EU Trade & Investment Strategy for the Southern Mediterranean following the Arab Spring revolutions
On 10th May the European Parliament (EP) adopted the report (479 for, 64 against, 40 abstentions), drafted by Niccolò Rinaldi, on behalf of Committee on International Trade (INTA), at the Plenary in Brussels. This is an own initiative report seeking a motion for an EP resolution.
Report on Trade for Change: The EU Trade and Investment Strategy for the Southern Mediterranean following the Arab Spring revolutions (2011/2113(INI))
The Arab Spring has been the most significant political transformation, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, for the World and the European Neighbourhood offering the European Union (EU) great opportunities to match its core values of human rights, democracy and a free society with its foreign policy and commercial interests. In the past the EU has had to deal with dictators and oligarchs, an era which is now ending, but unfortunately the EU, and its Member States, have often missed such opportunities because their and their political response has been inconsistent, slow and even, at times, contrary to the democratic aspirations of the people.
"As infighting over Libya demonstrated, a central weakness of the EU’s response has been the intergovernmental decision-making in EU foreign policy decisions. However, the Rapporteur would like to strongly underline that the EU has exclusive competence over trade and investment policy and that this the defining tool that presents the EU with the opportunity to provide an effective response to the upheavals and to contribute to economic progress in Southern Mediterranean Countries (SMCs). Trade has always been a strong pillar in the Neighbourhood Policy and the Rapporteur welcomes the fact that this has been emphasised in the Commission’s communications on a New Response to a Changing Neighbourhood and "A Partnership for Democracy and shared Prosperity with Southern Mediterranean." (Rinaldi Report)
The Rapporteur, Niccolò Rinaldi, welcomed the "more for more" concept, introduced by the Commission, and thinks that the democratic reforms and individual freedoms achieved by these countries should be reciprocated by liberalisation of their trade and economic policies in order to dismantle the oligarchies which have traditionally dominated. As the biggest consumer market in the world the EU should demand conditions on access to it. On 27th March INTA adopted the own-initiative report, drafted by Niccolò Rinaldi (25 for, 5 against, 0 abstentions) with recommendations in the following areas:
1) Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) and other trade instruments:
2) Empowering small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as a tool for economic democratisation:
3) Reinforcing the Agadir Process:
4) Facilitating knowledge and direct contacts:
5) Maximising the impact of EU action:
The Report can be read here
Or alternatively visit the website: http://www.europarl.europa.eu
Last Updated (Monday, 21 May 2012 09:51)