In the 1990s, the European Union decided to renew relations with 12 of its partners in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. Until this time there had been individual Cooperation Agreements, created in the 1970s, that provided for (largely asymmetrical) duty-free access of non-agricultural goods to the European single market. In Barcelona in 1995, EU member states and 12 Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs) decided to turn these Cooperation Agreements into the EuroMediterranean Partnership (EMP). The Barcelona Summit initiated a process, commonly referred to as the “Barcelona process”, that led to the conclusion of Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements (EMAs) covering a wide range of issues under three pillars: political and security, economic and financial, and social, cultural and human. As far as the economic pillar was concerned, it was clear at the outset that negotiations would not be confined to market access and “tariff issues”. Rather, the progressive establishment of a free trade area by 2012 would be accompanied by cooperation on a range of trade-related regulatory policy issues. There have, however, been relatively few studies of the regulatory dimension of the partnership.
In addressing the three questions posed in this volume, the EMAs are of interest for a number of reasons. First, EMAs provide an example of how the European Union approaches regulatory barriers and harmoni-