Riga, 5-6 March 2015. A UfM Delegation participated over two days in the Interparliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CFSP/CSDP).
In the final conclusions, the Inter-parliamentary Conference “commends the Union for the Mediterranean as the most efficient and multifaceted cooperation forum of the region, aimed at promoting regional cohesion and integration between the EU and Southern Mediterranean countries”
Following a bilateral meeting held with the Under-Secretary of State – Political Director Mr. Eduards Stiprais, Secretary General Sijilmassi, accompanied by diplomatic advisor Arnau Formiguera, participated as keynote speaker in a session of the Conference dedicated to the ‘State of Play of the European Neighbourhood Policy’, together with H.E. Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, and H.E. Mr. Carl Bildt, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.
During his speech, Secretary General Sijilmassi stressed that: “There is no doubt that security related issues rank very high in the priorities in our region: terrorism, radicalism, illegal migration, crisis in Libya and Syria and all the related impacts and consequences need to be addressed urgently, collectively and efficiently. But it is important that all these issues be dealt with a comprehensive, global and balanced approach between security and development in order to tackle them consistently and permanently.”
The second day of the Conference saw the participation of H.E. Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and UfM Co-President, who addressed the ‘Priorities and Tasks of the Common Foreign and Security Policy.’
The ongoing review process of the European Neighbourhood Policy, along with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Barcelona Process this year, provides an opportunity to further enhance the role of the Union for the Mediterranean as a key institution for inclusive dialogue and as a platform to deal with the existing challenges and opportunities of the region. Within this context, UfM Secretary General Sijilmassi and High Representative Mogherini met on 10 February 2015 to discuss the role of the Union for the Mediterranean in strengthening regional cooperation and addressing the current needs and opportunities of the region. An earlier meeting was held with the Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Nasser Judeh on 29 January 2015. The EU and Jordan share the Co-Presidency of the UfM since 2012, representing the North and the South respectively.
HR Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn have already launched a consultation on the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) on 4 March 2015. The ENP was last reviewed in 2011. Given the significant developments in the Neighbourhood since then, the Commission undertakes a fundamental review of the principles on which the policy is based as well as its scope and how its instruments should be used.