The Association Agreement is a pioneering document: it is the first agreement based on a political association between the EU and one of the Eastern Partnership countries, unprecedented in terms of breadth (number of areas covered) and depth (details of commitments and deadlines). The European Coal and Steel Community was established in 1952 and consisted of six Western European countries. This would lead to the European Union in 1992, since the Central Powers have grown and the number of members has increased by 28 by 2013. The Union has a common market and is responsible, inter alia, for the conclusion of trade agreements. The Union has only competences conferred on it by its Member States and, where a Treaty covers areas in which it has no competence, the Member States become parties to the Treaty alongside the Union. The Parties will strengthen their cooperation on technical regulations, standards, metrology, market surveillance, accreditation and conformity assessment procedures in order to improve mutual understanding of their respective systems and facilitate access to their respective markets. . . .