Tag Archives: Euro-mediterranean partnership

Mediterranean partner countries

Mediterranean partner countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Mediterranean partner countries

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Mediterranean partner countries

GENERAL FRAMEWORK

Framework for relations

  • Partnership for democracy and prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean
  • Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean
  • Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements
  • Pan-Euro-Mediterranean system of cumulation of origin

Barcelona Process: Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

  • Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership
  • The Valencia Ministerial Conference and its Action Plan
  • Reinvigorating the Barcelona process
  • Barcelona Declaration and Euro-Mediterranean partnership
  • EU Common Strategy for the Mediterranean

European Neighbourhood Policy

  • New neighbourhood policy strategy
  • Taking stock of the European Neighbourhood Policy
  • Neighbourhood policy: participation in European Union Agencies and programmes
  • Neighbourhood Policy – Strategy paper
  • Neighbourhood Policy: 2008 Report
  • Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007
  • European Neighbourhood Policy: recommendations for Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and for Egypt and Lebanon

FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS

  • European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (2007 – 2013)
  • Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013
  • Inter-regional programme: Strategy paper 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010
  • Cross-border cooperation (CBC) 2007-2013
  • Common framework for joint multiannual programming
  • MEDA programme
  • Financial and technical cooperation with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

SECTORAL COOPERATION

  • Human rights and relations in the Mediterranean
  • Environment strategy for the Mediterranean
  • Euro-African Partnership for infrastructure
  • Cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries on nuclear safety
  • European Training Foundation (ETF)
  • Combating HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries (2009-2013)
  • Action on HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries 2006 – 2009

Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 12 April 2005 – Tenth Anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: A work programme to meet the challenges of the next five years [COM(2005) 139 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission has identified the critical areas for the future of the Mediterranean region and for intensified relations between the EU and the MNCs.

It focuses on three key objectives:

  • promoting human rights and democracy;
  • supporting job creation and sustainable economic development by liberalising trade and promoting regional integration;
  • contributing to better education for all.

With these proposals the Commission wishes to realise the full potential offered by the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. A detailed analysis of achievements and shortcomings has shown that cooperation methods can be improved further.

A new model of cooperation may be drawn up via the institutional framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). This would mean that new cooperation projects form part of a five-year work programme and benefit from the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements and the Neighbourhood Action Plans.

Human rights and democracy

The political dialogue set up by the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership serves to develop common perceptions in the areas of democracy and respect for human rights. Greater emphasis will be placed on certain issues, such as gender equality, the promotion of fundamental and social rights and the role of civil society.

The Commission considers that new impetus must be given to the political dialogue to ensure stability and security in the Mediterranean region. It proposes to hold a conference on human rights and democratisation at sub-regional level. It also encourages the creation of a Democracy Facility under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.

Job creation and economic growth

The Commission considers that these two objectives will be met through trade liberalisation and sub-regional integration. Increased trade between the partners will be facilitated in particular by:

  • enhanced liberalisation of trade in services and establishment, and of trade in agricultural and fishery products;
  • increased convergence of technical legislation and regulations, upgrading of infrastructure to European standards;
  • the development of South-South trade relations by the signing of Free Trade Agreements between the MNCs. This type of agreement must also enable the preferential rules of the Pan-Euro-Med cumulation of origin to be implemented;
  • the establishment of appropriate budgetary and monetary policies, and the continuation of structural reforms aimed at lifting obstacles to growth, investment and job creation;
  • the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Bank, taking into account the success of the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) implemented by the European Investment Bank (EIB);
  • the development of a regional transport network and the reform of the sector, and the adoption of recommendations for the creation of Euro-Mediterranean interconnections;
  • the gradual establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean energy market and the development of energy infrastructures in the partner third countries;
  • the adoption of environmental measures designed to depollute the Mediterranean Sea by 2020.

Education

The contribution of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership to improving education and vocational training involves intensifying bilateral cooperation. The Commission intends to increase by at least 50% the proportion of financial aid devoted to education from 2007. In line with the Millennium Development Goals, this cooperation focuses on eradicating illiteracy, ensuring primary education for all and eliminating gender disparity at all levels of education.

Mobility in higher education will also be encouraged by extending existing programmes and by launching a new scheme of scholarships for university students co-financed by the MNCs.

Justice, freedom and security

The Commission recommends a series of actions aimed at enhancing cooperation, in particular in the area of migration and social integration of migrants. It recalls that local authorities and civil society play a key role in these areas.

Terrorism

The aim here is to pursue more practical and sustained cooperation in the fight against terrorism through a political dialogue at regional level. Bilateral state-to-state cooperation has proved insufficient and a new stage in the deepening of relations could be the adoption of a common Code of Conduct.

Weapons of mass destruction and ESDP

Attaining the objectives of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership should lead to a Mediterranean region free of weapons of mass destruction and compliance by all the MNCs with their international obligations in this area. The Secretary General/High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) has taken the initiative of organising a workshop on this subject, aimed at developing Euro-Mediterranean cooperation within the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).

The Middle East Peace Process and the resolution of other conflicts

The appearance of conflicts is an obstacle to progress in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. This is why the EU supports cooperation and political dialogue among the parties. Even though the Barcelona Process is not a forum in which a settlement can be reached, it provides the instruments for maintaining peace.

The Commission proposes the signing of a Euro-Mediterranean charter for peace and stability and closer regional integration through the European Neighbourhood Policy. This strategy is suited to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and may be reproduced to help resolve other conflicts, in particular the Western Sahara conflict that is a significant obstacle to the development of the integration process within the Arab Maghreb Union.

Civil society

The new Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures should promote the participation of civil society in the Barcelona Process. Additional mechanisms should strengthen this participation, in particular through the organisation of a Euro-Mediterranean civil forum. The results of the forum will be made operational through the Neighbourhood Policy and its financing instrument.

