories) of France, while New Caledonia is a "sui generis collectivity". Saint Barthélemy and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon use the euro, while New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna use the CFP Franc, a currency which is tied to the euro and guaranteed by France. Natives of the collectivities are European citizens owing to their French citizenship and elections to the European Parliament are held in the collectivities.
On 22 February 2007, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin were separated from the French overseas department of Guadeloupe to form new overseas collectivities. As a consequence, their EU status was unclear for a time. While a report issued by the French parliament suggested that the islands remained within the EU as outermost regions, European Commission documents listed them as being outside the European Community. The legal status of the islands was clarified on the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty which listed them as outermost regions. However, Saint Barthélemy ceased being an outermost region and left the EU, to become an OCT, on 1 January 2012. The change was made to facilitate trade with countries outside the EU, notably the United States, and was made possible by a provision of the Lisbon Treaty which allows the European Council to change the EU status of a Danish, Dutch, or French territory on the initiative of the member state concerned.
Six territories of the Netherlands--all of which are Caribbean islands--have OCT status. As such, they benefit from being able to have their own export and import policy to and from the EU, while still having access to receive various EU funds (i.e. from the European Development Fund). The inhabitants of the islands are EU citizens owing to their Dutch citizenship, with the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament. Initially they did not have voting rights for such elections, but the European Court of Justice granted them such rights, when they ruled their exclusion from the franchise was contrary to EU law, as all other Dutch citizens resident outside the EU did have the right to vote. None of the islands use the euro as their currency. The US dollar is used on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, while Curaçao and Sint Maarten utilize their own shared currency the Antillean guilder, and finally the currency of Aruba is the Aruban florin.
Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten are classified as "countries" under Dutch law, and have considerable internal autonomy. In June 2008, the Dutch government published a report on the projected effect on the islands were they to join the EU as outermost regions. It concluded that the choice would be for the islands themselves to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of becoming part of the EU as outermost regions, and that nothing would be done absent the islands specifically requesting it.
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba (collectively called Caribbean Netherlands) are "special municipalities" of the Netherlands proper. Their current OCT status, and the prospect of advancing their status to become part of the EU as new OMRs (outermost regions), has been scheduled to be reviewed by the Dutch parliament in 2015, as part of the planned review of the Dutch law (WOLBES and FINBES) concerning the quality of their recently implemented new public administration bodies. In October 2015, the review concluded the present legal structures for governance and integration with European Netherlands was not working well within the framework of WolBES, but no recommendations were made in regards of whether a switch from OCT to OMR status would help improve this situation.
The islands inherited their OCT status from the Netherlands Antilles which was dissolved in 2010. The Netherlands Antilles were initially specifically excluded from all association with the EEC by reason of a protocol attached to the Treaty of Rome, allowing the Netherlands to ratify on behalf of the Netherlands in Europe and Netherlands New Guinea only, which it subsequently did. Following the entry into force of the Convention on the association of the Netherlands Antilles with the European Economic Community on 1 October 1964, however, the Netherlands Antilles became OCTs.
Greenland joined the then European Community in 1973 as a county along with Denmark, but after gaining autonomy with the introduction of home rule within the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland voted to leave in 1982 and left in 1985, to become an OCT. The main reason for leaving is disagreements about the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and to regain control of Greenlandic fish resources to subsequently remain outside EU waters. Citizens of Greenland are, nonetheless, EU citizens within the meaning of EU treaties and Danish nationality law.
The EU-Greenland relationship is a comprehensive partnership, which is complementary to the OCT association arrangements under "Council Decision 2013/755/EU"; based specifically on "Council Decision 2014/137 of 14 March 2014" (outlining the relations) and the Fisheries Partnership Agreement of 30 July 2006.
Twelve of the fourteen British Overseas Territories have OCT status namely: Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Antarctic Territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Montserrat, the Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The British Antarctic Territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands have no permanent population. Since 2014, they are the only 3 OCTs which are not part of OCTA.
Bermuda originally declined to take advantage of OCT status and did not join the Overseas Countries and Territories Association until 2014, having originally declined to join with the other overseas territories in 2001.
