Algeria maintains very close relations with the countries of the European continent. Beyond geographic proximity and the sharing of a semi-enclosed sea, the ties of cooperation that unite our country to the European continent are numerous and secular.
The first treaties signed date back to the 17th century, which testifies to the richness of the exchanges and the diplomatic dialogue between the two shores and the importance that was given by European sovereigns of the time, to maintain a relationship of peace and appeasement with Algeria, in particular by ensuring the safety of maritime transport thus guaranteeing fruitful commercial exchanges throughout the Mediterranean rim. In this context, it is possible to refer, as an example, to the Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed between the regency of Algiers and the United Kingdom in 1680, the treaty of peace and friendship with Hamburg, in 1751, or the treaty of peace and friendship with the Netherlands in 1816.
Recent history will also have enabled us to highlight the central roles that have been able to play several European countries in the war of national liberation, in particular by granting aid to Algerian revolutionaries. One could cite as an example the support of Yugoslavia, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland and Germany (RFA/RDA) during the National Liberation War by being a rear base for the FLN including the supply of weapons. In 1958, the FRA had tolerated the opening of an FLN office within of the Tunisian Embassy in Bonn. Switzerland played a role of mediator during the negotiations of the Evian agreements.
Since Algeria's independence in 1962, Algerian diplomacy has spread across the continent Europe with more than 52 diplomatic and consular representations. This demonstrates the importance that represents Europe for Algerian diplomacy, particularly in terms of economic cooperation.
The countries of Europe hence remain the main partners of Algeria, knowing that, for the year 2019, 63.69% of Algerian exports and 53.40% of its imports came from this region of the world, including countries of the European Union (EU). Trade exchanges reached for the same year 45.21 Billions of Euro's.
During the period January-November 2020, the countries of Europe remained the main partners trade of Algeria, with a volume of exchanges amounting to 37.3 billion dollars in 2021, compared to 28.2 billion dollars in 2020.These exchanges account about half of our foreign trade.
It is expected that these economic exchanges will develop further once the Free Zone African Continental Exchange (ZLECAF) will be fully operational. This new mechanism will enable Algeria to fully exploit its strategic position allowing it to be one of the gateways to the African continent.
With regard to cooperation in the field of energy, Algeria is a key partner for the European countries in that it contributes 12% of European imports of natural gas and 2.5% European oil imports.
Beyond traditional bilateral diplomatic relations with European countries, Algeria maintains also good cooperative relations with the European institutions. We will cite as an example the European Union for which our country has a mission in Brussels, the Union for Mediterranean (UPM) in Barcelona or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in which Algeria has the status of an observer country.
With regard to Algeria's relations with the European Parliament, they evolve within the overall framework of the political dialogue between Algeria and the European Union. They have experienced resurgence of mutual interest in recent years thanks particularly to the resumption, on a regular basis, of the inter-parliamentary meetings and exchanges of visits between delegations of the two parties.