The Commission supports the Arab International Women’s Forum in its efforts to set up a network of women who are leaders in their areas of business.

Background

In this Communication, the Commission draws up the preparatory framework for the meetings of the Foreign Affairs Ministers in 2005. Most notable was the Extraordinary Conference in Barcelona celebrating the tenth anniversary of a strong partnership between the EU and the MNCs, based on the basic principles of the Partnership, namely dialogue and cooperation.

The Luxembourg Conference (‘Barcelona VII’) aims to make concrete progress in the areas described above. To this end, the Commission attaches to its recommendations a timetable of measures to be taken in the short and medium term to achieve an integrated Euro-Mediterranean area by 2010.

Related Acts

BARCELONA SUMMIT CELEBRATING THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN PARTNERSHIP, 27-28 NOVEMBER 2005.

(pdf).
The Barcelona Summit saw the adoption of new objectives and a five-year work programme to improve the partnership’s impact on people’s lives and to make its results more visible.

Political and security partnership.
The EU and its partners remain committed to making the Euro-Mediterranean region an area of peace, security and prosperity. This commitment concerns both the resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and other issues such as strengthening the partnership, developing joint regional projects, sustainable development and consolidating the rule of law, democracy and human rights. Citizens and civil society should be more involved, particularly in the decision-making process. The EU will support the reforms on the basis of the shared principles and values and the priorities under the ENP action plans. For their part, the partners will primarily have to undertake to meet international election standards, further the human rights dialogues envisaged under the association agreements and implement the code of conduct on countering terrorism. Dialogue concerning the ESDP and security issues should also be stepped up so as to consolidate the partners’ cooperation on conflict and natural disaster prevention, crisis management and civil protection.
Sustainable socio-economic development and reforms. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership aims to improve employment and GDP levels and reduce poverty and wealth disparities. In order to achieve this, a business-friendly climate, particularly one which is favourable to small and medium-sized enterprises, must be created. The partners will establish a roadmap identifying the steps to be taken to create a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010. Trade in agricultural and fisheries products and trade in services should be progressively liberalised. It will also be necessary to speed up the signing of association agreements, promote regional agreements and bilateral free trade agreements and encourage the entry into force of the Agadir Agreement. Existing instruments such as the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Protocol will also have to be promoted. Cooperation also concerns industrial products, health, the environment, transport, energy and tourism. It is planned to open up Community programmes such as the Eureka programme on research and innovation to all the partners and to apply the methodology used in the EU regional policy.
Education and socio-cultural exchanges. Because of its crucial role in political, economic and social development, education should be improved and strengthened, so as to contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Objectives will be identified for moving towards quality education which is open to all and tailored to labour market needs. Achieving these objectives should involve increasing funding for education through EU aid programmes and national programmes, including the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), increasing the number of enrolments in an increased number of schools and extending programmes to fight illiteracy. Intercultural knowledge and understanding will benefit mainly from increased support for the work of the Anna Lindh Foundation, the involvement of civil society, measures to encourage mobility, etc.
Migration, social integration, justice and security. These issues will be handled using a comprehensive and integrated approach and increased cooperation. The means for achieving the objectives identified should essentially be meetings of Ministers and experts, frameworks encouraging exchanges of experience, dialogue with and assistance to countries of origin and transit and strengthened administrative and institutional capacities. Cooperation on illegal immigration should be stepped up by dealing with all the aspects involved (readmission agreements, the fight against people trafficking, capacity building). Cooperation between the legal/judicial professions on the one hand and the police and law enforcement authorities on the other should be strengthened by means of contacts, training and technical assistance on the basis of the existing instruments (Euromed Justice, Euromed Police, etc.).

(pdf).

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OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS:

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the preparation of the Tampere Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Affairs Ministers Conference (27-28 November 2006) – The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: Time to deliver

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 25 October 2006 on the preparation of the Tampere Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Affairs Ministers Conference (27-28 November 2006) – The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: Time to deliver [COM(2006) 620 final – not published in the Official Journal].
With a view to the Tampere Conference, the Commission summarises the successes of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. It proposes key areas in which action is required as part of the implementation of the five-year work programme. These key areas are political and security dialogue, implementation of the code of conduct on countering terrorism, the establishment of a Euro-Med area for free trade and investment, energy and transport, the environment, education and social development, strengthening the role of women in society, information society, cultural dialogue and migration.
The Commission also proposes reviewing the working methods, so as to improve communication on the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and the preparation of Euro-Med meetings and conferences by involving participants and giving them more responsibility.

Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements

Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements

Acts

Decision 2006/356/EC, Decision 2005/690/EC, Decision 2004/635/EC, Decision 2002/357/EC, Decision 2000/384/EC, Decision 2000/204/EC, Decision 98/238/EC, concerning the conclusion of a Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and, respectively, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the State of Israel, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Tunisia.

Summary

The Euro-Mediterranean partnership between the European Union (EU) and the countries of the Southern Mediterranean began in 1995 by the Barcelona process. The political, economic and social partnership is based on the principles of reciprocity, solidarity and co-development.

Under this framework, the Association Agreements have been adopted between the EU, the Member States and the Mediterranean country partners. These bilateral agreements replace the first generation of agreements, i.e. the cooperation agreements of the 1970s.

Adherence to democratic principles and fundamental rights are an essential element of the association agreements.

Although they are bilateral agreements and provide for specific arrangements with each partner State, the association agreements share a similar structure. They are intended to promote the following:

  • regular dialogue on political and security matters, in order to promote mutual understanding, cooperation and joint initiatives;
  • economic, trade and financial cooperation, aimed in particular at gradual trade liberalisation, sustainable development of the region and investment;
  • social and cultural cooperation and on educational matters, in particular through intercultural dialogue, migration control, developing qualifications, promoting labour law and gender equality.