All citizens of the British overseas territories, except those residing at Britain's sovereign bases in Cyprus (which keep their local citizenships from the two governments in Cyprus, while other civil British residents are not permanent residents), were granted full British citizenship by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, and are consequently citizens of the European Union.
While the outermost regions and the overseas countries and territories fall into structured categories to which common mechanisms apply, this is not true of all the special territories. Some territories have ad hoc arrangements in their relationship with the EU. Some of these could be called "protocol territories" as their status is governed by protocols attached to their respective countries' accession treaties. The rest owe their status to European Union legislative provisions which exclude the territories from the application of the legislation concerned. Many were opted out from either the VAT area or the customs union or both.
|Areas that are part of the EU||Areas that are not part of the EU|
Åland, a group of islands belonging to Finland, but with partial autonomy, located between Sweden and Finland, with a Swedish-speaking population, joined the EU along with Finland in 1995. The islands had a separate referendum on accession and like the Finnish mainland voted in favour.
EU law, including the fundamental four freedoms, applies to Åland. However, there are some derogations due to the islands' special status. Åland is outside the VAT area and is exempt from common rules in relation to turnover taxes, excise duties and indirect taxation. In addition, to protect the local economy, the treaty of accession allows for a concept of hembygdsrätt/kotiseutuoikeus (regional citizenship). Consequently, there are restrictions on the holding of property and real estate, the right of establishment for business purposes and limitations on who can provide services in Åland, for people not holding this status. The status may be obtained by any Finnish citizen legally resident in Åland for 5 years who can demonstrate an adequate knowledge of the Swedish language.
The German village of Büsingen am Hochrhein, is an exclave entirely surrounded by Switzerland and as such is, for practical purposes in a customs union with the latter non-EU country. The euro is legal tender, though the Swiss franc is preferred. Büsingen is excluded from the EU customs union and the EU VAT area. Swiss VAT applies. Büsingen was also outside of the Schengen area until Switzerland joined on 12 December 2008.
The Italian exclave village of Campione d'Italia is enclaved by Switzerland's Ticino canton as well as Lake Lugano (or Ceresio), and is a comune in the Province of Como, whilst Livigno, a small and remote mountain resort town, is a comune in the Province of Sondrio. Both comuni are part of the Lombardy region. Although part of the EU, they are excluded from the customs union and VAT area, with Livigno's tax status dating back to Napoleonic times. Moreover, the only legal tender in Campione d'Italia is the Swiss franc, although in practice shops and restaurants accept payments also in euros, and prices are displayed in both euros and Swiss francs.
Ceuta and Melilla are two Spanish cities on the North African coast. They are part of the EU but they are excluded from the common agricultural and fisheries policies. They are also outside the customs union and VAT area, but no customs are levied on goods exported from the Union into either Ceuta and Melilla, and certain goods originating in Ceuta and Melilla are exempt from customs charges.
The Bailiwick of Jersey and Bailiwick of Guernsey--which form the Channel Islands--are Crown dependencies, under the sovereignty of the British monarch. The islands take part in the EU freedom of movement of goods but not labour, services or capital. They are outside the VAT area, but inside the customs union.
Channel Islanders are British citizens and hence European citizens. As a result, they can travel freely within the EU, and all European citizens can travel to the islands without restrictions. However, the islands do not participate in the freedom of movement of labour, and as a result their citizens are not entitled to work or reside within the EU unless they are directly connected (through birth, or descent from a parent or grandparent) with the United Kingdom. After five years continuous residence in the United Kingdom, islanders are entitled to participate in the freedom of movement of labour or services throughout the EU.
The Isle of Man is a Crown dependency, under the sovereignty of the British monarch. The island takes part in the EU freedom of movement of goods but not labour, services or capital. The Isle of Man is inside the VAT area and the customs union.
Manx people are British citizens and hence European citizens. As a result, they can travel freely within the EU, and all European citizens can travel to the Isle of Man without restrictions. However, the island does not participate in the freedom of movement of labour, and as a result its citizens are not entitled to work or reside within the EU unless they are directly connected (through birth, or descent from a parent or grandparent) with the United Kingdom. After five years continuous residence in the United Kingdom, Manx people are entitled to participate in the freedom of movement of labour or services throughout the EU.
