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The EU wants to deepen its relations with Algeria




The meeting of the EU-Algeria Association Council took place by videoconference (photo: Council of the EU)
The meeting of the EU-Algeria Association Council took place by videoconference (photo: Council of the EU)
ALGERIA / EU. At the end of a videoconference meeting of the members of the EU-Algeria Association Council on Monday 7 December 2020, Josep Borrell said that Algeria "is a very important partner for Europe, because of its proximity and size, because of its role in the region and on the African continent, but also and above all because of the close ties that have long united us".

The EU High Representative expressed the EU's wish to "deepen relations to reach their full potential so that we emerge with a truly strengthened partnership".

Algeria signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 2002, which entered into force in 2005. It provided for the establishment of a free trade area (FTA) in 2017, a date that was postponed until 1 September 2020 before Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune requested its postponement. Algiers intends to review the agreement.

The EU intends to continue to support the diversification of the Algerian economy. "The improvement of the business climate is key to facilitating job-creating investments. In this context, it is important that trade takes place in accordance with the Association Agreement, a framework that provides the necessary predictability and stability. The European Commission has recently transmitted a proposal to resolve the dispute on this issue and the EU hopes to find an agreement under Article 100 of the Association Agreement very soon," says the final text.

Article 100 sets out the modalities for the settlement of disputes between the EU and Algeria. They are based in particular on a trade balance to the disadvantage of Algeria and the dismantling of the last customs duties by the Algerian authorities. They intend to revise the timetable for this tariff dismantling. Algeria should join, at the beginning of 2021, the African Free Trade Area (Zleca) created in 2018 and which groups together fifty-three countries and 1.2 billion inhabitants.

The crises in the region mentioned

Several issues were addressed during these Association Council exchanges: governance and human rights, economic cooperation and trade, environment, energy and migration. "The bilateral relationship is based on mutual respect as well as recognition and respect for universal values and international commitments relating to the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms", the EU recalled in a communiqué of the Council of the European Union.

The Libyan and Malian crises, the Middle East Peace Process and the question of Western Sahara, as well as regional cooperation and prevention such as the fight against terrorism and radicalisation were also on the agenda of the discussions between Josep Borrell and Sabri Boukadoum, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs. "The EU's relations with Algeria are vital. Algeria is the gateway to Africa, Algeria is also a factor of stability in the region and it too is a market of 45 million inhabitants", the Algerian head of diplomacy recalled.

 

Eric Apim


Tuesday, December 8th 2020



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