Sumario: 18 June 2008, Brussels- On 19-20 June 2008, the European Commission and the Government of Iraq will hold the fifth round of negotiations for a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) since negotiations started in November 2006.
The fifth round is expected to cover trade in services, sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues, public procurement, intellectual property rights, statistical cooperation, combating drugs, organised crime and corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing, migration, regional cooperation, macroeconomic dialogue, investment, financial services cooperation and telecommunications. The negotiations will be led on the Commission's side by Hugues Mingarelli, Deputy Director-General for
External Relations, and Mohammed Hamoud Bidan, Iraqi Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Launched by Commissioners for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and Trade, Peter Mandelson, and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Barham Salih, in November 2006, the TCA negotiations aim to improve the trade arrangements between Iraq and the EU and to integrate the country in the international economy. The previous rounds of negotiations in June and November 2007 and in February 2008 have been very productive with several chapters already agreed in areas such as combating terrorism, countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and energy cooperation, among others.
The TCA negotiations underline the European Union's determination to play a significant role in Iraq's transition and to help Iraq improve living conditions for its citizens. This commitment is also reflected in the more than €800 million 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.