The prospects of concluding an Association Agreement with the European Union are dead, Monaco’s Government announced on Friday, albeit more circumspectly.

The decisive meeting was held between the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr Maroš Šefcovic, and a Monegasque delegation led by Ms Berro-Amedei, Minister of External Relations and of Cooperation, in Brussels in Thursday, the Government announced in a press release on Friday.

The Monegasque delegation recalled the main principles which underpin the identity of the Principality, to which Monegasques are very attached and which have been clear from the start of negotiations, the Government said.

For his part, the Executive Vice-President confirmed the European Commission’s stated objective of signing an Association Agreement by the end of 2023 on the basis of the mandate entrusted to it by the Council of the European Union, based on respect for the four freedoms of movement – people, capital, services and goods – and the preservation of the integrity and homogeneity of the internal market.

In the end of a frank and cordial exchange, the participants agreed on the impossibility of reconciling the demands of the European Union with the red lines established by HSH the Prince from the opening of these discussions, which aim to ensure that current living, working and housing conditions for nationals and residents in the Principality continue as they are, with particular reference to the National Priority of Monegasques.

As a result, both parties agreed to suspend negotiations.

In its Friday press statement the Government said that the EU is and will remain a privileged partner of the Principality. The EU and Monaco share many common values and the Principality will continue to support EU initiatives on the international scene, particularly in terms of sanctions. Monaco therefore wishes to continue the dialogue and reflect, with the European Union, on ways to strengthen this relationship. The Principality of Monaco and the European Union recalled the importance of deepening the exchanges already existing in many areas.

FILE PHOTO: The EU’s Maroš Šefcovic