For the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean Summit, Spain’s Secretary of State for
Communication has released this briefing note summarising the
Euro-Mediterranean Association’s achievements over these past ten years, and
the objectives of the upcoming meeting of Heads of State and of Government.
1. RELEVANCE OF THE BARCELONA SUMMIT, 27th AND 28th NOVEMBER 2005.
This will be the FIRST Euro-Mediterranean Summit of Heads of State and of
Government. Therefore, this is an unprecedented event in Mediterranean history.
To date, there have only been Conferences of Ministers, including the first one
in Barcelona, in 1995. This is a sign of our firm commitment to relaunching the
Euro-Mediterranean Association, also known as the Barcelona Process or the
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Association,
launched in Barcelona in 1995, during Spain’s first EU Presidency.
The European Union declared 2005 the Year of the Mediterranean, in a show of its
renewed interest in this region.
The Barcelona Summit will serve to RENOVATE AND STRENGTHEN the
Euro-Mediterranean Association. Ten years after it was first launched, the
world has changed. Interdependence is increasing constantly, and it is
imperative to promote dialogue and co-operation on issues that know no borders,
such as trade, migration, and security —both the EU and many of its
Mediterranean partners have suffered directly from the impact of terrorism.
Preparation of the Barcelona Summit has involved close Hispano-British
co-operation. It is relevant that, under the British EU Presidency, this Summit
is being held in Spain.
2. WHAT IS THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN ASSOCIATION?
The Euro-Mediterranean Association is the main framework for political,
economic, and social relations, for dialogue, and for regional CO-OPERATION, in
It is the ONLY forum, together with the UN, which in the past ten years has
brought together all of the actors in the region. The active participation of
Israel and the Palestinian Authority clearly show its capacity for integration.
This has made it possible for seemingly irreconcilable actors to sit at the
same table in the Euro-Mediterranean Association.
The Euro-Mediterranean Association is an open and inclusive space, an invaluable
contribution to building a climate of TRUST in the region. The Barcelona
Process has laid the foundation for co-operation, making it possible, even in
moments of maximum tension in the Middle East, to maintain basic exchanges
(such as electrical services and trade) between the parties, avoiding greater
suffering to their populations.
The Euro-Mediterranean Association is a forum of encounter and co-operation,
where specific domestic issues of member countries or territorial disputes are
The Barcelona Process is a success in international policy terms, since it has
been able to restore a Mediterranean dimension to the world scene. The
Euro-Mediterranean Association is, today, a forum of reference.
3. WHAT HAS BEEN DONE UNTIL NOW?
Over these last ten years of joint effort, the Euro-Mediterranean Association
has managed to achieve a number of objectives. Here are TEN ACCOMPLISHMENTS
that are examples of Euro-Mediterranean co-operation:
· From an economic standpoint, it has made major contributions to regional
stability, especially on the southern rim, controlling inflation, lowering
foreign debt, balancing budgets, and improving demographic indices.
· The European Union’s co-operation efforts have involved earmarking nearly
9000 million euros for MEDA co-operation programmes, financing projects to
support the Middle East peace process, water infrastructure in Jordan, and
regional desertification control, amongst many others.
· For its part, the European Investment Bank has contributed a similar sum
in credits for the private sector, under highly favourable conditions thanks to
having an EU guarantee.
· Important steps have also been taken towards the creation of a
Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area (EMFTA) by 2010. The Euro-Mediterranean
Association Agreements between the EU and the southern rim countries have made
possible advances in trade liberalisation, increasing the volume of commercial
exchange. Non-EU Mediterranean countries’ exports to the EU have grown at an
annual rate of 7.2% since the 1990s.
· Economic reforms, carried out with EU financial assistance, have favoured
investments and the presence of European companies on the southern rim. Ten
years ago, there were only three Spanish companies in Morocco; now, there are
nearly a thousand.
· The Barcelona Process has promoted a growing South-South regional
integration, especially in the economic realm, which has resulted in the
signing in 2004 of the Agadir Free-Trade Agreement involving Morocco, Tunisia,
Egypt, and Jordan.
· The Euro-Mediterranean Association has also promoted the creation of
venues for deliberation, such as the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly,
which periodically brings together 240 legislators from both shores, including
Israelis and Palestinians. This Assembly is another factor contributing to
democratising the region.
· The launching of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the
Dialogue between Cultures, inaugurated in 2005 in Alexandria, marked a great
step forward in the development of cultural exchange in the Mediterranean.
· The EuroMed Non-Governmental Platform, created by civil society in 2004,
and bringing together Mediterranean NGOs, has already become a key player in
the Barcelona Process.
· The Barcelona Process has managed to make the search for greater
democratisation into a focal point of debate.
4. WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN SUMMIT?
Today, more than ever, a stable and prosperous Mediterranean is necessary. In
Barcelona, Heads of State and of Government will be debating issues currently
affecting the region, including migration, education, and the fight against
terrorism. The approval and financing of infrastructure and environmental
actions having a wide-ranging impact on the Mediterranean will also be on the
agenda. Moreover, five-year action programmes will be established,
incorporating mechanisms for progress assessment. During the Summit, there will
be four major working areas:
· Peace, Security, Stability, Good Government, and Democracy. Our common
democratic principles must be strengthened with specific measures, and respond
to new common threats, such as terrorism.
· Sustainable Economic Development and Reform. The modernisation of
economic structures will be accelerated, favouring sustainable development. The
methods used for managing EU financial aid to countries on the southern
Mediterranean coast will be reinforced and improved, and support to the private
sector will be made stronger.
· Education and Cultural Exchange. Youth, very especially on the southern
rim, is the future, and education is the key to development for Mediterranean
societies. Amongst others, programmes will be promoted for reducing illiteracy.
At the same time, it is essential to promote mutual knowledge and understanding
among cultures. The recently created Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation
for the Dialogue between Cultures, to which Spain is the principal individual
contributor, is a good instrument for promoting this encounter of
· Justice, Security, Migration, and Social Integration. The value that
migratory movements have today will be enhanced, and greater co-operation in
this area will be sought. Moreover, advances will be made in creating a
Euro-Mediterranean space for Justice, Security, Migration, and Social
Integration of Immigrants.
5. WHO WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN PARTNERSHIP?
The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership comprises 38 member countries, including the
25 member states of the European Union and 10 countries from the southern
Mediterranean rim (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the
Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey). Moreover, Rumania and
Bulgaria, which have already signed an Accession Agreement with the European
Union, will also participate, along with Croatia, which began accession talks
on 3rd October, and representatives of the European Parliament, the European
Commission, and the Secretary-General of the Council of the EU.
Moreover, the Barcelona Process includes Permanent Observers—Libya, Mauritania,
and the Arab League—and Guest Observers—the European Investment Bank, the Arab
Maghreb Union, the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue
between Cultures, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the EuroMed
Economic and Social Councils.
Civil society’s participation is a basic component of the Barcelona Process.
Therefore, for the first time, representatives of the EuroMed Non-Governmental
Platform will take part in the Plenary Session of the Barcelona