Adaptation of Tunisian competition law within the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area
Abstract: This work is an analysis of the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and more particularly the negotiation of the association agreements, which aim to improve the conditions for carrying out trade by exploring new areas of cooperation in investment, trade facilitation and the approximation of legislation. This study focuses on the association agreement contracted between the European Union and one of the nine of its Mediterranean Partners, which is Tunisia. Tunisia was the first Mediterranean country to sign an Association Agreement with the EU since 1995 and intended to cooperate for the establishment of an EU-Tunisia free trade area by the year 2010. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to pay special attention to the impact of these association agreements on the legislation of each Mediterranean river&semic the Community competition law and Tunisian competition law. Objectives of competition policy differ from county to another. Whereas, the community competition system is based on the fair free trade, the Tunisian competition system remains a protectionist system despite of all its recent modifications. In spite of the fact that the objectives are different, it is emphasized that by entering into the Association Agreement into force, the policy instruments became common on the two rivers, in general. These common instruments are the prohibition of anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominant position. However, some important divergences remain but possible solutions are determined. Because of these deviations, the EU and Tunisia have agreed an ambitious European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan, This Action Plan which is entered in force since 4 July 2005, sets out a comprehensive set of priorities for the next years. It contains jointly developed objectives adapted to the specific needs and priorities of the two systems. But, this Action Plan is not sufficient for the approximation of the Tunisian competition system to the European competition policy. This paper starts by describing the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements. Then it sets out the characteristics of the Tunisian competition system explaining the functioning of the competition council and its case law. The third part is a comparative approach and concerns the implementation of the Association Agreement provisions into the two systems. The fourth part shows the important divergences between the two policies. Lastly, the fifth part tries to find solution for reducing the gap between the two Mediterranean rivers.
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