Publication of the Final Report on the evaluation of the impact of the trade chapters of the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements (Euro-Med FTAs)

A new study by Ecorys, CASE (Center for Social and Economic Research) and FEMISE (Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Institutes of Economic Sciences) shows how the Euro-Med FTAs benefited the EU and its partner countries, but highlights also the need to modernise the agreements to address non-tariff measures and sustainable development.

The evaluation covers the EU’s trade agreements with Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia and was done on behalf of DG TRADE. It specifically looked into:

  1. The effectiveness and efficiency of the trade chapters of the Association Agreements;
  2. The relevance of the trade chapters of the Association Agreements regarding current trade issues faced by the EU and the six partner countries;
  3. The coherence of the trade chapters of the Association Agreements with the trade policy of the EU and the six partner countries.

Our analysis investigated the trade performance between the EU and the six partner countries looking specifically at economic, social, and environmental aspects. We, in particular, looked also at the agricultural, textiles, machinery and chemical sectors in the partner countries and investigated issues such as gender equality and trade in environmental goods.

Overall, the evaluation found that the performance of the Euro-Med FTAs is largely in line with the objectives set for them but not all of the objectives have been reached to the same extent. Enforcement and implementation of the agreed FTAs are key for the achievement of their objectives and for the realisation of trade benefits, but the implementation status varies from one Euro-Med FTA to another. We also found that the Euro-Med FTAs have preserved the earlier market access concessions and in some cases created new opportunities for Euro-Med trade supporting the economic performance in both the EU and the partner countries. However, our analysis showed also the need to update these agreements as the effective Euro-Med tariff preferences have gradually eroded over time and the agreements currently do not include a trade and sustainable development chapter. In this regard, we have drafted recommendations for consideration in new trade negotiations, which have already started for Tunisia and Morocco and that may start later with Jordan and Egypt.

The full report, as well as an executive summary, can be found on the website of the European Commission.

For more information, please contact Nora Plaisier or Michael Flickenschild.

30 March 2021

2 minute read

Key Experts

Nora Plaisier

Principal Consultant