Trade Liberalization in South East Europe: Review of Conformity of 23 FTAs with the MoU
In June 2001, seven countries1 of South East Europe (SEE) agreed to conclude bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in order to develop their mutual trade and promote economic integration in the region. This approach implied the signature of 21 agreements, of which 5 already existed. The 21 FTAs are now signed and their implementation has started. In 2002, Moldova joined the SEE liberalization process. With 8 countries, the network will eventually consist of 28 FTAs. This note takes account of the two first FTAs signed by Moldova (with Romania and Bosnia Herzegovina) and therefore it includes 23 FTAs. But it will focus mainly on the agreements signed by the original seven countries. The paper provides an analysis of this network of 23 FTAs and studies their compliance with the principles of the Memorandum of Understanding on Trade Liberalisation and Facilitation (MoU) of June 2001. It also deals with how well the FTAs comply the trade coverage (Section 1) and other requirements (Section 2) of the MoU and suggests possible procedures to ensure implementation and proper functioning of the Trade Agreements in the short term (Section 3).
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