Maghreb-EU partnership is crucial, European MPs say
Maghreb-European Union, Politics, 1/27/2001
Members of a visiting delegation from the socialist group at the European parliament have called for the consolidation of partnership between the European Union and the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) underlining that "relations with this regional grouping are of a crucial importance."
"Partnership with the countries of the Maghreb will enable to take new paths to back economic development, political reforms and regional integration," said the delegation members at a news conference here Friday at the end of their three-day visit to Morocco.
The European Union is keen on maintaining and intensifying the traditional flows of exchanges as it is keen on promoting the Maghreb economic development, the European Mps, led by the socialist group chairman, Baron Crespo said. They underlined the role of the MEDA program in enhancing investments in the region.
The program, they said, seeks to consolidate the socio-economic balance of beneficiary countries, to alleviate, in the short term, the costs of economic transition through appropriate measures in social policy, and to promote rapprochement and mutual understanding between people.
UMA was set up in 1989 by Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, in a bid to foster the region's economic integration.
The Maghreb countries have not however succeeded to adopt a common stand and to jointly conduct negotiations with the European Union, which concluded separate associations accords with Morocco and Tunisia. Negotiations for the conclusion of a similar accord with Algeria are underway.
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