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EC-Mexico Global Cooperation Agreement

This Agreement lays down the essential elements of bilateral relations between the European Community and Mexico. To achieve this, it institutionalises the political dialogue and steps up trade and economic relations by setting up a free trade area for goods and services. The Agreement is based on respect for human rights and democracy.


Council Decision 2000/658/EC of 28 September 2000 concerning the conclusion of the Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the United Mexican States, of the other part [see Amending acts].

Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the United Mexican States, of the other part – Final Act – Declarations.


The Agreement, which was signed in 1997 and came into force in November 2000, covers several fields.

The first is political dialogue, which is institutionalised by the Agreement. This dialogue must cover all matters of common interest and lead to closer consultation within international organisations. The dialogue is conducted in accordance with the "Joint Declaration by the European Union (EU) and Mexico on Political Dialogue" annexed to the Final Act.

Trade is also an integral part of the Agreement. It aims to encourage the development of trade and a bilateral and preferential, progressive and reciprocal liberalisation of trade. The Joint Council established by the Agreement decides on the arrangements and timetable for reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and on the arrangements for liberalising trade in services. The decisions of the Joint Council in this area enter into force as soon as they are adopted.

As regards capital movements and payments, the aim is to encourage their progressive and reciprocal liberalisation. In order to achieve this, the Joint Council must take decisions relating to the definition, content and scope of liberalisation, and on clauses allowing the introduction of possible justified restrictions.

Another title covers:

  • public procurement: the parties agree to the gradual opening of markets, under the supervision of the Joint Council;
  • competition: the parties must take appropriate measures within the Joint Council to prevent distortions or restrictions of competition. Cooperation and coordination mechanisms are established to facilitate technical assistance, consultation and exchange of information;
  • intellectual, industrial and commercial property: appropriate measures must be taken with a view to ensuring adequate and effective protection.

The area of cooperation as such covers several fields. The Agreement institutes a regular dialogue on cooperation and economic matters. Industrial cooperation aims to promote dynamic, integrated and decentralised management by strengthening contacts, dialogue and the promotion of pilot projects.

The exchange of information and training events are key cooperation elements in the areas of mining, energy, transport and tourism. In all cases, the main aim is the development of these sectors.

The aim of cooperation in financial services is to encourage greater, more diversified productivity and competitiveness. As regards the information society, cooperation focuses on dialogue, exchanges of information, the dissemination of new technologies, reciprocal access to databases, the interconnection and interoperability of telematic networks and services, and the promotion of joint research projects and pilot projects.

The aim of cooperation in the agricultural, food processing and rural sectors is also to promote trade. With a view to facilitating trade, the parties examine ways to harmonise health, plant health and environmental standards. Exchanging information and setting up projects and activities are other components of this cooperation.

Another area of cooperation is combating drug trafficking, money-laundering and chemical precursors. The parties must implement programmes and measures for the prevention of drug abuse, research projects and the exchange of information.

A dialogue on social affairs and poverty is fundamental. The parties recognise the importance of harmonising economic and social development taking into account the need to respect basic rights, especially the rights of the most vulnerable groups. The Agreement also covers cooperation on human rights and democracy. It focuses on the development of civil society, measures relating to training and information, and the promotion of human rights and democratic values.

In the area of health, cooperation aims to strengthen activities in the fields of research, pharmacology, preventive medicine and communicable diseases.

Regional cooperation encourages intra-regional trade, in particular with Central America and the Caribbean.

Other areas of cooperation covered by the Agreement include investment promotion, cooperation on small and medium sized enterprises, technical regulations and conformity assessment, cooperation on statistics, government, cultural cooperation, cooperation in the audiovisual sector, information and communication, data protection, refugees and consumer protection.

The Agreement explicitly provides for the possibility of concluding sectoral agreements within the framework of cooperation in certain areas such as scientific and technological cooperation, training and education, the environment and the management of natural resources, and fisheries. It also provides for the possibility of concluding a Protocol on mutual assistance in the field of customs. The aim of cooperation in this area is to ensure fair trade through an improved and consolidated legal framework, exchanges of information, the development of training and coordination techniques, the simplification of procedures and exchanges of officials.

Institutional framework

The Agreement establishes a Joint Council whose role it is to supervise its implementation. It consists of the Members of the Council of the European Union, of the European Commission and of the Government of Mexico, and meets at regular intervals at ministerial level. It is presided in turn by a Member of the Council of the EU and a Member of the Government of Mexico, and takes decisions in the cases provided for in the Agreement. It is assisted by a Joint Committee and may decide to set up any other special committee or body which it deems necessary.

Final provisions

The Agreements also includes a clause on data protection and a national security clause.

