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EU-Israel agreement enters into force

The EU-Israel Association agreement has entered into force, following ratification by the European Parliament, the Knesset and the legislatures of the 15 Member States of the European Union. The agreement's entry into force completes a series of agreements between Israel and ...

The EU-Israel Association agreement has entered into force, following ratification by the European Parliament, the Knesset and the legislatures of the 15 Member States of the European Union. The agreement's entry into force completes a series of agreements between Israel and the EU, including scientific and technological cooperation with the Fifth RTD Framework programme (which entered into force in early 1999); an agreement on procurement for telecommunications operators and on government procurement (which entered into force in early 1997); and an agreement on good laboratory practice, which came into force in May this year. Another consequence of the new agreement is the creation of an institutional political dialogue, which takes place at the Association Council, held at ministerial level once a year. The first of these meetings takes place on 13 June. In addition, the Association agreement sets out a large number of areas for possible future cooperation, covering, for example, industry, energy, standards, financial services, information infrastructures and telecommunications, as well as transport and tourism. The agreement also opens up opportunities for cooperation in fields such as audio-visual matters and the cultural sphere. The EU- Israel Association agreement is one of a series of similar Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements signed or under negotiation between the European Union and its 12 partners in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. Association agreements with Tunisia, Morocco and an interim agreement with the Palestinian Authority are already in force. One of the aims of these agreements is to create a basis for the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area by 2010.