In addition, the agreements encourage intra-regional cooperation between the Mediterranean countries, as a factor for peace, stability and economic and social development.

Towards a free trade area

The association agreements provide for the gradual establishment of a Mediterranean free trade area in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This free trade area shall be established after a transitional period of twelve years following the entry into force of the agreements. However, free trade between the EU and Israel already exists.

The free movement of goods between the EU and the Mediterranean countries is to result from:

  • the gradual removal of customs duties;
  • the prohibition of quantitive restrictions on exports and imports, and any similar or discriminatory measures between the parties.

The rules will have particular relevance for imports of industrial products and trade in agricultural products, processed or otherwise, and fisheries products.

Safeguard measures may, however, be applied if they are in the public interest, or to protect economic sectors that are particularly vulnerable.

Regarding the right of establishment and the supply of services, the parties reaffirm their commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). In addition, the partners must promote the full liberalisation of the capital sector as soon as the necessary conditions are in place.

Lastly, a mechanism for regulating trade disputes shall be gradually established.

Institutional provisions

Institutional structures are set up under each association agreement. An Association Council, organised at ministerial level, takes decisions and makes recommendations so that fixed objectives can be attained, while an Association Committee manages the agreement and settles differences regarding its application and interpretation.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2006/356/EC, Lebanese Republic

1.4.2006

OJ L 143 of 30.5.2006

Decision 2005/690/EC, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

1.9.2005

OJ L 265 of 10.10.2005

Decision 2004/635/EC, Arab Republic of Egypt

1.6.2004

OJ L 304 of 30.9.2004

Decision 2002/357/EC, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

1.5.2002

OJ L 129 of 15.5.2002

Decision 2000/384/EC, State of Israel

1.6.2000

OJ L 147 of 21.6.2000

Decision 2000/204/EC, Kingdom of Morocco

1.3.2000

OJ L 138 of 9.6.2000

Decision 98/238/EC, Republic of Tunisia

1.3.1998

OJ L 97 of 30.3.1998

Related Acts

  • Algeria

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, of the other part [OJ L 265 of 10.10.2005].

  • Palestinian Authority

Euro-Mediterranean Interim Association Agreement on trade and cooperation between the European Community, of the one part, and the Palestine Liberation Organization for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, of the other part, [OJ L 187 of 16.7.1997].
The Euro-Mediterranean Interim Association Agreement is intended to apply to the parties until a Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement is concluded. It is mainly concerned with non-political aspects of trade and cooperation between the parties.

  • Egypt

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Arab Republic of Egypt, of the other part [OJ L 304 of 30.9.2004].

  • Jordan

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, of the other part [OJ L 129 of 15.5.2002].

  • Israel

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the State of Israel, of the other part [OJ L 147 of 21.6.2000].

  • Lebanon

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Lebanon, of the other part [Official Journal L 143 of 30.5.2006].

  • Morocco

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part [OJ L 070, 18.3.2000].

  • Tunisia

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Tunisia, of the other part [OJ L 97 of 30.3.1998].

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Reinvigorating the Barcelona process

Reinvigorating the Barcelona process

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Reinvigorating the Barcelona process

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Reinvigorating the Barcelona process

To assess the current state of the Barcelona process and establish a new action framework in order to reinvigorate the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament of 6 September 2000 to prepare the fourth meeting of Euro-Mediterranean foreign ministers « reinvigorating the Barcelona process » [COM(2000) 497 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

This communication forms one stage in the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, in accordance with the European Union’s common strategy on the Mediterranean adopted during the European Council meeting in Santa Maria da Feira in June 2000. It forms the foundation of the position adopted by the European Union (EU) during the meeting of Euro-Mediterranean foreign ministers in November 2000 in Marseilles.

The Commission aims to reinvigorate the relations between the European Union and the Mediterranean partners in order to achieve the goals set out in the Barcelona Declaration of 1995, namely to create an area of peace and stability based on respect for fundamental rights, to create an area of shared prosperity and to help improve mutual understanding among the peoples of the region.

The Barcelona process aims to promote the relations between the EU and the countries and territories of the Mediterranean Basin. Established in 1995, it is a regional framework bringing partners together at both technical and political level to promote and develop their common interests. This multilateral process is underpinned by a network of bilateral relations between each Mediterranean partner and the EU, embodied in Association Agreements.

Since the launch of this process, a new spirit of partnership has been built and, despite the ebb and flow of the Middle East peace process, numerous ambitious projects have been carried out to encourage cooperation. In total, the EU has mobilised nearly EUR 9 billion in grant and loan funding during the 1995-1999 period.

However, the ambitious goals of the Barcelona process have come up against several problems:

  • the difficulties encountered in the Middle East peace process have slowed the progress of the work and limited the development of cooperation;
  • the process of negotiation and ratification of the Association Agreements has been slower than expected;
  • the spirit of partnership has not always led to the expected results particularly in the area of human rights;
  • some partners have been reluctant to apply the specified economic transition policy;
  • the volume of South-South trade is still very low and the levels of investment in some countries remain below the forecasts (inadequate legal and technical adaptation, lack of transparency in trade);
  • the implementation of the MEDA programme has been hampered by procedural problems.

However, the Commission considers that the basic strategy agreed at Barcelona and the main instruments available are still valid. As a result, it intends to revitalise the Barcelona process in light of the experience gained in order to give it another chance of succeeding. Several proposals were made in this respect during the Ministerial Conference in Marseilles in November 2000.

