A trade and investment strategy for the Southern Mediterranean

Press Release
Brussels -
10-05-2012
Foreign Affairs - Internal Policies and EU Institutions

The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz welcomed the adoption in plenary of the resolution on "Trade for change: the EU trade and Investment Strategy for the Southern Mediterranean following the Arab Spring Revolutions".

President Schulz, who also chairs the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean until March 2013, stated:

"Thanks to its increased power in the oversight of international agreements following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament will ensure that the EU commercial and foreign policy interests match with its core values of human rights, democracy and a free society.

This resolution serves as a valid blueprint for the strengthening of Euro-Mediterranean economic and commercial relations following the Arab Spring. It stands as a proof of the European Parliament's coherence and genuine commitment in deepening cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean. The end-goal remains the creation of a functioning and inclusive Euro-Med Free Trade Area.

The resolution proposes a number of useful initiatives which should be fully explored and implemented with the specific aim of reducing chronic unemployment, particularly concerning for young people and beefing-up the potential of small and medium sized enterprises.

These ideas include the increased role for the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the support for rural development through the programme European Neighbourhood Facility for Agriculture and Rural Development.

However, in order to make Euro-Med trade a success, countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East need to increase the pace of regional integration through institutionalised dialogue such as through the Agadir Group and the Union of the Maghreb."

Note to editors:

The final text of the Resolution "Trade for change: the EU trade and Investment Strategy for the Southern Mediterranean following the Arab Spring Revolutions" (Rapporteur: Niccolò Rinaldi) will be available here (under text adopted):

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2012-104&language=EN

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD): extending the geographic scope of operations to the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2011/0442%28COD%29&l=en

Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/delegations/en/dmed/home.html

Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean:

http://www.ufmsecretariat.org/en/

For further information:

europarl.president.press@europarl.europa.eu

  • Armin Machmer
    Spokesperson
    Mobile: +32 479 97 11 98
  • Giacomo Fassina
    Mobile: +32 498 98 33 10