The European Commission (EC) assured that it was “ready to take measures” against Algeria’s violation of the association agreement with Brussels, by unilaterally blocking commercial operations in both directions with the Spain, since last June.
“Trade policy is an exclusive competence of the EU” and, therefore, Brussels “is ready to take action against any measure applied against a Member State”, underlined, Miriam Garcia Ferrer, spokesperson for the European Commission for Trade, in a statement to the Spanish news agency Europa Press.
Since last June, the European Commission has “regularly raised concerns about the trade implications” of Algiers’ decision, “particularly blocked shipments from Spain,” Garcia Ferrer observed.
In this sense, she noted that Brussels will continue to coordinate with the Spanish government on this issue and “will assess the implications” of trade restrictions that could be contrary to the EU-Algeria association agreement.
“We will also continue to explore all possible means, including at the political level, in order to address Algerian trade barriers,” insisted the EC spokesperson.
Last Tuesday, a senior EU official expressed his “great concern” over the restrictive measures taken by Algiers.
”The measures taken by the Algerian authorities are of great concern, not only in Spain, but also within the EU, as they affect the common commercial policy”, underlined the Deputy Director General of the Directorate General for Trade to the European Commission, Denis Redonnet, in statements to the Spanish media, during a visit to Valencia.
According to him, “it is about economic coercion and we will engage with the Algerian authorities so that these measures are confronted and removed”, adding that this issue is both “very worrying and very complex, which has a commercial and political dimension.
Trade Between Spain And Algeria
Operations and trade between Spain and Algeria have been blocked since last June.
These blockages on the part of Algiers result from the announcement, on June 8, of the suspension of the Treaty of Friendship with Spain, in protest against the Spanish position supporting the autonomy plan for the Moroccan Sahara, which was labeled by Spain as interfering in its internal and sovereign affairs.
The EU, through the voice of Josep Borrell, and the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, had expressed its “extreme concern” at the decision taken by Algeria to suspend the friendship treaty and of good neighborliness signed with Spain in 2002.
For the two senior European officials, the Algerian unilateral act constituted “a violation of the EU-Algeria association agreement”, noting that the European Union “opposes any type of coercive measures applied to the ‘against an EU Member State’.
This article is originally published on maroc-diplomatique.net