As regards the Association Agreements, the countries of the Mediterranean Basin which have not already done this must be persuaded to rapidly conclude the negotiations. It must be guaranteed that any subsequent Association Agreement will be ratified by the Member States of the European Union within two years of signature.

In trade terms, for each country that has signed the Association Agreement, the reciprocal trade liberalisation measures that may be adopted must be examined closely and the greatest possible coherence in trade relations with the other partners must be sought. The Commission also encourages all the partners to join the World Trade Organisation and to create a free trade area between them. Any country signing an Association Agreement should undertake to conclude a free trade agreement with the other signatories of an Association Agreement within five years of its conclusion. A timetable should be established with the partners for the « single market » type harmonisation measures to be adopted in certain priority sectors (rules of origin, customs issues, standards and intellectual property). This programme should be ready for implementation from 2004.

Financially, the Commission proposes to make future financial contributions conditional on the efforts made by the partners in concluding the Association Agreements and on the necessary political and economic reforms. In addition, the granting of financial aid would depend on the progress made in democracy and human rights. Further efforts should be made to reinforce the effectiveness of the regional cooperation programmes.

In terms of political cooperation, a Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Peace and Stability should institutionalise the existing political dialogue and establish the mechanisms allowing the security and stability problems in the region to be tackled.

11. Finally, a new programme aimed at raising the awareness of both the Member States and the partner countries should be launched to improve understanding of the Barcelona process, particularly by introducing a new « Euro-Mediterranean partnership » label for the projects undertaken.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

The fourth Euro-Mediterranean Conference was held in Marseilles on 15 and 16 November 2000. It brought together the foreign ministers of the fifteen Member States and of Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. Libya and Syria refused to take part. Also present were Mr Solana, High Representative for the CFSP and Secretary-General of the Council, Mr Patten, Commissioner, and, as special guests, representatives from Libya, the Arab League, Mauritania and the Arab Maghreb Union.

The Conference resulted in « formal conclusions » of the French presidency.

The ministers noted with great interest the proposals for revitalising the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership put forward by the Commission in its Communication on « Reinvigorating the Barcelona process » and the contributions made by the Mediterranean partners.

On the political and security partnership, the ministers confirmed the special importance they attached to the draft Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Peace and Stability but they decided to defer its adoption owing to the political context. However, they reaffirmed the need to reinforce the political dialogue, to deepen this in the areas of terrorism and migration and to extend this to other areas such as security, disarmament, the rule of law and human rights.

On the economic and commercial partnership, while reaffirming the objective of creating a free trade area by 2010, the participants decided to step up the dialogue on the macroeconomic environment, structural reforms and the economic liberalisation of the partners. They also underlined the importance for those countries having signed an Association Agreement with the EU of concluding free trade agreements amongst themselves within five years and of developing the initiatives contributing to attaining that objective, including the introduction of diagonal cumulation between countries with identical rules of origin and committed to concluding a free trade agreement between themselves. The emphasis was placed on the value of establishing an indicative timetable for the adoption of harmonisation measures in certain priority sectors, enabling partner countries to benefit fully from the Euro-Mediterranean market.

As regards the social, cultural and human partnership, the ministers recommended taking greater account of the social effects of the economic transition in national programmes by placing the emphasis on training, employment, professional requalification and the reform of education systems. They advocated building up existing programmes in the cultural area, such as Euromed Heritage and Euromed-Audiovisual, and also launching Euromed-Human Sciences. In addition, they recommended intensifying dialogue on migration and human exchanges. The preparation of a regional programme in the field of justice and home affairs was also recommended. Finally, the ministers encouraged players from civil society to take a full part in the regional programmes.

On financial cooperation, the participants advocated efficient financial cooperation targeted towards the major challenges of the partnership through the MEDA programme. This instrument must be closely linked to the implementation of reforms initiated under the Association Agreements and must take account of the special characteristics of each partner.

In addition, the ministers recommended strengthening the subregional dimension of the partnership by encouraging the introduction of development and economic integration initiatives between the countries and territories of the south side of the Mediterranean.

Finally, the ministers decided to establish a communication and information programme and a Euro-Mediterranean label intended to increase public awareness in the partnership region.

The Valencia Ministerial Conference and its Action Plan

The Valencia Ministerial Conference and its Action Plan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Valencia Ministerial Conference and its Action Plan

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

The Valencia Ministerial Conference and its Action Plan

To extend and strengthen the decisions of the Marseilles Ministerial Conference and to present initiatives in order to pursue and develop the Euro-Mediterranean partnership in all its aspects.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament of 13 February 2002 to prepare the meeting of Euro-Mediterranean foreign ministers in Valencia on 22 and 23 April 2002 [SEC(2002) 159 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

In this communication, the Commission starts by summarising the progress made in the context of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. This progress consists in particular of developing the grid of Association Agreements with the Mediterranean partners, making progress towards the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area, refocusing the MEDA programme on strategic objectives, furthering MEDA regional cooperation and maintaining the political dialogue.

The communication contains a series of recommendations covering the areas of political and security cooperation, freedom, justice and governance, social, cultural and human dimensions, civil society, economic and financial partnership and a reform of the institutional device for managing the partnership.

In terms of the political and security partnership, the Commission proposes to reinforce the political dialogue by holding meetings at political director level. It is also favourable to intensifying the fight against terrorism, through the available international instruments, and to defining a joint approach and a Euro-Mediterranean information and cooperation network. Human rights and democracy within the Mediterranean partner countries should also be promoted, particularly by raising these questions during all contacts between these countries and the European Union and by linking MEDA programme allocations more closely to progress in these fields.

In the area of justice and home affairs, the Commission proposes that the partners should agree a general framework leading to a Euro-Mediterranean regional programme on freedom, justice and governance which would cover, in particular, dialogue on legal matters and the fight against organised crime, illegal migration, trafficking in human beings, the management of legal migration and the treatment of migrant communities.

