Although the European Community had con­ cluded trade agreements with several Mediter­ ranean states during the 1960s and early 1970s, it was only in 1972 that some degree of coordi­ nation was introduced in the Community's external trade relations with these countries. The series of agreements which were concluded after 1972 under what the Community described as a 'Global' Mediterranean Policy (GMP) were designed to secure some political stability in the region on the basis of free trade and EU financial aid for economic develop­ ment. However, the successful applications for EU membership by Greece, Spain and Portugal created significant difficulties for the Com­ munity after 1986 in sustaining this 'global' approach. Moreover, renewed applications for membership of the Community by other Mediterranean states such as Cyprus, Malta, Turkey and Morocco compounded the prob­ lems. By the early 1990s, therefore, the Community was forced to reassess its policy towards the region, leading to the launch of a 'New Mediterranean Policy' (NMP) in June 1990 and more recently culminating in an

agreement to create in the long term a EuroMediterranean Economic Area. It is the scope of this relatively brief chapter to trace this intensifying relationship between the EU and the Mediterranean region, recognising that this relationship is an important factor in many of the themes and topics addressed by other chapters in this book. For a preliminary and summary indication of individual countries' relationship to the EU, reference can be made back to Chapter 8, specifically Tables 8.2 (final column) and 8.4.