A series of agreements were entered into on 19 April 2000 to unblock several issues relating to EU Business affecting Gibraltar. One agreement related to the establishment of a formal framework relating to police co-operation. another resulted in the recognition of Gibraltar’s identity cards as valid travel documents within the EU.

But by far the most far reaching and important agreement related to the establishment of arrangements to secure recognition by other EU Member States for the acts and decisions of Gibraltar’s own competent authorities.

This agreement removes the last remaining obstacle to the passporting of financial services by Gibraltar financial institutions throughout the EU, which had been held up by some Member States’ refusal to accept direct ratification from Gibraltar’s Financial Services Commission and other competent authorities.

"The agreement concluded means that the UK will be able to designate Gibraltar’s own authorities as competent authority in and for Gibraltar for the purposes of EU measures and related treaties, without any other country objecting," Chief Minister Peter Caruana QC declared. "All other Member States will recognise and accept the acts and decisions, that is to say the competence, of Gibraltar’s authorities including financial services licences and all manner of regulatory communications. For its part the Gibraltar Government has agreed that all such communications be physically conveyed to other Member States through the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the so-called "post-box" mechanism".

"The Gibraltar Government is delighted with these agreements which resolve several outstanding problems, delivers valuable economic benefits, especially financial services passporting, whilst preserving our constitutional, administrative and jurisdictional autonomy."

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