It also specifies that most favoured nation treatment does not apply to tax advantages provided on the basis of agreements to avoid double taxation. Nothing in the Agreement may be construed in such a way as to impede the measures aimed at preventing the avoidance or evasion of taxes.

The Agreement is concluded for an indefinite period and either party may denounce it by notifying the other party. It ceases to apply six months after the date of such notification.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Council Decision 2000/658/EC



OJ L 276 of 28.10.2000

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Council Decision 2005/202/EC



OJ L 66 of 12.3.2005



Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related matters between the European Community, of the one part, and the United Mexican States, of the other part - Final [Official Journal L 226 of 13.8.1998]. This Agreement, signed pending ratification of the overall Agreement, will allow the earliest possible implementation of its trade and trade-related provisions. These provisions entail, in particular, the preferential liberalisation of goods and services, liberalisation of the movement of capital and payments, the opening up of EU and Mexican public procurement markets and rules on intellectual property and competition. This framework is intended to increase trade between the EU and Mexico and encourage investment in Latin America. The Agreement follows up the Council Decision of 29 June 1998 [Official Journal L 226 of 13.08.1998].

Council Decision No 2/2001 of the EU-Mexico Joint Council of 27 February 2001 [Official Journal L 70 of 12.3.2001]. This Decision sets up a free trade area with Mexico for services.

Decision No 2/2000 of the EC-Mexico Joint Council of 23 March 2000 - Joint Declarations [Official Journal L 157 of 30.6.2000]. This Decision lays down the necessary arrangements for implementing the objectives of the Interim Agreement between the European Community and Mexico.

  • Amended by:

Decision No 5/2004 of the EU-Mexico Joint Council of 15 December 2004 [Official Journal L 66 of 12.3.2005]. This Decision provides for the two parties to assist each other in ensuring that customs legislation is correctly applied, in particular by the prevention, detection and investigation of breaches of that legislation.

  • Implemented by:

Council Regulation (EC) No 1362/2000 of 29 June 2000 [Official Journal L 157 of 30.6.2000]. This Regulation sets up a free trade area with Mexico for goods.


Agreement between the European Community and the United Mexican States on the mutual recognition and protection of designations for spirit drinks [Official Journal L 152 of 11.6.1997]. The purpose of the Agreement is to improve the conditions under which spirits are marketed in the Community and Mexico, in accordance with the principles of equality, mutual benefit and reciprocity. This Agreement follows up Council Decision 97/361/EC of 27 May 1997.

This Agreement has been amended by Decision 2004/483/EC of 28 April 2004 which concerns amendments to Annex I of the Agreement in order to take account of EU enlargement.

Agreement between the European Community and the United Mexican States on cooperation regarding the control of precursors and chemical substances frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances [Official Journal L 77 of 19.3.97]. This Agreement is intended to strengthen cooperation between the administrative authorities of Mexico and the Community in preventing the diversion of certain chemical substances for the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. This Agreement follows up Council Decision 97/184/EC of 13 March 1997.

Council Decision No 2005/766/EC of 13 June 2005 on the conclusion of the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the European Community and the United Mexican States [Official Journal L 290 of 4.11.2005].

Council Decision No 87/209/EEC of 9 February 1987 on the conclusion of the Protocol of Accession of Mexico to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [Official Journal L 81 of 25.3.1987].


Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 15 July 2008 entitled ‘Towards an EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership’ [COM(2008) 0447 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The Commission proposes the establishment of a new strategic partnership between the European Union (EU) and Mexico. This proposal would provide a new political framework and enhance existing cooperation.

The Commission proposes to highlight political and institutional questions, security and the fight against crime, the environment and the exploitation of natural resources, and social and economic questions from a sustainable development perspective.

The existing institutional structure could be reinforced, in particular by the holding of an EU-Mexico summit every two years. In addition, a new coordination and consultation mechanism would encourage the development of common positions within the international bodies and institutions.

The Council approved the principle of a strategic partnership at the General Affairs Council (pdf) (FR) meeting in Luxembourg on 13 October 2008.

Country Strategy Paper 2002-2006 for Mexico (pdf)

This document presents the national indicative programme for the budgetary period

2002-2006. It targets the following four priority activity areas:

  • social development and gender equality;
  • economic growth/support for economic reforms/competitiveness;
  • scientific and technical cooperation;
  • consolidation of the rule of law/institutional support.

Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 for Mexico (pdf)

The three priority areas of this strategy are:

  • social cohesion and political dialogue;
  • sustainable economic growth and competitiveness;
  • education and culture.

These areas are related to different horizontal problems: human rights, equal treatment of men and women, and the environment.

See also

For more information, consult the website of the European External Action Service.

Last updated: 26.09.2008