Later on, BAS, the Bulgarian national accreditation body, signed the EA MLA for calibration and testing, thus becoming an EA MLA signatory for all accreditation activities covered by the EA MLA.
Among the current 33 EA full members, 30 so far are signatories to the EA MLA, out of which 26 have signed for all accreditation activities presently covered by the MLA.
Associate Membership re-introduced
As part of the EA Strategic Plan for 2010-2015, the revision of the EA Articles of Association and Rules of Procedure has been finalized and presented at the EA General Assembly in May 2011. The revised AoA and RoP are now published on the EA website.
The main change lies in the re-introduction of the EA Associate Membership. The criteria for membership have been revised accordingly and published in EA-1/17 – Supplement 1: Criteria for Membership. This revision was made not only to define membership criteria for Associate Members, but also to align the document with Regulation (EC) 765/2008 requirements.
EA has now two types of members:
- Full Members that are national accreditation bodies legally appointed, as referred to in Regulation (EC) 765/2008, in a Member State of the EU or the EFTA, or in a country formally identified by the EU or EFTA as a candidate country for EU or EFTA membership;
- Associate Members that are the national accreditation bodies legally appointed as such by countries or economies identified by the EU or the EFTA as potential candidate countries or economies for EU or EFTA membership1, or identified by the EU2 in the European Commission’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as countries or economies of particular importance.
1 “Potential candidates for EU membership" as stated by the European Council meeting in Feira in June 2000 are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244), Montenegro, and Serbia.
2 Countries in the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy are: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, The Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia, and Ukraine.
The applications for EA Associate Membership have been processed by the EA Multi-Lateral Agreement Council which, in September 2011, should provide the EA Executive Committee with recommendations to be decided upon at the EA General Assembly in November 2011.