The implementation of the DCFTA gives neighbours a possibility to integrate into the EU internal market without becoming an EU member state. These agreements are very extensive in the commitments by EU neighbours to approximate to a huge amount of EU acquis communautaire, i.e. approximate to almost an entire body of the European Union’s legislation. In other words, the DCFTAs go beyond strictly trade-related matters and imply serious domestic change.
The DCFTAs are modelled after the EU’s agreements with the so-called pre-accession states, that is: countries preparing to become members of the EU, but do not include EU membership perspective. The EU has offered a DCFTA to some of its neighbours in its East and South.