This is a French term meaning, essentially, 'the EU as it is' – in other words, the rights and obligations that EU countries share. The 'acquis' includes all the EU's treaties and laws, declarations and resolutions, international agreements on EU affairs and the judgments given by the Court of Justice. It also includes actions that EU governments take together in the area of justice and home affairs and on the Common Foreign and Security Policy. 'Accepting the acquis' therefore means taking the EU as you find it. Candidate countries have to accept the 'acquis' before they can join the EU, and make EU law part of their own national legislation.