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At the Barcelona Conference in November 1995, the European Union and 12 southern and eastern Mediterranean states established the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP). The initiative is one of the most ambitious external projects ever undertaken by the European Union. Central to it are plans to create a free trade area including 30 countries and 800 million people by early in the twenty-first century. In the eyes of its architects, the EMP promises to counter the acute political, economic and social problems affecting the EU's Mediterranean neighbours. These problems increasingly affect European countries as recipients of migrants and as refuges (and sometimes targets) for radical Islamist groups. The economic dimension of the Barcelona process has been its most tangible thus far. Will the North African economies be able to cope with the liberation of market forces or will greater social and political unrest ensue? Can the Mediterranean partners expect to benefit from an initiative in which Europeans set the agenda? These are two of the crucial questions addressed in these pages by economists, political scientists and international relations specialists.
While some contributions provide overviews, others examine key partners (Spain, Morocco, Egypt), for national interests and ambitions have surfaced repeatedly. This is one of the first assessments of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, focusing primarily on its political and economic dimensions.
Release date NZ
October 1st, 1997
Edited by Richard Gillespie
Country of Publication
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