Eu/morocco : Exec Presents Draft Agri-Food Trade Liberalisation Agreement
The European Commission presented a draft decision, on 16 September, to the EU Council and the European Parliament on an agreement that would further liberalise trade with Morocco in agri-food and fisheries products. The executive concluded its negotiation of the terms with Rabat last December.
A number of member states, France first among them, voiced concerns at the time over concessions made to Morocco on fruit and vegetables considered to represent sensitive markets. But the Commission defended the agreement as being of "major offensive interest for the EU" because it phases in over a ten-year period full liberalisation of processed agricultural products, except pasta, to which a quantitative restriction will apply. In the agricultural goods sector, 45% of the value of EU exports will be liberalised immediately and 70% within ten years. The fisheries sector will also be opened up to EU products (91% in five years and 100% in ten years).
The agreement responds to Morocco's concessions by providing for immediate liberalisation of 55% of EU imports from this country.
For fruit and vegetables, which account for 80% of these imports, certain "sensitivities" were taken on board, assures the Commission, with the aim of developing the complementarity of production systems and consequently of trade between the two parties. …