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News Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean – Joint Declaration adopted


The ‘Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean' gives a new impulse to the Barcelona Process in at least three very important ways: by upgrading the political level of the EU's relationship with its Mediterranean partners; by providing for further co-ownership to our multilateral relations; and by making these relations more concrete and visible through additional regional and subregional projects, relevant for the citizens of the region, according to the Joint Declaration adopted at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean (13 July).

The Summit, co-chaired by French President and President of the European Council, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, brought together 43 European and Mediterranean States, the Community institutions and the regional organisations.

The Heads of State and Government agreed on the creation of a co-presidency and decided that a joint secretariat will be established, with one of the co-presidents from the EU and the other from a Partner state. The Arab League shall be invited to the meetings.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs will finalise the modalities for the institutional set-up of the initiative during their next meeting in November. The new structures for the initiative should be fully operational before the end of 2008.

Joint Declaration



A focus on key projects


The 20-page Declaration notes that this initiative will build on the Barcelona Declaration and its objectives of achieving peace, stability and security, as well as the acquis of the Barcelona Process. The leaders share the conviction that this initiative can play an important role in addressing common challenges facing the Euro-Med region, such as economic and social development; world food security crisis; degradation of the environment, including climate change and desertification, with the view of promoting sustainable development; energy; migration; terroris m and extremism; as well as promoting dialogue between cultures.

An Annex to the Declaration sets out the priority fields and key initiatives, which the future Secretariat is mandated to detail. These are:

·                     De-pollution of the Mediterranean.

·                     Maritime and Land Highways.

·                     Civil Protection.

·                     Alternative Energies: Mediterranean Solar Plan.

·                     Higher Education and Research, Euro-Mediterranean University.

·                     The Mediterranean Business Development Initiative.

According to the Declaration, the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean will be complementary to EU bilateral relations with the Partner countries, which will continue under existing policy frameworks such as the Association Agreements, the European Neighbourhood Policy action plans, and, in the case of Mauritania, the African Caribbean Pacific framework. The leaders underscored the importance of the active participation of civil society, local and regional authorities and the private sector.

How it will operate?

The leaders agreed to hold biennial summits, which will result in a political declaration and a short list of concrete regional projects. Annual Foreign Affairs Ministerial meetings will review progress in the implementation of the summit conclusions and prepare the next summit meetings, that should take place alternately in the EU and in Mediterranean partner countries.

The Euro-Med Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) will be the legitimate parliamentary expression of the initiative and the Anna Lindh Euro-Med Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures will contribute to its cultural dimension.

EC President's address to the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean

Through the ‘Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean' we want to elevate our partnership to other, higher, levels, European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, said at the Paris Summit to launch the new initiative, attended by heads of state and government of the Euro-Med Partnership countries and other representatives. He said this will be done through concrete projects and by concentrating on priorities that are to the benefit of the citizens, outlining the four issues on which emphasis will be given. President Barroso assured that the EC is parti cipating in this effort with enthusiasm and determination.

Speech (FR only)

EP and EMPA President's address to the Summit for the Mediterranean

"Since 1995 the Barcelona Process has unquestionably achieved a certain prestige. Its attainments to date should not be disregarded; however the time is ripe to give the Process a new impetus," European Parliament and Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) President, Hans-Gert Pöttering, told the "Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean" Summit (July 13). "Above all," he said, "our citizens should feel implicated in this cooperation process. If we put into place practical projects su ch as access to water, food and energy sources, the resultant benefits and direct effects on people's everyday lives will be immediately tangible."

Press release


Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information European Parliament
Keyword(s) Mediterranean-Union
Geographical coverage France
News date 18/07/2008
Working language(s) ENGLISH , FRENCH