The Barcelona Process or Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed)
The Barcelona Process or Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) started in 1995 with the Barcelona Euro-Mediterranean Conference. It was organized by the European Union to strengthen its relations with the countries in the Mashriq and Maghreb regions. The partnership laid the foundations for what came to be the Union for the Mediterranean.
The European Union enlargement of 2004 brought two more Mediterranean countries (Cyprus and Malta) into the Union, while adding a total of 10 to the number of Member States. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership today comprises 39 members: 27 European Union member states, 3 Candidate States: Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey, and 9 Mediterranean Partners: (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria and Tunisia). Libya has had observer status since 1999.
What is The Barcelona Process?
The Barcelona Process is a unique and ambitious initiative, which laid the foundations of a new regional relationship and which represents a turning point in Euro-Mediterranean relations.
In the Barcelona Declaration, the Euro-Mediterranean partners established the three main objectives of the Partnership:
Definition of a common area of peace and stability through the reinforcement of political and security dialogue (Political and Security Basket).
Construction of a zone of shared prosperity through an economic and financial partnership and the gradual establishment of a free-trade area (Economic and Financial Basket).
Rapprochement between peoples through a social, cultural and human partnership aimed at encouraging understanding between cultures and exchanges between civil societies (Social, Cultural and Human Basket).
Its agenda was the following:
Security and stability in the Mediterranean;
Agreeing on shared values and initializing a long-term process for cooperation in the Mediterranean;
Promoting democracy, good governance and human rights;
Achieving mutually satisfactory trading terms for the region's partners, the "region" consisting of the countries that participated;
Establishing a complementary policy to the United States' presence in the Mediterranean.
The Barcelona Process comprises three "baskets":
economic - to work for shared prosperity in the Mediterranean, including the Association Agreements on the bilateral level
political - promotion of political values, good governance and democracy
cultural - cultural exchange and strengthening civil society
Javier Solana opened the conference saying that they were brought together to straighten out the "clash of civilizations" and misunderstandings that there had been between them, and that it "was auspicious" that they had convened on the 900th anniversary of the First Crusade. He described the conference as a process to foster cultural and economic unity in the Mediterranean region. The Barcelona Treaty was drawn up by the 27 countries in attendance, and Javier Solana, who represented Spain as their foreign minister during their turn at the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was credited with the diplomatic accomplishment.
At the initial meeting in 1995, the following members were present and agreed to the Barcelona Declaration:
The 15 EU member states of the time
Non-EU member states of the time
12 governments from the wider Mediterranean region
Representatives from two European institutions
Council of the European Union