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A Euro-Mediterranean Agricultural Trade Agreement: Benefits for the South and Costs for the EU

Arce, Rafael de and Mahia, Ramón (2000): A Euro-Mediterranean Agricultural Trade Agreement: Benefits for the South and Costs for the EU.

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Abstract

Free agricultural trade in the Mediterranean area is a delicate matter which brings both shores, as well as different EU countries face to face. Specially, in Spain and France the agricultural opening generates certain strain between the priorities of foreign policy and the demands of the affected sectors, as there is the generalised impression that such strain would generate important costs towards the agricultural sectors in both countries. The aim of this study is to quantify the magnitude of the effects brought about by a unilateral agricultural liberalisation developed by the EU regarding major agricultural exporters from the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea – Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey. Those effects are analysed at two levels: the supposedly positive economic impact on the south Mediterranean shore and the competitive increase for the European producers. The results suggest that the size of such effects is important for the southern countries as much as for the northern ones, and show the need for reaching a Mediterranean agricultural agreement.

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