EU-Macao relations are based on a 1992 Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which entered into force in 1993. The European Commission’s 1998 Communication “Building a comprehensive partnership with China” , which supported Macao’s high degree of autonomy, was followed by a 1999 Communication “The EU and Macao: beyond 2000” which underlined the importance of smooth implementation of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle and set out ways in which the EU could contribute to Macao’s political and economic development.
The European Commission and the External Action Service issue an annual report on political and economic developments in the Macao SAR (the latest report was issued in May 2014, http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/hong_kong/documents/press_corner/20140516_en.pdf). The EU and Macao hold annual Joint Committee meetings to take stock of bilateral cooperation and explore new avenues for joint work.
Bilateral relations between the EU and Macao continue to deepen and include areas such as legal affairs, tax matters, education, research, and training of interpreters. Trade and investment relations have expanded significantly and are mostly problem-free. 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.
The EU believes that the 'one country, two systems' principle continues to work well in Macao and supports further democratisation of the political governance system and strengthening of the judiciary.
President Barroso visited Macao in November 2013 to mark the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of Agreement for Trade and Cooperation (Press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1137_en.htm).