Barcelona, April 13th 2015 – The EU, Spain and Latvia have organised this informal meeting bringing together the EU Member States and their Southern partners in order to make consultations on the ongoing revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, inaugurated this meeting held at the Palace of Pedralbes, headquarters of the UfM. The inauguration of this high-level meeting took place in the presence of the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo; the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini; the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs; and the EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.
Within the framework of this forum, the Ministers from the 36 countries (the 28 EU Member States, in addition to Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon) and the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, have shared their views and insights on the priorities in relation to the ongoing ENP review process which lasts till year-end 2015.
The participants to this meeting reiterated the importance of promoting regional integration and cooperation, and highlighted the essential role of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in order to achieve effective responses to future challenges in the region. “The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership should rely more than ever on the continued political impulse initiated within the Union for the Mediterranean, in consistency with the new orientations of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the emerging priorities in Southern Mediterranean countries. In this respect, a balance between security and development dimensions is crucial”, said the Secretary General of the UfM, Fathallah Sijilmassi.
Consultation with the private sector
In parallel, the Union for the Mediterranean, in order to promote an inclusive perspective that seeks to integrate all regional actors, is co-organising along with the European Commission, a high level meeting today and tomorrow on “The role of the private sector in the strengthening the Euro-Mediterranean partnership” with the participation of Commissioner Johannes Hahn and the Secretary General Sijilmassi. Among the participants in this important forum of discussion are more than 100 representatives of international financial institutions and major companies of the 43 UfM member countries.
The former Prime Minister of Tunisia, Mehdi Jomaa, whose role in the Tunisian transition was essential to its success, is the meeting’s guest of honour, where he will share his assesment of the future of the Euro-Mediterranean relations as well as the private sector role.