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Development by Free Trade? / Développement à travers le libre-échange ?

The Impact of the European Unions’ Neoliberal Agenda on the North African Countries / Les enjeux de l’Agenda Néolibéral de l’Union européenne pour les pays de l’Afrique du Nord

Gisela Baumgratz, Khaled Chaabane, Werner Ruf and Wilfried Telkämper

One year ago the negotiations between Tunisia and the European Union about a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA) had started in Tunis. Experts from both sides of the Mediterranean accepted to contribute to this book in order to foster the public debate in the North-African countries by informing actors of the civil society about the risks of this new generation of free trade agreements of the EU for the respective countries and their population. In fact, by analyzing the impact of the structural adjustment programs of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria since the late 1980s followed up by the EU’s free trade policy, the authors seriously doubt about the positive effects on development and prosperity promised by the promotors of free trade. They underline, on the contrary, that it is the EU which profits from the asymmetric power-relations in order to pursue its economic and especially its security interests related to "illegal migration".

Publié un an après le début des négociations sur l’Accord de libre échange complet et approfondi (ALECA) entre la Tunisie et l’Union européenne, cet ouvrage veut contribuer au débat public dans les pays concernés et alerter les acteurs de la société civile sur les risques que comporte cette nouvelle génération des accords de libre-échange de l’UE. Les experts nord-africains et européens réunis pour débattre des enjeux de la politique économique de l’UE vis-à-vis des pays de l’Afrique du Nord mettent sérieusement en cause la promesse de développement et de prospérité du libre-échange. Analysant l’impact de cette politique entamée par la Banque mondiale et le FMI depuis les années 1980 en Tunisie, en Algérie et au Maroc et poursuivie par l’UE, ils soulignent au contraire que l’UE profite de l’asymétrie des relations de pouvoir pour poursuivre ses intérêts économiques et sécuritaires liés à la « migration illégale ».

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Summary (Gisela Baumgratz)

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Gisela Baumgratz

Summary

In 2015 the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation launched a new program fostering scientific cooperation between Germany and the North African Countries, sponsored by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To begin with, this program is focused upon Tunisia’s process of democratic transformation after le 2011 revolution and more specifically on the freedom and independence of research and teaching and the development of critical thinking. October 13, 2015 was scheduled as the beginning of the negotiations between the EU and Tunisia on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) the purpose of which was to remove all obstacles hindering European investors from free access to the Tunisian markets. In addition, the impact of the neoliberal agenda of the European Union was seen as the major challenge for the post revolutionary society in Tunisia by the program team directed by Khaled Chaabane, and for that reason, high level specialists of neoliberal economy from Europe and the North African countries, were invited to participate in an international conference with the aim of publishing the state of the art of expertise on the impact of the neoliberal free trade policy of the European Union on the North African countries and their development in the context of globalization. Far from being merely “technical” agreements, as members of the European commission tend to advance, free trade agreements are part of a world vision: The free trade ideology corresponds to a new concept of domination of the...

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