French Senate Report: “Algeria’s Economic Rejuvenation Depends On Openness To Europe”

date 2017/08/01 views 448 comments 0

icon-writer Mohamed Lahouazi /*/ English Version: Med.B.

A report by members of the French Senate on trade between Algeria and the European Union revealed that France is Algeria's largest trading partner.

The report, worked out by members of the Commission on July 27, under the title "The European Neighborhood Policy: The Algerian Case", was published on the official website of this chamber of parliament. 

According to the report, Inter-trade between France and Algeria increased 136% between 2002 and 2014, explaining the increase in gas and oil exports. 

The latter reached $ 43 billion in 2015 and 2016, a drop of 4.6 percent compared to 2014. It stated that tariff dismantling, announced under the partnership agreement, was supposed to be phased out.

The report said that the dismantling would immediately include 2,034 products of raw materials and equipment, while 1,095 products would target half a factory products by 1 September 2012, and 1,860 factory products on 1 September 2017.

As indicated in the report, Algeria froze EU tariff concessions in 2010, after estimating that such a measure would weaken the domestic product primarily aimed at the domestic market and also cause the trade balance to falter.

The report issued a package of recommendations, including the need to give impetus to relations between Algeria and the European Union, and to set new priorities for an increased economic partnership.

The report underlined that the Euro-Mediterranean relations can only be strengthened through dialogue with Algeria, which plays a key role in the stability of the whole region.

The re-evaluation of the Neighborhood Policy has effectively contributed to a more pragmatic approach, it said, noting that the re-evaluation of relations between the EU and Algeria do not exempt political and economic reforms.

The author of the report admitted that Algeria's demand to rebalance the partnership agreement with the European Union may be legitimate provided that it is accompanied by greater respect for the principles contained in the bilateral agreement.

Algeria, if it wants to become a major regional power, should allow European companies to invest on its territory, the report said.

The report recommended that the re-launch of Euro-Algerian relations necessitates the revival of dialogue among the Maghreb countries within the framework of the Maghreb Union to make it a genuine partner of the European Union.

The report concluded that the success of Algeria's economic transformation to cope with the fall of oil prices is linked to its openness to Europe as well as its economic attractiveness, pointing to the need to rid the country of the uncertainties of its future, so it can rely on European support, especially France.

The report was drafted by MP Simon Sotour, a Senator from France's southern Gars region, and a vice-chairman of the French Senate's European Affairs Committee. 

The report is a summary of the French MP’s  visit to Algeria from 6 to 9 July 2017 to assess the status of cooperation between the EU and Algeria. He was accompanied by three members of the French Second Chamber of Parliament.

The French delegation met in Algiers with a number of Algerian officials, who drew information about the situation of the country, including Abdelkader Bensaleh, Speaker of the Council of the Nation, Said Bouhadja, Speaker of the National People's Assembly, Omar Ramadan, Member of the National Assembly and Honorary Chairman of the Forum of Heads of Enterprises. in addition to other officials in the fields of culture and trade.

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