BRUSSELS (Oct. 12)
A net benefit to Israel was seen in the decision this week by the Council of Ministers of the European Common Market to adopt a “global approach” toward the Market’s future relations with Mediterranean countries. Such an approach is based on each country’s particular interest rather than on historical ties.
The Council of Ministers, representing the six member states–France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg–approved a recommendation by the EEC’s executive commission which stemmed from proposals submitted last June by French Foreign Minister Maurice Schumann, These include the creation of a free exchange zone for industrial products by 1977, Further proposals recommended by the executive commission include substantial financial concessions for agricultural products and financial and technical assistance according to the needs of different countries.
Israel will benefit after a transitional period when her industrial exports will be able to enter Common Market countries duty-free. Israel will have to reciprocate by lifting all customs barriers for industrial products imported from EEC members. Israel will also be on a par with other countries in the area of agricultural products, notably citrus fruits. At present, certain citrus-producing countries enjoy advantages greater than those granted Israel in her preferential agreement with the EEC.
(Officials in Jerusalem expressed satisfaction yesterday with the Council of Ministers’ decision but called for interim measures to ease the problems Israel anticipates when Britain, Ireland and Denmark Join the Gammon Market next Jan. The officials said It was unlikely that the Market will have finalized plans for the Mediterranean countries by then.)