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Euro-Mediterranean partnership

Euro-Mediterranean partnership

The key objective of the trade partnership is the creation of a deep Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area, which aims at removing barriers to trade and investment between both the EU and Southern Mediterranean countries and between the Southern Mediterranean countries themselves. Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements are in force with most of the partners (with the exception of Syria and Libya).

The scope of these agreements is essentially limited to trade in goods and a number of bilateral negotiations are on-going or being prepared in order to deepen the Association Agreements. These ongoing or future negotiations are related to further liberalisation of trade in agriculture, liberalisation of trade in services, accreditation and acceptance of industrial products and regulatory convergence. 

 

Trade picture

  • Together the region represents 8.6% of total EU external trade.

 

 

 

 

EU-Euromed (11) "trade in goods" statistics

Trade in goods 2011-2013, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2011 132.0 161.9 29.8
2012 155.3 175.1 19.8
2013 146.2 179.8 33.6

More statistics on Euro-Mediterranean partnership

EU and the Mediterranean region

The Union for the Mediterranean aims to establish a common area of peace, stability, and shared prosperity in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
EU-Southern Mediterranean relations at bilateral level are managed mainly through the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements.

  • Nearly all countries have concluded Association Agreements with the EU. Preparations are going to deepen these agreements through the establishment of deep and comprehensive free trade areas.
  • Negotiations for a Framework Agreement between the European Union and Libya are currently suspended.
  •  Steps towards the signature of the initialled Association Agreement with Syria are currently suspended.
Country Status Date signed Entry into Force Reference
Algeria Signed April 2002 September 2005 OJ L 265
Egypt Signed June 2001 June 2004 OJ L 304
Israel Signed Nov 1995 June 2000 OJ L 147
Jordan Signed Nov 1997 May 2002 OJ L 129/02
Lebanon Signed June 2002 April 2006 OJ L 143/06
Morocco Signed Feb 1996 March 2000 OJ L 70/00
Occupied Palestinian Territory Signed Feb 1997 Interim Agreement July 1997 OJ L 187/97
Syria Initialled (December 2008)      
Tunisia Signed July 1995 March 1998 OJ L 97/98
Turkey Customs Union January 1996 Customs Union December 1995 OJ L 35/96

These agreements cover trade in goods and are complemented with a number of additional ongoing negotiations and preparations for future negotiations:

  • to open up additional agricultural trade,
  • liberalise trade in services and investment,
  • to negotiate agreements on accreditation and acceptance of industrial products,
  • to establish deep and comprehensive free trade areas.

Deepening South-South economic integration is a key goal of the Euro-Mediterranean trade partnership. It is an essential element towards the establishment of a fully-fledged Free Trade Area. However, regional economic integration between Southern Mediterranean countries is still limited: total intra-regional trade amounted to €15 billion in 2009, one of the lowest levels of regional economic integration in the World.
The EU supports the strengthening of trade relations amongst Southern Mediterranean countries:

  • the Agadir Agreement between Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt, in force since 2007, remains open to other Arab Mediterranean countries;
  • Israel and Jordan have signed a Free Trade Agreement;
  • Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria and Tunisia have signed bilateral agreements with Turkey.
  • Negotiations are underway between other Mediterranean countries to establish similar agreements.

The EU works closely with each of its Southern Mediterranean partners to support economic and social transition and reform, taking into account each country’s specific needs and characteristics. These programmes are funded under the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Trading with Euromed region