Enlarged Partial Agreement

Enlarged Partial Agreement: Understanding Its Meaning and Uses

Enlarged Partial Agreement, also known as EAP, is a term you may come across in certain contexts, particularly in relation to the Council of Europe. EAP refers to a process where a group of countries agrees to be bound by certain legal instruments, without having to sign them all. In this article, we will explore what EAP means, its benefits, and how it is used in practice.

What is Enlarged Partial Agreement?

Enlarged Partial Agreement is a mechanism used by the Council of Europe to facilitate cooperation between member states on specific issues. It allows countries to agree on certain legal instruments or measures, without committing to all of them. This means that countries can choose to participate in a specific agreement or treaty, without being obliged to comply with others they don`t want to.

The term „enlarged“ implies that non-member states, as well as other international organizations, can also participate in the agreement, although, this depends on the particular case.

The Benefits of Enlarged Partial Agreement

The use of EAP has several advantages. For instance, it enables states to cooperate more effectively, especially where other mechanisms are not feasible. It also makes it easier for countries to handle complex issues where a single solution may not be practical or desirable.

Additionally, EAP can help countries to tailor their level of commitment to particular issues, as it allows for a more flexible approach to cooperation. In situations where states don`t want to be bound by the entire document, EAP ensures that they can still participate in the agreement under terms that are acceptable to them.

How is Enlarged Partial Agreement Used in Practice?

EAP is used in a variety of contexts, particularly by the Council of Europe, where it has been applied in numerous areas. Some of the key examples include:

– The European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.), where EAP enables non-EU countries to participate in the production of the Pharmacopoeia and its associated standards.

– The European Social Charter, where EAP allows countries to sign up to different protocols or provisions within the Charter, without having to comply with the entire document.

– The Pompidou Group, where EAP facilitates cooperation between member and non-member states on drug policy and related issues.


Enlarged Partial Agreement is a useful mechanism for promoting cooperation between countries on specific issues. It offers a flexible approach to international cooperation, enabling states to participate in agreements or treaties on terms that are acceptable to them. Although this term may not be familiar to everyone, it is an important aspect of international governance and one that is likely to become more prevalent in the future.