In the area of the social, cultural and human partnership, and in order to reinforce the dialogue between cultures and civilisations, the Commission particularly proposes creating a Euro-Mediterranean Foundation financed by the Member States, the Commission and the Mediterranean partners. In the field of education, the Commission suggests extending the Tempus programme and NETDAYS and eSchola initiatives to the Mediterranean partner countries. The Commission also proposes new initiatives aimed at developing vocational training and enhancing women’s opportunities in economic life (access and participation in the labour market and promotion of their role in business).

As regards the economic and financial partnership, the Commission recommends the continued integration of South-South trade by encouraging free trade between the Mediterranean partners (particularly in the context of the Agadir process encompassing Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan) and extending the pan-European system of rules of origin (encompassing the countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association and the applicant countries) to the Mediterranean partners. In addition, the Commission recommends defining the priorities for negotiations with the Mediterranean partners to liberalise trade in services.

In addition, the Commission proposes improving reciprocal access to the agricultural markets, developing and interconnecting the transport and energy infrastructures, harmonising policies and regulations with a view to a Euro-Mediterranean internal market and ensuring sustainable development with a high level of environmental protection.

With regard to financial instruments, and in addition to the MEDA programme, the Commission envisages creating a new financial facility or a Euro-Mediterranean bank intended to promote the development of the private sector in the Mediterranean partner countries.

The Commission also suggests promoting the place of civil society within the partnership.

As regards the institutional aspects of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, the Commission recommends a rapid ratification by the Member States of the Association Agreements with the aim of completing ratification within two years. It also proposes enhancing the role of the Euro-Mediterranean Committee on acquis-related business and reinforcing the dialogue on economic policy at both bilateral and regional levels.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

The Fifth Euro-Mediterranean Conference was held on 22 and 23 April 2003 in Valencia. It brought together the foreign ministers of the fifteen Member States of the European Union and of Algeria, the Palestinian Authority, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. Libya and Syria refused to take part. Also present were Mr Solana, High Representative for the CFSP and Secretary-General of the Council, Commissioner Patten, and also, as special guests, representatives from Libya, the Arab League, Mauritania and the Arab Maghreb Union.

The ministers unanimously adopted an Action Plan now referred to as the Valencia Action Plan covering the three political, economic and socio-cultural chapters of the Barcelona process. This plan includes a number of initiatives largely based on the Commission Communication of 13 February 2002.

With regard to the political and security chapter, the action plan aims to reinforce political dialogue and make this more effective by including, for the first time, security and defence issues. In addition, it confirms the mandate of the senior officials on the draft Charter for Peace and Stability allowing them to continue studying this project as soon as the political conditions will allow this. The action plan also recognises the importance of a multilateral approach in the fight against terrorism and proposes a gradual reinforcement of the political aspect by introducing a common strategic language and by developing preventive diplomacy mechanisms.

As regards the economic and financial chapter, the action plan, while recalling the objective of creating a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010, supports the Agadir process creating a free area between Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan. It also welcomes the implementation of the conclusions of the trade ministers’ meeting in Toledo by supporting the creation of a Working Group on Trade Measures relevant for Regional Integration and the participation of the Mediterranean partners in the pan-European system of rules of origin. The action plan also emphasizes the development of free trade in services, the trans-Euro-Mediterranean interconnections and infrastructures (with regard to transport, energy and telecommunications networks) and the prospects of a Euro-Mediterranean internal market underpinned by a harmonisation of policies and regulations. It also stresses the need for a sustainable strategic development framework for the partnership.

As regards financial cooperation, the action plan highlights the improved management of the MEDA programme and welcomes the introduction of a reinforced investment facility within the European Investment Bank (EIB) to promote infrastructure and private sector investment. The plan also notes the fact that, one year after the launch of this facility, the possibility of creating a Euro-Mediterranean bank (majority-owned subsidiary of the EIB), as desired by the Mediterranean partners, will be considered in light of the assessment of this experience.

On the social, cultural and human chapter, the action plan approves the regional work programme on justice and home affairs and the launch of a ministerial conference on migration and social integration of emigrants. It also underlines the particular importance of promoting dialogue between cultures, particularly through the decision in principle to create a Euro-Mediterranean Foundation to promote a dialogue of cultures and the adoption of an action programme in this respect. The action plan also aims to promote employment and training, the role of women in economic life and the more effective participation of civil society in the partnership. The Tempus higher education programme has therefore been extended to the southern Mediterranean partners.

Finally, on the institutional aspect of the partnership, the action plan recommends strengthening the parliamentary dimension of the partnership by creating a Euro-Mediterranean parliamentary assembly. It also recommends examining the possibilities of restructuring the Euromed Committee in order to ensure a greater involvement of partners in the elaboration, monitoring and evaluation of agreed programmes, actions and projects.

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) – Regional Strategy Paper (2007-2013) and Regional Indicative Programme (2007-2013) for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership .

Summary

The Regional Strategy Paper (RSP) defines the objectives and priorities of the regional cooperation on the basis of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) for the period 2007-2013. In this context, it aims to achieve the objectives of the European neighbourhood policy (ENP), which seeks to add a further dimension to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Barcelona Processus) to strengthen its impact beyond bilateral relations.

The political, economic, social and environment situation of the Mediterranean region poses a certain number of challenges for the region. Regional cooperation offers a response to the challenges of common, and in particular cross-border, interest for the countries of the region. The RSP in this way complements the country strategy papers (CSP) drawn up for Algeria, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia.

EU response strategy

The European Union (EU) seeks to maintain and step up the reform process in the Mediterranean partner countries. It also seeks to promote dialogue, strengthening the domestic political institutions by means of the collaboration offered by various instruments.

