Barcelona, 24 June 2015. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, hosted in the Lebanese capital the Beirut Ministerial Conference on the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) review that gathered today the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Arab Mediterranean countries; Foreign Ministers of Luxembourg and Latvia; the EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn; and the Union for the Mediterranean Secretary General, Fathallah Sijilmassi; the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Dr. Nabil Elaraby; and the Vice President of the European parliament to share views and insights on the priorities in relation to the ongoing ENP review process.
The participants in this meeting reiterated “the importance of the UFM and expressed support for its Secretariat and underscored the need for enhanced financing for the projects labelled within the UFM context”. During the conference the UfM Secretary General highlighted “the need to further strengthen the regional dimension as well as the principle of co-ownership and to draw further on the synergies and complementarities in the region”.
This meeting is a follow-up to the informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the EU and the Southern Mediterranean countries, organised by Spain, Latvia and the EU to discuss the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy held on April 13th in Barcelona, at the premises of the UfM, with the participation of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini; Commissioner European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn; and Arab Mediterranean and European Minister for Foreign Affairs.
More than 10 years after the launching of the ENP, the European Union is reviewing the Neighborhood Policy in the Eastern and Southern countries. The review process started early this year and will be finalised before the end of 2015.
On the margin of the Beirut Conference, the Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon, Nabih Berri, and the Prime Minister, Tammam Salam each received the heads of delegations participating in the Beirut Conference.
During his visit to Beirut on the occasion of the ENP Conference, Fathallah Sijilmassi held bilateral talks with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, to examine ways to enhance the cooperation between the UfM Secretariat and Lebanon and to discuss about the implementation of the UfM labelled and in pipeline projects, as agreed during the bilateral meetings held between the Lebanese Minister for Foreign Affairs and the UfM Secretary General in October 2014 in Beirut and in April 2015 in Barcelona.