Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland Press Release 21 November, 2005
The 10th Anniversary Summit of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, i.e. so-called Barcelona Process, will be held in Barcelona, Spain on 27-28 November. Finland will participate in the Summit with a delegation chaired by President of the Republic Tarja Halonen.
In addition to the EU states, the members of the Partnership Process include ten Partners from the Mediterranean area, i.e. Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia and the Palestinian Authority. The cooperation started in the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Barcelona in 1995. The scope of cooperation covers, among other things, political dialogue, promotion of trade and economic relations, as well as cultural and social relations.
At practical level, the bilateral relations between the EU and the Partner countries are handled within the framework of Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements, negotiated individually with each Partner. Such agreements have already been ratified with all other Partner countries except Syria.
The inter-governmental cooperation is complemented by the Parliamentary General Assembly, established within the Barcelona Process, as well as an extensive civil society network. In addition, the cooperation has resulted in the establishment of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures, operating in Alexandria, Egypt. Cooperation projects between the EU and the Partner countries are financed from the Union’s funding for external relations, from so-called MEDA programme, and also, for example, by the FEMIP facility, established under the European Investment Bank, EIB.
The intention with the forthcoming 10th Anniversary Summit is to review the progress made over the ten years of operation, and to agree upon the guidelines for the next five-year period. The Summit also intends to approve a final document as well as a Code of Conduct for the fight against terrorism.
Speaker of Parliament Paavo Lipponen will participate in the Conference of the Euro-Mediterranean Speakers of Parliament that precedes the actual Summit, and Elisabeth Rehn will participate in the EUROMED Women Conference.
Additional information: Ambassador Risto Veltheim, tel. +358 9 1605 6031, +358 40 748 2697, or Director Eija Rotinen, Unit for the Middle East and North Africa, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 9 1605 6538