In this capacity, the RIP identifies the priority areas which represent value-added through the comparative advantage they may bring to strengthen the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

The justice, security and migration cooperation is of regional interest, with activities comprising:

  • confidence-building measures for a first component aimed at promoting cooperation in the field of civil protection and a second component on partnership for peace. In more concrete terms, the RIP proposes, for example, support for crisis management and the implementation of a Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism;
  • a “justice, police and migration” component to consolidate the results obtained during previous programmes and to enhance cooperation on managing migration flows between countries of origin, transit and destination. More specifically, this component encourages contacts, training and assistance among law enforcement officers;
  • a “policy analysis” component, with the objective of developing the Euro-Mediterranean network of foreign policy institutes and the Economic Research Institute.

Sustainable economic development is a priority for the achievement of the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area by 2010. This priority consists of:

  • promotion of reforms and investments to attract investors;
  • cooperation in respect of infrastructure networks in the transport and energy sectors;
  • the completion of an area of free trade and South-South regional economic integration by ensuring the environmental sustainability of the region;
  • an environmental programme covering marine pollution, among other issues.

Social development and cultural exchanges focus on people-to-people exchanges and raising awareness of the Partnership through the media. Their main components are:

  • gender equality and civil society, with a view to encouraging active citizenship, strengthening equality between men and women and encouraging recognition of the role of women;
  • information and communication to promote the Partnership and the ENP and improve cooperation between the EU and the various media in the region;
  • Euromed Youth to encourage dialogue between young people on opposite sides of the Mediterranean, the integration of young people and active citizenship;
  • dialogue between cultures and cultural heritage.

The Partnership with the neighbouring countries in this way allows progress towards a significant degree of integration with the EU, enhanced trading relations and intensified cooperation in matters of security. Nevertheless, the acceptance and will of the partner countries are essential to ensure the effectiveness of the Partnership.

Terms and conditions

The indicative budget for the period 2007-2010 amounts to EUR 343.3 million.

The RIP for the period 2007-2013 presents the programmes for each priority. To this end, it defines performance indicators to measure the impact and the expected outcomes, such as:

  • rebuilding of confidence within each society and between societies by strengthening civil society and transnational links;
  • consolidation of the Euromed networks and police and judicial cooperation;
  • support for the social integration of migrant workers and their families;
  • increase in the number of investment projects and new job creation thanks to a regional investment promotion programme;
  • more integrated energy markets, secure energy supplies and developed interconnections and renewable energy sources;
  • greater public awareness of the need for environmental protection.

Background

In accordance with its foreign policy objectives, the EU promotes prosperity, solidarity, security and sustainable development in the world, as well as democracy and human rights. The ENP, initiated in 2003, pursues these objectives by promoting good neighbourhood relations. To achieve this, the ENPI, the financial instrument of the ENP for 2007-2013, supports the partner countries of the ENP by integrating the regional and cross-border dimension. It also pursues the objectives identified by the MEDA programme 2002-2006, drawing on the experience gained from it.

Related Act

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 4 December 2006 on strengthening the European neighbourhood policy [COM(2006) 726 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Human rights and relations in the Mediterranean

Human rights and relations in the Mediterranean

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Human rights and relations in the Mediterranean

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Human rights and relations in the Mediterranean

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 21 May 2003 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament “Reinvigorating EU actions on Human Rights and democratisation with Mediterranean partners. Strategic guidelines” [COM(2003) 294 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In this communication the European Commission makes ten recommendations for enhancing political dialogue and financial cooperation on human rights between the EU and its partners of the Mediterranean region (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and the Palestinian Authority). These recommendations will be implemented at three interrelated levels:

  • through political dialogue and financial aid;
  • through the regional aid given to the MEDA programme and the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR); and
  • at regional level.

The ten recommendations

The EU should ensure that the issues of human rights and democracy are systematically included in all institutionalised bilateral dialogues with Mediterranean partners. It should explore with its partners the possibility of setting up technical sub-groups (below the political level) to address these issues. More cooperation would also be desirable on matters such as legal reforms, the regulatory frameworks for civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), freedom of speech and association and women’s rights.

To promote a regular, in-depth dialogue on human rights and democratisation in the region the Union should ensure that more people know about the key human rights issues and available documentation in each of the Mediterranean countries. Standard methods of analysis and regularly updated data should be used to produce fact sheets on the situation in each of the partner countries.

The Commission should seek to ensure greater cooperation between its Delegations in Mediterranean countries and the Member States’ embassies in the same countries. The human rights related issues of the MEDA and EIDHR programmes should be handled by experts. A further aim of such cooperation should be the implementation of UN human rights resolutions.

Workshops on human rights issues should be organised in cooperation with civil society and the national authorities of the Mediterranean countries. Such workshops would provide the EU with local knowledge, which it could use in identifying projects for implementation under EIDHR, and with a platform for promoting its policies on human rights, democratisation and the rule of law. The workshops would also help those engaged in Mediterranean civil society affairs to coordinate and plan their activities more effectively.

National action plans on human rights (drawn up for the MEDA programme) should take account of the situation in the country concerned, in particular its human rights legislation. The plans should set out the objectives and the financial and technical assistance needed. They should encourage the Mediterranean partner countries to accede to international human rights conventions and promote cooperation between the state and civil society.

Regional human rights action plans should be established whenever two or more partner countries wish to cooperate more closely on this issue. Their plans could, for instance, focus on women’s rights or co-operation in the field of justice. They could also strengthen contacts with regional bodies such as the Arab League.

Starting in 2005, the human rights and democracy dimensions should be given more prominence in national indicative programmes and country strategy papers drawn up for the MEDA programme. Extra funds will be provided for this objective.

