Brussels, 11 November 2009
EU-Iraq: negotiations for a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement enter final stage
On 12-13 November 2009, the European Commission and the Government of Iraq are holding another round of negotiations in Brussels aimed at concluding a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). This will be the ninth round of talks since negotiations started in November 2006. In 2009, rounds have already been held in Baghdad (February) and Brussels (May). The negotiations will be led on the Iraqi side by Mohammed Haj Hammoud, Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs and by Hugues Mingarelli, Deputy Director-General for External Relations, for the Commission.
Launched in November 2006, the PCA negotiations will lead to the first ever contractual agreement between the EU and Iraq. They agreement will provide for political dialogue on bilateral, regional and global issues wherever the EU and Iraq have a shared interest in working together. Its aim is also to improve the trade arrangements between Iraq and the EU, to promote investment and to integrate the country in the international economy. And it sets out a framework for continuing cooperation in many areas. For the EU, the draft Agreement stands as a testament to firm and unified commitment to assisting Iraq in its medium and long-term recovery.
The previous rounds of negotiations have been very productive with most chapters now already agreed, in areas such as combating terrorism, countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cooperating on energy, and promoting human rights.
The negotiation process underlines the European Union’s determination to play a significant role in Iraq’s transition, and to help Iraq improve the living conditions for all its citizens. This commitment is also reflected in over 900 million Euros already contributed by the European Commission towards the reconstruction of Iraq since 2003, with a focus on assisting the Iraqi people in accessing basic services, furthering democracy, and promoting good governance.