Council approves conclusion of Euro-Mediterranean convention on preferential rules of origin

The Council of the European Union yesterday authorised the conclusion, on behalf of the EU, of the regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin, in a decision that it is hoped will help develop growth and economic prosperity for the region and facilitate regional integration.
The decision aims at replacing the current pan-Euro-Mediterranean system of cumulation of origin based on individual protocols applicable between two partner countries, with a single legal instrument in the form of a regional convention on preferential rules of origin.
The Convention is intended to overcome the difficulties in the management of the current network of some 60 bilateral protocols on rules of origin among the countries or territories of the Euro-Mediterranean zone.
Speaking last April about moves towards the signature of the Convention, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood policy Štefan Füle had said: “This may seem a very technical matter, but in reality this opens the door to a simplification of the way the EU can trade with the countries of the Southern Mediterranean and the Western Balkans. It will help to develop growth and economic prosperity for the region and will facilitate regional integration, thus contributing to the overall stability of the whole region."
Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta in charge of Taxation, Customs Union, Antifraud and Audit also said at the time: "This customs agreement will facilitate trade at regional level and the commercial exchanges between those partner countries and the Union for the benefit of their businesses and citizens".
The contracting parties to the Convention are the European Union, the Faroe Islands, the EFTA States, Turkey, the southern Mediterranean partners participating in the 'Barcelona Process', and the Western Balkans.
On 24/25 March 2011 and in line with the 8th March Communication entitled a Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean, the European Council called for work to be rapidly taken forward to develop a new partnership with the region, founded on deeper economic integration, broader market access and closer political cooperation. It called, in particular, for rapid progress to be made on the proposals on pan-Euro-Mediterranean rules of origin. (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Press release
ENPI Info Centre – Füle: convention on preferential rules of origin will drive growth in Euro-Med region (20-04-11)
System of Pan-Euro-Mediterranean cumulation
DG Trade – Euromed region
ENPI Info Centre press pack – Prosperity for all – towards a genuine Mediterranean free trade area

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