EU - Syria agreement foresees creation of FTA by 2010
The European Union (EU) and Syria have reached an understanding at a technical level on all remaining issues in the negotiations for a Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement. The agreement covers political, economic, social and cultural relations.
EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said the agreement would “help Syria better integrate into the world economy and paves the way for other initiatives, including possible future membership of the World Trade Organization.”
On the economic chapter, the Association Agreement foresees the creation of a free trade area (FTA) between the EU and Syria, contributing to the creation of a larger Euro-mediterranean area by the envisaged date of 2010.
The agreement covers trade in goods, services, public procurement, rules for the protection of intellectual property rights, as well as dispute settlement provisions in line with those in the WTO. The agreement also foresees co-operation in a large number of areas including on customs, transport, tourism or environment.
The agreement also comprises a chapter on cooperation in social and cultural matters. Cooperation will extend to a wide range of fields, from education and culture to the fight against crime, money laundering drugs and terrorism as well as for the re-admission of nationals and non-nationals illegally arriving on the territory of one party from the other.
Following signature and pending parliamentary ratification of the agreement, both parties have agreed to an early entry into force of the trade chapter of the Association Agreement by means of an interim agreement.
The EU has already concluded Association Agreements with all other Mediterranean partners in the Barcelona Process: Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Turkey. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)