Association Agreements, CASE Policy Briefs, EU, Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, trade, Trade, economic integration and globalization

Prospects for Future Euro‐Mediterranean Trade

Recent policies guiding economic and trade relations between the European Union (EU) and countries of the Mediterranean were aimed at creating an area of shared prosperity. The process started in the late 1970’s with the establishment of Cooperation Agreements between the EU and many countries of the Mediterranean region. The goal was to create a free trade area. This initiative gained speed in the mid‐1990’s with the launch of the Barcelona Process (1995) which eventually upgraded most of these Cooperation Agreements into Association Agreements (AA). These AAs sought the gradual elimination of tariffs on a substantial share of trade between its signatories. At the same time, the EU supported the signing of bilateral agreements between countries of the Mediterranean in order to enhance South‐South integration.