When the Republic of Cyprus became part of the European Union on 1 May 2004, the northern third of the island was outside of the effective control of its government due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, a United Nations buffer zone of varying width separated the two parts, and a further 3% of the island was taken up by UK sovereign bases (under British sovereignty since the Treaty of Establishment in 1960). Two protocols to the Treaty of Accession 2003--numbers 3 and 10, known as the "Sovereign Base Areas Protocol" and the "Cyprus Protocol" respectively - reflect this complex situation.
EU law only applies fully to the part of the island that is effectively controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus. EU law is suspended in the northern third of the island (the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, whose independence is recognised only by Turkey) by article 1(1) of the Cyprus Protocol. If the island is reunified, the Council of the European Union will repeal the suspension by a decision. Four months after such a decision has been adopted, new elections to the European Parliament will be held on the island to elect Cypriot representatives from the whole of the island.
Cypriot nationality law applies to the entire island and is accordingly available to the inhabitants of Northern Cyprus and the British sovereign base areas on the same basis as to those born in the area controlled by the Republic of Cyprus. Citizens of the Republic of Cyprus living in Northern Cyprus are EU citizens and are nominally entitled to vote in elections to the European Parliament; however, elections to that Parliament are not organised in Northern Cyprus as it is governed de facto a separate state, albeit a state unrecognized internationally.
The United Kingdom has two sovereign base areas on Cyprus, namely Akrotiri and Dhekelia. Unlike other British overseas territories, they are not listed as Overseas Countries and Territories under the Treaty of Rome and their inhabitants (who are entitled to British Overseas Territories Citizenship) have never been entitled to British citizenship.
Prior to Cypriot accession to the EU in 2004, EU law did not apply to the sovereign base areas. This position was changed by the Cypriot accession treaty and EU law, while still not applying in principle, applies to the extent necessary to implement a protocol attached to that treaty. This protocol applies EU law relating to the Common Agricultural Policy, customs, indirect taxation, social policy and justice and home affairs to the sovereign base areas. The sovereign base areas' authorities have also made provision for the unilateral application of directly applicable EU law. The UK also agreed in the Protocol to keep enough control of the external (i.e. off-island and northern Cyprus) borders of the base areas to ensure that the border between the sovereign base areas and the Republic of Cyprus can remain fully open and will not have to be policed as an external EU border. Consequently, the sovereign base areas will become a de facto part of the Schengen Area if and when Cyprus implements it. The base areas are already de facto members of the eurozone due to their previous use of the Cypriot pound before it was replaced by the euro in 2008.
As pointed out above, inhabitants of the sovereign base areas have never been entitled to British citizenship or to the European Union citizenship that would go with it, however Cypriot nationality law extends to Cypriots in the Sovereign Base Areas, meaning Cypriot residents, as citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, are entitled to EU citizenship. Just under half of the population of the sovereign base areas are Cypriots, the rest are British military personnel, support staff and their dependants. In a declaration attached to the Treaty of Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus of 1960 the British government undertook not to allow new settlement of people in the sovereign base areas other than for temporary purposes.
This section needs to be updated.May 2019)(
The United Nations buffer zone between north and south Cyprus ranges in width from a few metres in central Nicosia to several kilometres in the countryside. While it is nominally under the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, it is effectively administered by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The population of the zone is 8,686 (as of October 2007), and one of the mandates of UNFICYP is "to encourage the fullest possible resumption of normal civilian activity in the buffer zone". Article 2.1 of the Cyprus Protocol allows the European Council to determine to what extent the provisions of EU law apply in the buffer zone.
The Faroe Islands are not part of the EU, and they have not been part of the EU since Denmark joined the community in 1973. Danish citizens residing on the islands are not considered citizens of a member state within the meaning of the treaties or, consequently, citizens of the European Union. However, Faroese people may become EU citizens by changing their residence to the Danish mainland.
