Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Economic & Financial Cooperation

Among the principal aims of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership are the enhancement of economic and financial cooperation and the creation of an area of shared prosperity through sustainable and balanced socio-economic development. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership strives to achieve these goals by fostering economic transition in three main important ways:

Favouring the economic conditions of growth

In order to favour the economic conditions of growth the European Commission developed Memoranda of Understanding and cooperation instruments with most International Financial Institutions and International bodies (such as the World Bank, the IMF, the IFC and the EIB). Moreover, the FEMIP, established in 2002, has become the main lending institution in the Mediterranean. With more than €6 billion invested since October 2002, more than 1600 SMEs helped, and €10.7 bn earmarked for 2007-2013, it is now the main actor in the region.

Various programmes were launched supporting, inter alia, investment, innovation, market instruments, legal and regulatory harmonization, exchange of best practices and overall convergence. In order to discuss policies and means to generate sustainable investment flows in the Mediterranean region Euro-Med Ministers decided to create an ad-hoc group on investments. The Commission also monitors the Group on Industrial cooperation tasked to implement the Euro-Med Charter for Enterprises. The EC finances the FEMISE a Euro-Med network of economists and academics and yearly Economic Transition Conferences that tries to facilitate networking (the last conference focused on banking and financial services).

Reforming key sectors

Reform in key economic sectors is paramount for the success of the partnership. Ministerial and regular technical level meetings constitute the main driving force behind the reform process and its achievements. The reform process is mainly focused on harmonization of policies and regulatory frameworks, capacity building and the development of infrastructures and networks, both physical and virtual. To learn more about the programs and initiatives under each sector you can click on the following links to the relevant DGs in the European Commission and to key documents:

•  Energy

• Environment

• Water

• Sustainable Development

• Agriculture

Health

•  Transport

Tourism

Industry

•  Information society

Establishing a Free Trade Area by 2010

Substantial progress has been achieved towards the establishment of a Euromed Free Trade Area by the target year 2010. The scope of negotiations has been gradually extended to services and right of establishment and agricultural and fisheries products. At the last Euro-Med Ministerial on Trade Ministers agreed to continue negotiations on the establishment of a more efficient dispute settlement mechanism for the trade provisions of the Association Agreements. The EU has also encourages the establishment of a network of FTAs in the region and has s also supported the establishment of south-south regional integration (Agadir Agreement).

 

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