Barcelona, April 13th 2015 – The EU, Spain and Latvia have organised this informal meeting with their Southern partners and the EU Member States in order to collect their opinions on the revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, together with the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, and the EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, have inaugurated today’s meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers, which has been held at the Palace of Pedralbes, headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean.
In the framework of this forum, the Ministers from the 36 countries (the 28 EU Member States plus Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon) and the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, who has also participated in the event, have shared their opinions on the priorities and the most relevant concerns vis-à-vis the ENP revision process, while aiming at establishing new bases for it during this year’s second semester.
The attendees to the Ministerial meeting have reiterated the importance of promoting regional integration and cooperation, and have highlighted that the role of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is essential in order to achieve effective responses to future challenges in the region. “The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership relies 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 priorities emerging in Southern Mediterranean countries. In that sense, the security and development dimensions are at the base of this new impulse”, said the Secretary General of the UfM, Fathallah Sijilmassi.
Furthermore, the Union for the Mediterranean, in order to promote an inclusive perspective that seeks to integrate all regional actors, co-organises with the European Commission a high level meeting on the subject of “The role of the private sector in the strengthening the Euro-Mediterranean association”. Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Secretary General Sijilmassi will complete their agenda for the day with the inauguration of this event at 18:00 in CaixaForum Barcelona. Among the attendees to this important discussion forum – which will continue until early in the afternoon tomorrow – are more than 100 representatives of international financial institutions and the main 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, will be the meeting’s guest of honour.