5The articles of the original MEAs provided market access for all industrial products, but they were still limited with regard to access to agricultural products. A commitment to progressive liberalisation was made, but initially customs duties and conditional protection remained applicable and are set out in a protocol annexed to the agreement.  Similarly, the agreements included an obligation to liberalise trade in services and the right of establishment, but no specific agreements were concluded, with the exception of Lebanon and Algeria (see below). In addition, the agreements stipulate that the implementation of EU competition and state rules must be decided by the Association Council and that there are no binding disciplines for the liberalisation of public procurement.  In general, we can see that, despite the ambitions of the Barcelona Declaration, the rules laid down in the Association Agreements are rather limited and mainly cover trade in industrial goods. However, significant progress has been made in recent years in trade relations. Each agreement is tailored to the specificities of the non-EU country concerned. However, they all have, in principle, the same basic structure as this one: 17 with regard to the problems addressed above, it is also necessary to take into account the presence of other important international actors and the resulting challenges and opportunities for European Mediterranean policy. The United States is an important first player to be expected. The United States is a Mediterranean power thanks to its power on the world stage and its historic engagement in parts of the region, particularly in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The region is less important for the US than for the EU. Unlike the European approach, U.S. engagement with IMCMs is therefore bilateral or sub-regional (rather than regional) and thematic (rather than general).
This means that European interests are sometimes shared with the United States, for example. B with regard to security in general and weapons of mass destruction in particular, thus strengthening their power to achieve their objectives on these issues. But in the meantime, the U.S. selective engagement could skew its more holistic intentions, including promoting regional integration. The United States was also active on the economic and trade front in the Mediterranean. In 2000, the United States concluded a free trade agreement with Jordan, while the United States and Morocco signed a free trade agreement in 2004. The United States has planned a free trade area in the Middle East by 2013.  4 After  the Barcelona Declaration, Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements (ESAs) were concluded with Tunisia (1995; 1998), Israel (1995); 2000), Morocco (1996; 2000), the Palestinian Authority (1997; 1997), Jordan (1997; 2002), Egypt (2001; 2004), Lebanon (2002; 2003) and Algeria (2002; 2005), signed and entered into force. The agreement was initialled with Syria in 2004. However, at the time, the Council of the EU refused to sign the agreement due to the difficult political situation in the country. In 2009, relations between Syria and, in particular, France were restored as a result of Syria`s diplomatic efforts to break out of its international isolation.
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