Algeria-EU Association Agreement: Mutual willingness for dialogue

Monday, 07 December 2020-ALGERS – Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum said on Monday shortly before the start of the 12th session of the Algeria-EU Association Council, by videoconference, that “all measures on the revision of Algeria-EU Association Agreement have always been “balanced,” affirming that “both sides are willing to dialogue.”

“As Algerian negotiators, we are quite aware of the shortcomings in the application of the Association Agreement, especially in its commercial segment. Both sides are willing to dialogue and intervene to address any imbalance,” Boukadoum told APS, adding that ” the message of Algeria is well received by the European side.”

According to the Algerian top diplomat, “all the European partners (France, Italy, Hungary, Portugal and Germany …) who have recently visited Algeria are aware of these imbalances, and they discussed this agreement ahead of today’s meeting.”

“The Algeria-EU relations are vital. Algeria is the gateway to Africa, a player of stability in the region and a market of 45 million inhabitants as well,” said the minister, adding that the agreement is “vital for Algeria particularly in terms of investments”.

“Algeria and the European Union will continue to implement the Association Agreement” which “does not cover the commercial aspect only, but other general aspects,” he added.

Referring to the European Parliament’s last resolution on the human rights situation in Algeria, Boukadoum said that “Algeria will always denounce in the strongest terms such resolutions, despite the good relations that it has with the Union’s member countries.”

Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade Aissa Bekai indicated that “the consultations between Algeria and the European Union continued with a view to assessing the agreement.”

“The first consultations took place last September. Other technical consultations took place today Monday.

Today’s meeting has been an opportunity to review the agreement and seal a deal on trade data,” underlined the minister.

In 2014, Algeria expressed reservations in order to safeguard the trade balance which detrimental to Algeria,” said Bekai, stressing that “Algeria has evaluated all trade agreements, like the one with the Arab zone.”

The Minister of Industry also conducted an evaluation of the Association Agreement and issued “certain reservations regarding a number of segments,” minister Ferhat Ait Ali said.

“Our reservations have already been taken into consideration by our European partners. Others will be. Consultations are underway with the EU to address all these shortcomings,” he said.
“Any agreement is subject to adjustment,” he added.

Algeria and the European Union held their 12th session of the Association Council on Monday by videoconference, focusing on bilateral relations.