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Observatoire Tunisien de l’Economie | 25 March 2020
Intellectual property rights: Potential implications of the DCFTA for access to medicine
by Imen Louati
The EU’s strategies have shifted from a regional approach, with the cooperation agreements1 and a Association Agreements (AAs), to a country-specific approach, in the form of Neighboutrhood Action Plans and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Hence, since October 2015, Tunisia has been involved in negotiations for the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU. In line with the AAs, the DCFTA will go further with the “Comprehensive” and “Deep” dimensions of this agreement and, once signed, will require Tunisia to undertake profound and irreversible changes in its national public policies. The texts of the DCFTA as proposed by the EU were presented in the first preliminary discussions and have since been updated in subsequent rounds of negotiations. The texts are subdivided in 14 domains, with a specific one related to the Intellectual property (IP).This paper draws attention to the IP rights in Tunisia as a TRIPS signatory. It will discuss the provisions included in the proposed DCFTA’s IP chapter and their potential impact on access to medicine in Tunisia.