The Faroe Islands are not part of the Schengen Area, and Schengen visas are not valid. However, the islands are part of the Nordic Passport Union and the Schengen Agreement provides that travellers passing between the islands and the Schengen Area are not to be treated as passing the external frontier of the Area. This means that there is no formal passport control, but an identity check at check-in for air or boat travel to the islands where Nordic citizens on intra-Nordic travel need no passport, only showing the ticket plus identity card.
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula and overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar, sharing a border with Spain to the north. It is part of the EU, having joined the European Economic Community under the United Kingdom in 1973. Article 355(3) (ex Article 299(4)) applies the treaty to "the European territories for whose external relations a Member State is responsible", a provision which in practice only applies to Gibraltar. Although it is part of the EU, Gibraltar is outside the customs union and VAT area and is exempted from the Common Agricultural Policy; it does not form part of the Schengen Area. As a separate jurisdiction to the UK, Gibraltar's government and parliament are responsible for the transposition of EU law into local law. In 2016 Gibraltar voted "remain" in the UK EU membership referendum; however Gibraltar's membership is not distinct from the UK's and Gibraltar is bound by the overall result of "leave".
Owing to a declaration lodged by the United Kingdom with the EEC in 1982, Gibraltarians were to be counted as British nationals for the purposes of Community law. This was notwithstanding that they were not, at the time, British citizens, but were British Overseas Territories citizens with the right to be registered as British citizens. As such, Gibraltarians have enjoyed European Community treaty rights since UK's accession to the European Community, and subsequently European Union citizenship since the Maastricht Treaty. It was not until 21 May 2002 when Gibraltarians who did not apply for British citizenship were automatically granted British citizenship while still retaining their British Overseas Territories citizenship under the British Overseas Territories Act 2002. Children born in Gibraltar after 21 May 2002 now also have access to British citizenship under the same rules as UK-born children.
Despite their status as EU citizens resident in the EU, elections to the European Parliament were not held in Gibraltar until 2004. The inclusion resulted from the European Court of Human Rights' 1999 ruling in Matthews v. United Kingdom which deemed that Gibraltar's exclusion violated Article 3 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights. In the 2004 European Parliament election the territory was part of the South West England constituency of the United Kingdom. The inclusion was unsuccessfully challenged by Spain before the European Court of Justice.
Like the UK, Gibraltar does not form part of the Schengen Area and, as a result, the border between Spain and Gibraltar is an external Schengen border through which Spain is legally obliged to perform full entrance and exit controls. However Gibraltar does participate in certain police and judicial cooperation aspects of the Schengen acquis in line with the UK's request to participate in the same measures.
With respect to the application of EU law to Gibraltar, the governments of Spain and the United Kingdom made the following Declaration which is appended (as Declaration 55) to the Treaty on European Union: "The Treaties apply to Gibraltar as a European territory for whose external relations a Member State is responsible. This shall not imply changes in the respective positions of the Member States concerned."
Mount Athos is an autonomous monastic region of Greece. Greece's EU accession treaty provides that Mount Athos maintains its centuries-old special legal status, guaranteed by article 105 of the Greek Constitution. It is part of the customs union but outside the VAT area. Notwithstanding that a special permit is required to enter the peninsula and that there is a prohibition on the admittance of women, it is part of the Schengen Area. The monastery has certain rights to house monks from countries outside the EU. A declaration attached to Greece's accession treaty to the Schengen Agreement states that Mount Athos's "special status" should be taken into account in the application of the Schengen rules.
The Saimaa Canal and Värska-Ulitina road are two of several distinct travel arrangements that exist or existed because of changes in borders over the course of the 20th century, where transport routes and installations ended up on the wrong side of the border. Some have become superfluous thanks to the Schengen Agreement.
