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The Euro-Mediterranean partnership, 10 years later

The Euro-Mediterranean partnership, 10 years later:

"Peace and prosperity take at least as much time to find as they do to live."  

By Neila Akrimi


Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy said: 

‘Ahead of the 10th anniversary I want to take an honest look at the achievements and the shortcomings of the Barcelona Process, with a view to presenting some concrete new ideas next spring. The Barcelona Process is central to our relationship with our neighbours to the South and the Neighbourhood Policy gives us an opportunity to progress towards even closer relationships with them. Offering these partners a closer political and economic relationship with the EU under the Neighbourhood policy will be one of my top priorities in my new role as European Commissioner.’


          The Euro Mediterranean Partnership commonly referred to as the ‘Barcelona Process’, was founded at the Conference of European Union and Mediterranean Foreign Ministers in Barcelona in November 1995. It provides the framework for intensifying political, economic, and social co-operation between the Member States of the European Union and Partners of the Southern Mediterranean.

In November 2005, this project will be celebrating 10 years of existence and as all anniversaries, it is time for self-evaluation, time to look back and see whether the results achieved came along with the objectives already announced. Some of us may glorify those results while others would pull them down. 

Whether you are optimistic or pessimistic, no body should ignore the huge effort provided and the serious and constant work done with commitment and conviction from both shores of the Mediterranean willing and hoping to achieve the gaols already set up a decade ago. 

No matter how harsh the criticism can be to the Barcelona process on the name of evaluation, we should nevertheless celebrate this 10 years anniversary for the one reason that this process does still exist and is still going on enhancing the hopes of a lot of people in building a Mediterranean area of prosperity, stability and intercultural dialogue.