Following the Syrian civil war in the spring of 2011 and the resulting escalation of violence and human rights violations, the EU suspended bilateral cooperation with the Syrian government and froze the draft Association Agreement. Since then, the EU has suspended the participation of the Syrian authorities in its regional programmes. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has suspended all lending and technical assistance. The EU has imposed targeted sanctions, including an arms embargo, an asset freeze and travel ban for government members, as well as an oil embargo. Syria then suspended its membership and participation in the Union for the Mediterranean. The EU delegation in Syria remained open until December 2012.  In December 2012, the EU accepted the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as a ”legitimate representative” of the Syrian people.  Syria and the EU have negotiated an association agreement. However, the signing of the ASSOCIATION agreement ENTRE the EU and Syria has been suspended by the EU due to the internal situation in Syria and, over time, the legal texts of the agreement have become obsolete. Continued internal repression in Syria has also led to restrictive measures on the part of the EU and has a considerable impact on bilateral trade. The Syrian Arab Republic and the European Union (EU) have signed two agreements between them. However, due to the Syrian government`s crackdown on its opposition, the EU is imposing an embargo on Syria.  Since 2011, the EU has supported the Syrian National Opposition Council and has called for the resignation of the current government. Since 2012, it has recognized the opposition as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.  In 1977, the EU and Syria signed a cooperation agreement that governs relations and serves as the basis for EU-EU relations.  Other bilateral agreements between the EU and Syria were concluded in 2004 and 2008.  Syria has also joined the European Union for the Mediterranean (and previously the Barcelona Process) and the European Neighbourhood Policy, but does not fully benefit from the EU-Syria Association Agreement signed in 2009 and was suspended from the Union for the Mediterranean in 2011.   More information on the Euro-Mediterranean Euromed partnership is an essential element in the search for greater economic integration in the Mediterranean region, including among the Mediterranean partners themselves. Following the violent internal repression in Syria, the EU adopted a series of restrictive measures against Syria in May 2011, including a ban on imports of crude oil and petroleum products, as well as export restrictions, including dual-use goods, equipment and technologies key to the oil and gas industry, as well as certain telecommunications equipment and certain luxury goods. Before the war, the EU was Syria`s largest trading partner, with 3.6 billion euros in EU merchandise exports to Syria and Syrian exports to the EU.