01 Oct 2003

Which Road to Liberalisation? A First Assessment of the EuroMed Association Agreements

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Since the Barcelona Conference (1995), the EMP represents an attempt of the EU to re-launch its global Mediterranean policy towards the twelve Mediterranean Partnership Countries (MPCs). Besides improving the limited results of the Mediterranean agreements concluded in the 1970s, the renewed effort is aimed at counterbalancing EU engagement in East European recovery and integration. The broad aims of the Barcelona Process are to promote political stability in this turbulent area, establish a free-trade area by 2010 and promote social and cultural interactions. These, in turn, imply a number of themes that are common to all the agreements with MPCs: the institutionalisation of political dialogue and programmes for improving the respect for human rights and democracy; economic cooperation in a wide range of sectors; the definition of provisions relating to intellectual property, services, public procurement, competition rules, state aids and monopolies; and cooperation relating to social affairs and migration.
The prime instruments for achieving these objectives are the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements (EMAAs) and a financial support programme (MEDA). The aims of this study are to provide a broad assessment of the EMAAs and to identify key issues for analysis relating to the EMAAs, with particular reference to the agricultural sector. Much research has been done on the impact of the EMAAs, by institutes participating in ENARPRI, as well as by other research networks (FEMISE and MDF) and individual institutes. This paper combines the insights of these studies with current economic and trade data related to the implementation of EMAAs and agriculture.