Also starting in 2005, human rights, democracy and the involvement of civil society should play a bigger part in the regional indicative programme and regional strategy applied under MEDA.

The EIDHR’s role in the Mediterranean should be modified to include helping to build up the capacity of civil society in the region to engage in matters such as freedom of association and speech, defence/advocacy of the rights of specific groups, good governance and fighting corruption. The MEDA and EIDHR programmes should complement each other more than they do at present.

Synergies between existing instruments created to observe and assist in elections (political dialogue, MEDA, EIDHR) should also be fully exploited to improve the framework within which elections are held in the region’s different countries.

The human rights situation in the Mediterranean

This Communication summarises the UNDP Arab Human Development Report for 2002. The report’s main conclusions are:

  • deficits in governance (in connection with freedoms, marginalisation of women, preventing their access to knowledge) hamper the full development of democracy and respect of human rights;
  • discrimination against women hampers economic and social development;
  • the judicial system is not independent enough;
  • NGOs active in the civil and political spheres are weak and are prevented from networking internationally;
  • access to education is uneven and ill-adapted to the requirements of the modern economy;
  • authoritarianism and poor economic and social performance favour extremist political movements.

Although most of the countries in the region have signed up to the most important international instruments on human rights, this is not reflected in the situation on the ground since the countries do not comply with these international standards.

Context: European Union measures in the Mediterranean region

The Commission communication entitled “On the EU’s Role in Promoting Human Rights and Democratisation in Third Countries” establishes a human rights strategy for application in the Union’s external affairs. The aim of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership agreements concluded between the European Union and each of the region’s countries is to establish an area of peace and stability founded on the principles of human rights and democracy. Similarly, the Action Plan agreed at the Valencia conference reaffirmed the commitment of all the parties to human rights, democracy and the rule of law in this region, whilst the association agreements concluded or under negotiation with the Mediterranean countries include the condition of engaging in a political dialogue covering, inter alia, issues of human rights and democracy. The Union’s operational cooperation instruments for human rights in the Mediterranean are the MEDA programme, which has been up and running since 1996, and the EIDHR which was set up in 1994.

Related Acts

Final Report (approved by the European Council in June 2004) on an EU Strategic Partnership with the Mediterranean and the Middle East (PDF ).

Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007

Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Eastern europe and central asia

Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Parliament and the Council of 3.4.2008 – Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007 [COM(2008) 0164 Final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication gives a strategic review of the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in 2007. It assesses relations between the EU and its partners covered by the ENP, as well as the political and economic reforms carried out by these countries.

Deepening relations

Partnership and Cooperation Agreements

 (DE ES EN FR) have been concluded with neighbouring countries in the East, with the exception of Belarus, which will have the opportunity to become a full partner in the EU under the framework of the ENP provided that it engages in extensive democratic and economic reforms which would bring it in line with common European values.

Relations with Ukraine have intensified beyond the 1998 PCA and the EU-Ukraine Action Plan. The negotiation of a new Association Agreement began in 2007. It will establish a more ambitious framework, facilitate the deepening of EU-Ukraine relations in all areas, strengthen political association and economic integration between Ukraine and the European Union, as well as create a deep free trade area with the European Union.

Association Agreements have been concluded with neighbouring countries in the South under the framework of the Barcelona Process. With the exception of Syria, with whom relations are now governed by a cooperation agreement, and Libya, for whom the Council has adopted negotiating directives proposed by the Commission with a view to a future framework agreement.

Eight countries have concluded ENP Action Plans including Lebanon and Egypt in 2007. They provide a structure for implementing national reforms and strengthening bilateral cooperation with the EU. Community financial assistance is based on priorities detailed in the Action Plans. These targeted and differentiated instruments are adapted to the capacity and needs of each country. Thus cooperation relations with Israel, Morocco, Moldova and Ukraine were particularly intensified in 2007.

Progress of the reform programmes

Cooperation in terms of dialogue and political reform has been carried out in the East through progressive approximation to fundamental Community standards and in the South through integrating the values of the Barcelona Process. In particular, the measures undertaken related to democratic governance, the independence of the judiciary, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the management of migratory flows.

An open political dialogue between the EU and all partner countries should also enable progress to be made in resolving regional conflicts.

Regarding macroeconomic developments, most ENP partner countries registered high economic growth in 2007. At the same time, they have been contending with high rates of unemployment, particularly among the young in the Mediterranean ENP countries. The major challenges remain: reducing inflation and trade deficits, improving economic governance, reducing unemployment and improving working conditions. In August 2008, the Commission published an Economic Review of EU Neighbour Countries in 2007 (EN ).

Through sectoral reforms partners have made progress towards modernising their societies and towards integrating into the European market. The capacity of States to implement reforms in the long term is assessed annually in a sectoral progress report (EN ). Dialogue maintained with the EU regarding sectoral reforms aims to improve institutional functions and develop a citizen-oriented administration.

National progress reports are produced each year. They enable progress to be assessed and the identification of areas where cooperation needs to be increased. As such, future reforms must improve trade and economic integration, mobility and address regional conflicts.

Regional cooperation processes

Strengthening the regional dimension of the ENP is carried out as part of existing processes.

Through the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, “Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean” launched on 13 July 2008 in Paris, a regional dialogue has been undertaken regarding:

  • political cooperation, security and defence;
  • democracy and the role of civil society;
  • economics and financial cooperation, particularly regarding the creation of a free trade area;
  • the environment, energy, services and the right of establishment;
  • social, human and cultural cooperation, particularly regarding education, the information society and similar issues.

The EU-Africa strategic partnership and its first Action Plan are an essential contribution to the sectoral dialogue and deepening of relations with African partners.