Finland leases the 19.6 kilometres (12.2 mi)-long Russian part of the Saimaa Canal from Russia and is granted extraterritoriality rights. The area is not part of the EU, it is a special part of Russia. Under the treaty signed by Finnish and Russian governments, Russian law is in force with a few exceptions concerning maritime rules and the employment of canal staff which fall under Finnish jurisdiction. There are also special rules concerning vessels travelling to Finland via the canal. Russian visas are not required for just passing through the canal, but a passport is needed and it is checked at the border. Euros are accepted for the canal fees. Prior to the 50-year lease renewal coming into effect in February 2012, the Maly Vysotsky Island had also been leased and managed by Finland. Since then it has been fully managed by Russian authorities, and is no longer part of the concession territory.
The road from Värska to Ulitina in Estonia, traditionally the only road to the Ulitina area, goes through Russian territory for one kilometre (0.6 mi) of its length, an area called Saatse Boot. This road has no border control, but there is no connection to any other road in Russia. It is not permissible to stop or walk along the road. This area is a part of Russia but is also a de facto part of the Schengen area.
Many currently independent states or parts of such were previously territories of the following EU members since the latter joined the EU or, previously the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC):
Most of these territories seceded before the implementation of the Maastricht treaty in 1993 and the following years, meaning that cooperation like the EU citizenship, the VAT union or the Eurozone did not exist, so it made less difference to be a special territory then.
Additionally in Europe there were special territories in the past that had different status than their "mainland", because of various reasons, but now are part of a member state. Some of these territories were as follows:
The following areas are still special member state territories, but have changed their status. See their entries in the article for details.
Some European countries are strongly connected to the European Union, through the European Economic Area or similar agreements. These countries are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, the member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). They are inside the single market (with exceptions) and the Schengen area, but outside the Eurozone, customs territory, and VAT area. Norway and Switzerland have special areas.
|and territories||Application||EURATOM||Schengen area||EU VAT area||EU customs territory||EU single market||Eurozone|
|Iceland||Partial||No||Yes||No||No||With exemptions, in EEA||No, ISK|
|Liechtenstein||Partial||No||Yes||No, VAT area||No, customs territory||With exemptions, in EEA||No, CHF|
|Norway, except:||Partial||No||Yes||No||No||With exemptions, in EEA||No, NOK|
|Svalbard||Partial||No||No||No, VAT free||No||No||No, NOK|
|Jan Mayen||Partial||No||Yes||No, VAT free||No||Like rest of Norway||No, NOK|
|Bouvet Island||No||No||No||No||No||No||No, NOK|
|Peter I Island||No||No||No||No||No||No||No, NOK|
|Queen Maud Land||No||No||No||No||No||No||No, NOK|
|Switzerland, except:||Partial||Associated state||Yes||No, VAT area||No, customs territory||With exemptions, not in EEA||No, CHF|
|Samnaun||Partial||Associated with Switzerland||Yes||No, VAT free||No, customs territory||With exemptions, not in EEA||No, CHF|
This table summarises the various components of EU laws applied in the EU member states and their sovereign territories. Member states that do not have special-status territories are not included (as there the EU law applies fully with the exception of the opt-outs in the European Union and states under a safeguard clause or transitional period). Some territories of EFTA member states also have a special status in regard to EU laws applied as is the case with some European microstates.
