The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

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Press Release
The 7th Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference drafts comprehensive assessment of the Barcelona Process almost 10 years after its launch

Date of release : 31-05-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : VIIth Ministerial Euro-Mediterranean Conference

Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister and current President of the Council of the European Union summed up the conclusions of the Ministers’ deliberations at a press conference following the 7th Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference, held in Luxembourg on 30-31 May:

"The 7th Ministerial Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Luxembourg proved a good opportunity to draft a comprehensive assessment of the Barcelona Process almost 10 years after its launch.

Indeed, we find ourselves at a crucial stage in the Process with our partners on the southern shore of the Mediterranean when we must prepare for the future whilst trying to give renewed impetus to our relations.

Today’s round of talks naturally focused on the 10 years since Barcelona, but the main subject of discussion was the progress made in the three areas covered under our partnership: political, economic and social cooperation.

I am proud to announce that we have arrived today, after extensive negotiations, at a consensus on  the conclusions of our Conference, which is a rare occurrence at such a large-scale meeting. Therefore, these are not merely the conclusions of the Presidency, but consensual views. Furthermore, it is the first time since the Barcelona Declaration in 1995 that this has occurred. This will prove an essential asset for the future of our partnership and a foundation on which the Extraordinary High Level Meeting to be held in Barcelona in November may build.

Together with our Mediterranean partners, we have succeeded in consolidating our relations to the point that the first plenary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) was able to be held in March of this year. This parliamentary assembly provides the democratic legitimacy that our societies both demand and deserve and reinforces the transparency of the Process.

Moreover, the Euromed logo, which we agreed upon last February, will now provide a visible sign of our partnership.

Another great step forward was made in April with the inauguration of the Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures. This marks a decisive stage in the implementation of the social, cultural and humanitarian partnership of the Barcelona Process. The Anna Lindh Foundation will play the role of a ‘network of networks’ in the 35 member countries of the Barcelona Process by strengthening cultural exchanges.

The Euromed Civil Forum, held in Luxembourg last April, represented an important step in strengthening Euro-Mediterranean civil society and also in the latter’s active contribution to the partnership.

Today we have also witnessed that nobody now wishes to pull out of the Barcelona Process, on the contrary, others wish to join. Indeed, Mauritania has officially announced its intention to become a fully-fledged member. This request will of course be examined by the relevant authorities."

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Last update of this page on : 31-05-2005