The EU’s external economic relations are structured by a system of concentric circles based on gradations of proximity.
Candidate countries have the prospect of becoming Member States once they fulfil the EU’s accession criteria.
Potential candidate countries in South-Eastern Europe are still in the process of strengthening their institutions and economies before they can acquire candidate status.
The EU also has special relations with a number of non-European G20 member countries, in particular with the most important advanced and emerging market economies.
DG ECFIN provides analysis of economic and policy developments in these economies, and holds regular dialogues with most of them on economic policy issues.
Given the increasing weight of Asia and Latin America in the global economy, the EU is intensifying its relations with these regions and their main economies.
Sub-Saharan African, Pacific and Caribbean countries also receive special attention because of the high prevalence of poverty in many of these countries and their strong historic links with some Member States.