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The Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area: An Evaluation on the Eve of the (Missed) Deadline

Ferdi De Ville (UGent) and Vicky Reynaert (UGent)
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Abstract
The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP), nowadays known as ‘the Union for the Mediterranean’, celebrates this year its fifteenth anniversary. The main goal of the EMP is creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area (EMTA) until 2010. However, this objective will not be met. This article provides an overview of the initiatives taken until now, and compares the objectives set in 1995 with the eventual achievements. Finding that there is a considerable delay in the progress regarding the EMFTA, this article analyses the underlying reasons for this delay. It focuses on the problems at the European side, difficulties in the relations between the European Union (EU) and the Mediterranean Non-Community Countries (MNCs), and the political and economic problems hindering the stimulation of intraregional trade between MNCs. In addition, also the role of other international actors like the United States, the Gulf Cooperation Council, China and Russia is highlighted. This article concludes that the EU’s nature as an internally conflicted and compartmentalized trade persona has hindered the EU of providing substantial incentives for MNCs. Due to this lack of incentives, the EU fails to convince some of its most important trading partners of the benefits of the EMFTA. Moreover, intraregional trade among MNCs remains a problem, leading to the conclusion that the relationship between the EU and the Mediterranean still can be best caracterized as a ‘hub-and-spoke’ relation instead of an inter-regional partnership. In addition, the intiatives of other international actors in the region interferes with the EU’s efforts to create a free trade area with the Mediterranean. This articles ends by offering suggestions to overcome the identified obstacles for the completion of a full EMFTA and to establish an inter-regional partnership.
Keywords
Euro Mediterranean Partnership, Free Trade Area 2010, European Union

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Chicago
De Ville, Ferdi, and Vicky Reynaert. 2010. “The Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area: An Evaluation on the Eve of the (Missed) Deadline.” L’Europe En Formation: Journal of Studies on European Integration and Federalism 356: 193–206.
APA
De Ville, F., & Reynaert, V. (2010). The Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area: An Evaluation on the Eve of the (Missed) Deadline. L’Europe en Formation: Journal of Studies on European Integration and Federalism, 356, 193–206.
Vancouver
1.
De Ville F, Reynaert V. The Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area: An Evaluation on the Eve of the (Missed) Deadline. L’Europe en Formation: Journal of Studies on European Integration and Federalism. 2010;356:193–206.
MLA
De Ville, Ferdi, and Vicky Reynaert. “The Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area: An Evaluation on the Eve of the (Missed) Deadline.” L’Europe en Formation: Journal of Studies on European Integration and Federalism 356 (2010): 193–206. Print.
@article{1036256,
  abstract     = {The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP), nowadays known as {\textquoteleft}the Union for the Mediterranean{\textquoteright}, celebrates this year its fifteenth anniversary. The main goal of the EMP is creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area (EMTA) until 2010. However, this objective will not be met. This article provides an overview of the initiatives taken until now, and compares the objectives set in 1995 with the eventual achievements. Finding that there is a considerable delay in the progress regarding the EMFTA, this article analyses the underlying reasons for this delay. It focuses on the problems at the European side, difficulties in the relations between the European Union (EU) and the Mediterranean Non-Community Countries (MNCs), and the political and economic problems hindering the stimulation of intraregional trade between MNCs. In addition, also the role of other international actors like the United States, the Gulf Cooperation Council, China and Russia is highlighted. This article concludes that the EU{\textquoteright}s nature as an internally conflicted and compartmentalized trade persona has hindered the EU of providing substantial incentives for MNCs. Due to this lack of incentives, the EU fails to convince some of its most important trading partners of the benefits of the EMFTA. Moreover, intraregional trade among MNCs remains a problem, leading to the conclusion that the relationship between the EU and the Mediterranean still can be best caracterized as a {\textquoteleft}hub-and-spoke{\textquoteright} relation instead of an inter-regional partnership. In addition, the intiatives of other international actors in the region interferes with the EU{\textquoteright}s efforts to create a free trade area with the Mediterranean. This articles ends by offering suggestions to overcome the identified obstacles for the completion of a full EMFTA and to establish an inter-regional partnership.},
  author       = {De Ville, Ferdi and Reynaert, Vicky},
  issn         = {0014-2808},
  journal      = {L'Europe en Formation: Journal of Studies on European Integration and Federalism},
  keyword      = {Euro Mediterranean Partnership,Free Trade Area 2010,European Union},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {193--206},
  title        = {The Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area: An Evaluation on the Eve of the (Missed) Deadline},
  volume       = {356},
  year         = {2010},
}