The sixteenth session of the Cooperation Council was held on 4 April 2019. The Council noted the intensification of eu-Azerbaijan relations with the ongoing negotiations for a new agreement and the adoption of partnership priorities in September 2018. On 29 November 2013, the agreement to facilitate the issuance of visas between Azerbaijan and the European Union was signed in Vilnius, Lithuania. The document came into force on September 1, 2014. Under the agreement, travel to EU countries has become simpler and cheaper for Azerbaijani nationals and they can buy short-stay visas to allow free travel within the EU. The agreement is not in force in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark. Under the agreement, visa processing is free for certain groups of citizens, such as official delegates, retirees, children under 12, students and researchers.  In an exclusive interview with EURACTIV last October, Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijan`s foreign minister, said that his country hoped that the agreement could be signed under the mandate of the current Commission, which is due to end on 1 November. Negotiations for a new agreement began on February 7, 2017. The EU and Azerbaijan have worked together to conclude various political agreements. The most important is the partnership and cooperation agreement BETWEEN the EU and Azerbaijan (1999). The strategic energy partnership concluded in 2006 remains an excellent example of mutually beneficial cooperation. However, relations go beyond energy and considerable progress remains to be made in the area of democracy and fundamental freedoms.
The EU is discussing a closer relationship with Azerbaijan and began negotiations for a specific association agreement in 2010. The EU and Azerbaijan began negotiations for a new comprehensive agreement in February 2017. The 15th session of the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council was held on 9 February 2018. It took place in the context of an intensification of relations between the EU and Azerbaijan, including the opening of negotiations for a new bilateral agreement over the past year. Mammadyarov said that whatever the remaining chapters, the most important thing was goodwill. He said Azerbaijan hoped that the parties on which there is an agreement would be initialized. “I feel like there is goodwill,” he said. The new agreement is expected to replace the 1996 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. It should take better account of the common objectives and challenges facing the EU and Azerbaijan today. On 14 November 2016, the Council of the European Union approved the award of a mandate to the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to negotiate a new agreement with Azerbaijan, which would replace the cooperation and partnership agreement in force since 1996.