Countries and regions
Bilateral EU-Syria relations are governed by the Cooperation Agreement signed in 1977.
Syria and the EU have negotiated an Association Agreement. However, the signature of the Association Agreement between the EU and Syria has been put on hold by the EU due to the internal situation in Syria. The ongoing internal repression in Syria has also led to restrictive measures by the EU and has a significant impact on bilateral trade.
Syria applied for WTO membership in October 2001. On 4 May 2010 the WTO General Council established a working party to examine the Syrian request for WTO membership.
- The EU was the first trading partner for Syria with total trade amounting to approximately €6.1 billion in 2011 whereby around 90% of Syria's export to the EU consisted of energy goods, complemented by agricultural products and textiles.
- In the context of implementation of the EU restrictive measures bilateral trade volumes have contracted substantially in 2012 to only €1.4 billion whereby imports from Syria dropped by 90% and exports by 61% as compared to 2011. The structure of trade flows changed accordingly.
- In 2012 EU exports to Syria consisted mainly of machinery and transport equipment (29.2%), agricultural products (27.8%) and chemicals (22.3%).
- EU imports from Syria in 2012 consisted of energy products (33.8%), agricultural products (23.1%) and textiles and clothing (22.6%).
EU-Syria "trade in goods" statistics
|Year||EU imports||EU exports||Balance|
EU and Syria
Syria's import restrictions
- The European Neighbourhood Policy is the framework for financial assistance from the EU to support Syria. More information about the EU co-operation programmes for Syria 2007 - 2013.
- In May 2011 the EU suspended all ongoing bilateral programs with the Syrian authorities under European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI.)
Following the violent internal repression in Syria, in May 2011 the EU adopted a number of restrictive measures towards Syria, including an import ban on crude oil and petroleum products as well as export restrictions including on dual-use goods, key equipment and technology for the oil and gas industry, as well as certain telecom equipment and luxury goods.
Restrictive measures implemented by the EU also concern the financial and transport sector as well as the financing of certain enterprises and infrastructure projects in Syria. In addition to this, funds and economic resources of persons and entities supporting and/or benefiting from the Syrian regime have also been frozen.
Syria in Euromed
Syria is one of the partners of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that promotes economic integration and democratic reform across 16 neighbours to the EU's south in North Africa and in the Middle East.
One important part of this work is to achieve mutually satisfactory trading terms for the Euromed region partners.
Trading with Syria
- The EU is present on the ground in Syria
- Trade relations are part of the EU's overall political and economic relations with Syria
- More information on the EU restrictive measures towards Syria
- Syria has applied for WTO membership
- Sustainable impact assessment of the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area (EMFTA)