The agreement aims to promote trade, investment, economy, legislation and culture within the framework of the EU-Azerbaijan partnership and cooperation.  Azerbaijan is also part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)  and the Eastern Partnership Initiative and is a member of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation (BSEC).  In February 2017, the EU and Azerbaijan started negotiations for a new comprehensive agreement. Formal relations with the EU began in 1996 with the signing of the EU-Azerbaijan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). This agreement entered into force in 1999.  This agreement marked the beginning of a largely positive relationship between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the European Union, with both sides benefiting from the relations. Bilateral relations are developing, they are improving. .