Brussels, 31 October 2007
Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: advancing regional co-operation to support peace, progress and inter-cultural dialogue
Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner will attend a ministerial meeting of Euro-Mediterranean Partners in Lisbon on 4/5 November. The meeting will review progress on the implementation of the 5-Year work programme agreed at the Barcelona Summit in 2005 and outline the priorities for 2008. The Foreign Ministers will discuss how to pursue this reform agenda, to bring concrete results, suggest further activities for the Code of Conduct on countering terrorism and discuss the Middle East Peace Process and situation in the region. During the meeting in Lisbon the Commissioner will participate in separate Troikas meetings with the Israeli delegation and the Arab group and take part in bilateral meetings with Euro-Mediterranean partners.
The European Commission has proposed in a Communication issued on October 17 priorities for implementation of the work programme, in fields such as political and security dialogue, implementation of the code of conduct on countering terrorism, civil protection, free trade, energy, transport, environment, education, strengthening the role of women in society, inter-cultural dialogue and migration and looks forward to seeing these adopted by the Ministerial meeting.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: "The Five-Year Action Plan agreed at the Barcelona Summit draws the operational map for our common endeavours. After 12 years of progressive co-operation, we need to mobilise political will, courage and determination, to make a reality of the goals we set ourselves in 2005 and to achieve our joint objectives of peace, prosperity and security for the region. Partnerships are principally about people. That is why we will be discussing work in areas in which we need to make progress for the benefit of the people in the region."
Activities in 2008 are expected to include
The Barcelona Process, launched by Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers in
November 1995, formed an innovative alliance based on the principles of joint
ownership, dialogue and co-operation. 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 reforms. The priority of the Barcelona Process is to
develop the regional dimension of the Partnership between Europe and the Sothern
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
 Communication from the
Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the preparation of the
Lisbon Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Affairs Conference (5-6 November 2007). The
Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: Advancing Regional Cooperation to support peace,
progress and inter-cultural dialogue