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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Information on the event

 

During its first EU Presidency in 1998, Austria became the first non-Mediterranean country to hold a Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference. With this year’s conference, Austria is underlining the importance it attaches to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

The meeting in Marrakech on 24 March will bring together the Ministers for Trade of the 25 EU Member States, the candidate countries of Bulgaria and Romania and of the 10 Med partner countries (Algeria, the Palestinian Territories, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey). The objective is to initiate negotiations on the liberalisation of services and investments and deal with topics such as market access for agricultural products, the pan-Euromediterranean rules of origin, harmonisation of laws, the conflict settlement process, south-south cooperation and WTO issues. Federal Minister Bartenstein will preside over the event together with Commissioner Mandelson and his Moroccan counterpart Mechahouri.

The aim of the conference is to strengthen the Med countries’ close economic ties with the EU through further building blocks and, at the same time, consolidate the framework conditions for trade and investments also in the interests of the European economy. In view of the significance of the Med region as the EU’s third-largest trading partner and an annual trade volume of around EUR 200 billion, strengthening the Euro-Mediterranean partnership within the context of the EU’s external economic relations plays a key role.

The idea of a Euro-Mediterranean partnership was conceived in 1995 in order to bring together countries on both sides of the Mediterranean in an area of shared prosperity and security. Within the framework of the economic track, the EU is primarily pursuing the aim of the strengthened intra-regional integration of Med partners and the establishment of a free-trade zone with Med partners by 2010. 

Contact:

Gabriele Tschürtz, Tel.: +43 - 1 - 71100-5060
Werner Exel; Tel.: +43 - 1 - 71100-5537 
e-mail: post@C28.bmwa.gv.at

 

Date: 20.03.2006