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Senior Euro-Mediterranean media gather in Ljubljana to discuss media role and input in Euro-Mediterranean matters

The Euromed and the Media Task Force, a consultative body to the European Commission, met in Ljubljana on 10 and 11 March to discuss its work programme, and also to prepare input for the Euromed ministerial meeting on culture and intercultural dialogue and the follow-up conference to the Dublin conference on ‘Reporting Terrorism’. During its two-day meeting, they also participated in a public information session and debate with the local media and diplomatic corps organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the EU, and were guests at a special reception hosted by Slovenia’s President Danilo Türk at the Presidential Palace.

Over 30 leading media practitioners from all the Euromed partner countries and the EU and a large local gathering of members of the media, diplomatic corps and civil society attended the public opening session in the Grand Hotel Union, where the Euromed coordinator, Ambassador Veronika Stabej, outlined the Slovenian EU Presidency priorities in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

Ms Stabej outlined the Presidency’s commitment to striving for progress in the Middle East peace process, continuation of the fight against terrorism and implementation of the Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism, and continuation of the dialogue on best electoral practices. The environment, education, the role of women in society and the upcoming ministerial conferences on tourism and cultural dialogue were also among the priorities listed by Ms Stabej.

The European Commission explained the principles and work programme of its dialogue with the region’s media under the ‘Euromed and the Media’ initiative. With the extension of Euromed dialogues to include the media, joint solutions are being explored to problems in the areas of freedom of the press, xenophobia and racist journalism, media development and the safety and security of journalists. These themes, and others, were later taken up in the closed working groups that followed the open introductory session.

Dr Nada Trunk of the University Centre for Euro-Mediterranean Studies presented an outline of the objectives and programmes of the proposed Euro-Mediterranean University. The charter for the University will be signed on 9 June in Piran, Slovenia, and the University is expected to start delivering its own accredited programmes in the 2009/10 academic year.

The above presentations were the subject of intense debate in the discussions that followed, as Euromed matters were transported to this Balkan background.

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 Europe and its Mediterranean partners, in establishing the foundations for free trade and in engaging Mediterranean partners in the path of reform. The priority of the Barcelona Process is to develop the regional dimension of the Partnership between Europe and the Southern Mediterranean. With the European Neighbourhood policy working to complement and reinforce the Barcelona Process, through action plans agreed with the Partner countries, an added impetus has been given to bringing about a qualitative change in Euro-Mediterranean relations.


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Date: 11.04.2008