Tunisia was the first Mediterranean country to sign an Association Agreement with the EU on 17 July 1995. The Euro-Med Association Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one part, and the Tunisian Republic, on the other, came into force on March 1, 1998.
Under the term of the Agreement, the EU and Tunisia commit themselves to co-operate in a wide range of areas including: strengthened political dialogue, trade, economic, social and cultural issues. The Agreement foresees also financial co-operation to accompany reform measures in Tunisia. An important component of the Association Agreement is the clauses providing for the establishment of an EU-Tunisia free trade area by the year 2010.