The Black Sea Synergy complements multilaterally the existing relations with the Russian Federation, Turkey and the Eastern ENP partners (except Belarus). A report on the first year of the implementation of the Black Sea Synergy was adopted in June 2008.

Next phase

The second generation ENP Action Plans, which will be better adapted to the objectives and capacities of each of the partners, should lead progressively towards regulatory convergence with European standards.

Increased visibility of the reforms and raising citizens’ awareness of the measures taken will also contribute to the success of the cooperation.

Context

Since its implementation began, the ENP has contributed to the prosperity, stability and security of the EU’s borders. The success of this policy demonstrates the benefits of adapting cooperation to the different needs of partner countries.

Environment strategy for the Mediterranean

Environment strategy for the Mediterranean

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Environment strategy for the Mediterranean

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Environment strategy for the Mediterranean

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 5 September 2006 entitled: “Establishing an environment strategy for the Mediterranean” [COM(2006) 475 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Summary

The Mediterranean is the largest European sea and is bordered onto by seven Member States of the European Union (EU), two accession countries and more than a dozen third countries.

This grouping around the Mediterranean creates clear interdependence between the countries bordering it. Pollution has a direct impact on neighbouring countries, and natural resources (water, air, soils and biodiversity) are connected in complex ecosystems whose use and conservation are matters affecting every one of the Mediterranean countries.

The Mediterranean environment is fragile and continues to deteriorate in spite of all the efforts made. For several of the countries bordering the Mediterranean, this deterioration costs billions of euros a year. The initiatives and strategies which have been developed over the last thirty years are not being properly implemented, or are not being implemented at all. This situation is due not only to the limited funding available but also the low political priority given to the environment, the lack of inclusive environmental governance, and the limited public awareness of the issues at stake.

Environmental action in the Mediterranean therefore needs to be strengthened by means of a coordinated strategy between the EU and the various countries concerned. This strategy focuses mainly on the Mediterranean countries which are covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria and Tunisia). For their part, EU Member States and the accession countries must apply EU environment legislation.

Objectives of a regional strategy

The regional cooperation strategy for the environment proposed by the Commission is aimed in particular at:

  • helping partner countries to create appropriate institutions, develop an effective policy and establish a legal framework that enables environmental concerns to be integrated into other sectors of activity;
  • reducing levels of pollution and the impact of uncontrolled activity;
  • preparing local administrations to react to emergencies as well as to one-off and long-term issues;
  • making more sustainable use of land and sea areas;
  • increasing information, awareness and the participation of the public;
  • encouraging regional cooperation amongst partner countries.

Means of action

To achieve these objectives, the countries concerned will be able to secure financial aid from, inter alia, the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and the thematic programme Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources including Water, loans from the International Financial Institutions (IFI), contributions from donors, and national resources. The limited scope of the financial resources available means that these funds will be targeted at sites which give most cause for concern and the use of these resources will be coordinated.

Furthermore, political dialogue will be strengthened within the framework of the official structures of meetings for cooperation between the EU and third countries (Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, European Neighbourhood Policy) or at international level (New Partnership for African Development, African Union). The Commission also plans to support the creation of networks of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and contacts between NGOs, and will make sure that all appropriate partners are associated with the development and implementation of the environment policy.

The Commission will also pursue its cooperation with various partners, such as the organisations linked to the 1976 Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean environment, with in particular the implementation of the joint Mediterranean Action Plan/European Commission Work Programme signed in 2005. The memoranda of understanding with certain international financial institutions (World Bank, European Investment Bank) will be fully exploited and contacts will be strengthened with other funding providers (Global Environment Facility and Strategic Investment Fund). These links will moreover be boosted by setting up a “Horizon 2020” steering group.

The EU has wide experience in combating pollution and addressing sustainable development, in particular from the LIFE and SMAP programmes and the research framework programmes. This experience will be shared with partner countries, in particular through instruments such as the Tourism Sustainability Group set up by the Commission and TAIEX (Technical Assistance Information Exchange Office), which is now open to countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Horizon 2020 and beyond

In November 2005, at the summit held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, the leaders present agreed to increase efforts to reduce pollution of the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, the Commission launched “Horizon 2020” which is intended to reduce pollution substantially by 2020. This initiative will be based on existing environmental instruments and will help to fulfil the commitments entered into under the Barcelona Convention. It is accompanied by a proposed timetable for the measures planned.

Horizon 2020 consists of four parts:

  • projects to reduce pollution which chiefly cover the sectors regarded as priorities, namely municipal waste, urban waste water and industrial emissions;
  • capacity-building measures, in particular the development of legislation and institutions, and support for local authorities and civil society;
  • research, in particular in the fields of health, food, agriculture, energy, climate change, soil and transport. Major importance will be attached to disseminating the relevant knowledge acquired by means of the LIFE programmes, the research framework programmes, the actions of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and other international activities;
  • monitoring and management of the initiative, in particular by developing a scoreboard to measures the progress made and setting up a consultative steering committee responsible for ensuring the implementation of the initiative.

Complementary activities will also need to be developed to meet the objectives not covered by Horizon 2020, including, among other things, full implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy action plans, further integration of environmental concerns into the relevant economic sectors, combating global threats such as climate change and biodiversity loss, addressing regional risks (coastal zone management, drought, flooding, etc.), the use of impact and environmental assessments, and the production of indicators.

Related Acts

Commission Green Paper of 7 June 2006: “Towards a future marine policy for the Union: a European vision for the oceans and seas” [COM(2006) 275 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 24 October 2005 “Thematic strategy on the protection and conservation of the marine environment” [COM(2005) 504 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Council Decision 77/585/EEC

 of 25 July 1977 concluding the Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution and the Protocol for the prevention of the pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by dumping from ships and aircraft [Official Journal L 240 of 19.9.1977].