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Barcelona Process: EuroMed’s senior officials discuss transformation to "Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean"


The 75th EuroMed Senior Officials Meeting and the 74th EuroMed Committee Meeting took place at the Council of the European Union in Brussels on 8 and 9 April 2008. This was their third meeting under Slovenia’s Presidency and again focused on political dialogue and a discussion on technical cooperation in various areas such as combating terrorism, culture, intercultural dialogue, tourism, information society, the role of women in society, and higher education. Particular attention was devoted to the discussion of EuroMed Senior Officials on the transformation of the current cooperation framework in the Mediterranean into a partnership called the "Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean".

The European Commission and France as the proposer of this initiative and the meeting host presented their views on the transformation of the current Mediterranean cooperation framework. In the discussion that followed, a number of Euro-Mediterranean Partnership partner countries expressed reservations and posed questions as well as offering support in principle. The countries stressed in particular the need for a fully transparent mutual discussion in cooperation with all partners. They agreed that the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean should represent added value, raise the profile of the cooperation and its results in the Mediterranean, and be complementary to existing activities and structures within the Barcelona Process.

Consultations with all partners will continue, an ad-hoc meeting of Senior Officials will be organised to prepare for a summit that would launch the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean.

As the country holding the Presidency of both the EU Council and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, Slovenia gave assurances that, in the context of its priorities and tasks, it would, in a clear and transparent dialogue, actively follow the preparations and discussions relating to the planned transformation of the Barcelona Process, while duly respecting EU procedures and open consultations with the Mediterranean partners.

Background: the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Barcelona Process), launched by the Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers in November 1995, formed an innovative alliance based on the principles of joint ownership, dialogue and cooperation. The Partnership has been driven since by a common political will to build together a space of peace, security and shared prosperity. It has been successful in creating long-term political and institutional links between the EU and its Mediterranean partners. The priority of the Barcelona Process is to develop the regional dimension of the Partnership between the EU and the Southern Mediterranean.


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Date: 11.04.2008