The EU-Algeria Association Agreement was signed in 2002 and entered into force on 1 September 2005. It replaces the 1976 Co-operation Agreements.
The Association Agreement has been concluded for an unlimited duration and intends to help strengthen existing ties between the Community and Algeria by establishing relations based on reciprocity and partnership. Respect for human rights and democratic principles constitutes an essential element of the Agreement.
The main components of the Agreement are as follows:
- regular political dialogue;
- a free trade area, to be established in stages, in accordance with WTO rules, between the Community and Algeria, over a maximum period of 12 years;
- the Agreement contains provisions related to free trade in goods in the areas of liberalization of the provision of services, capital movements, competition rules, intellectual property rights and public procurement;
- the objective of economic cooperation is to support Algeria's own efforts to achieve sustainable economic and social development. The 1976 Cooperation Agreements set out the main themes of action on economic cooperation: industrial, scientific, technical and technological cooperation, environmental protection, cooperation on fisheries, energy, promotion of regional cooperation and boosting private investment. The Association Agreement strengthens this type of cooperation. New themes have also being introduced: education and training, standardization and conformity assessment, approximation of legislation, financial services, agriculture, transport, telecommunications and information technology, tourism and customs.
- the provisions concerning workers in the 1976 Cooperation Agreement are maintained, notably those relating to non-discrimination in respect of conditions of work, pay and dismissal and social security provision. In addition to the above, the Association Agreement introduces social cooperation, including cultural cooperation.
- with a view to achieving the Agreement's objectives, financial cooperation is being be implemented for Algeria. This entails in particular modernizing the Algerian economy, upgrading economic infrastructure, promoting private investment and job-creating activity, taking into account the effects of the gradual creation of a free trade area on the economy and flanking measures to support social policy.
- the Agreement contains extensive provisions on cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs, which is one of its most important features. Institution-building and strengthening the rule of law are the cornerstones of action in this field. On the subject of movement of persons, both parties have agreed to examine ways of simplifying and speeding up procedures for issuing visas to those contributing to the implementation of the Association Agreement. Cooperation in the area of control and prevention of illegal immigration will be given effect through the negotiation of readmission agreements. Cooperation is also envisaged in the legal and judicial field and in the areas of organized crime, terrorism, money-laundering, racism and xenophobia, drugs and drug addiction and corruption.
- finally, the Agreement contains the standard general and institutional provisions. The Association Council will meet at ministerial level once a year where possible to discuss the major problems arising in the framework of the Agreement and issues of mutual interest. An Association Committee will be set up to manage the Agreement.