The Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area (EMFTA)
Although compelled by both political and trade necessities, negotiations for the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area (EMFTA) have been problematic and lengthy. This free trade area is to encompass the countries around the Mediterranean, including non-EU member countries, and it was foreseen in the 1995 Barcelona Declaration as one of the key elements of the Euro Mediterranean Partnership (EMP). After over fifteen years of negotiations and the creation of closer commercial relations between EU Member States and the states of the southern side of the Mediterranean through the conclusion of several Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements (AAs) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between 1998 and 2012, there is a lot at stake for the EU and the MPCs in the results of these deliberations. This work aims to examine these issues, with particular reference to the most recent progress, if any, made in the decade long negotiation process of EMFTA, and seeks to identify the best way forward.
Keywords: Barcelona Declaration, free trade areas (FTAs), Euro Mediterranean Partnership (EMP), Mediterranean partner countries (MPCs), Mediterranean region, North-South agreements, North-South cooperation, Open regionalism, trade agreements
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