|Member states and territories||Application||EURATOM||EU citizenship||EU elections||Schengen area||EU VAT area||EU customs territory||EU single market||Eurozone|
| Republic of Cyprus,
|Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Set to implement later[e]||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|UN Buffer Zone||With exemptions||?||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes[f]||With exemptions[g]||Yes|
|Northern Cyprus||Suspended||No||Cypriot citizens[h]||No||No||No||No||No||No, TRY|
|Yes[i]||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||DKK (ERM II)|
|Greenland||Minimal (OCT)||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||DKK (ERM II)|
|Faroe Islands||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Minimal (FTA)||DKK (ERM II)|
|Åland Islands||With exemptions||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||With exemptions||Yes|
| France (Metropolitan),
|French Guiana||With exemptions (OMR)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No, VAT free||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Guadeloupe||With exemptions (OMR)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No, low rate VAT||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Martinique||With exemptions (OMR)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No, low rate VAT||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Réunion||With exemptions (OMR)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No, low rate VAT||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mayotte||With exemptions (OMR)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No, VAT free||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Saint Martin||With exemptions (OMR)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No, low rate VAT||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Saint Barthélemy||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No||No||Partial||Yes|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No||No||Partial||Yes|
|Wallis and Futuna||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No||No||Partial||XPF, pegged to EUR|
|French Polynesia||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No||No||Partial||XPF, pegged to EUR|
|New Caledonia||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||Yes[j]||No||No||No||Partial||XPF, pegged to EUR|
|French Southern and Antarctic Lands||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No[k]||No||No||No||Partial||Yes|
|Büsingen am Hochrhein||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Participating with Switzerland[l]||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Mount Athos||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, VAT free||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Campione d'Italia||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes[l]||No||No||Yes||No, CHF|
|Bonaire||Minimal (OCT)||No[m]||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Partial||No, USD|
|Saba||Minimal (OCT)||No[m]||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Partial||No, USD|
|Sint Eustatius||Minimal (OCT)||No[m]||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Partial||No, USD|
|Curaçao||Minimal (OCT)||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Partial||No, ANG[n]|
|Sint Maarten||Minimal (OCT)||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Partial||No, ANG[n]|
|Aruba||Minimal (OCT)||?||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Partial||No, AWG|
|Azores||Yes (OMR)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, lower VAT rate||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Madeira||Yes (OMR)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, lower VAT rate||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Canary Islands||With exemptions (OMR)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, VAT free||Yes||Yes||Yes|
| United Kingdom,
|Yes[i]||Yes||Yes||Yes||Police and judicial cooperation only,CTA||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, GBP|
|Gibraltar||With exemptions||Yes||Yes||Yes[p]||Police and judicial cooperation only||No||No||With exemptions||No, GIP|
|Akrotiri and Dhekelia||Minimal||No||Cypriot citizens[q]||No[r]||Set to implement later[e]||Yes||Yes||With exemptions[s]||Yes|
|Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, SHP|
|Falkland Islands||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, FKP|
|South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, GBP|
|British Antarctic Territory||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, GBP[t]|
|Bermuda||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, BMD|
|Cayman Islands||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, KYD|
|Anguilla||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, XCD|
|Montserrat||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, XCD|
|British Virgin Islands||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, USD|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, USD|
|British Indian Ocean Territory||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, GBP, USD|
|Pitcairn Islands||Minimal (OCT)||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Partial||No, NZD|
|Isle of Man||Minimal||Partial||With restrictions[u]||No||No,CTA||Yes||Yes||Minimal (FTA)||No, GBP|
|Bailiwick of Guernsey||Minimal||Partial||With restrictions[u]||No||No,CTA||No, VAT free||Yes||Minimal (FTA)||No, GBP|
|Bailiwick of Jersey||Minimal||Partial||With restrictions[u]||No||No,CTA||No, VAT free||Yes||Minimal (FTA)||No, GBP|
|Member states and territories||Application of EU law||EURATOM||EU citizenship||EU elections||Schengen area||EU VAT area||EU customs territory||EU single market||Eurozone|
|Legend for the "Application of EU law" column: Full. Part of the EU. -- Minimal or none. Not part of the EU territory.|
Summary for member states that do not have special-status territories, but do not participate in certain EU provisions as they are either not yet eligible or have an opt-out.
|Member states and territories||Application||EURATOM||EU citizenship||EU elections||Schengen area||EU VAT area||EU customs territory||EU single market||Eurozone|
|Bulgaria||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Set to implement later||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, BGN|
|Croatia||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Set to implement later||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, HRK|
|Czech Republic||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, CZK|
|Ireland||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Police and judicial cooperation only,CTA||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Romania||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Set to implement later||Yes||Yes||Yes||No, RON|
A list of the remaining member states which do not have special-status territories, and participate in all EU provisions:
Rapport d'information nombre 3292was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
approximately 15,700 live on the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia including 7,700 Cypriots, 3,600 Service and UK-based contract personnel, and 4,400 dependents
(...) van het Verdrag tot oprichting van de Europese Gemeenschap voor Atoomenergie (Euratom) (Tr. 1957, 92). Dit verdrag geldt niet voor Curaçao en Sint Maarten.