The European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are jointly organising, the Second Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Agriculture, with the assistance of the Mediterranean Committee of IFAP (International Federation of Agricultural Producers). The conference, which will be held on 28 and 29 September 2006 and attended by parliamentarians and representatives of agricultural organisations from Mediterranean counties, will take place at the seat of our two institutions in Strasbourg.
The specific objective of this Second Conference is to take stock on the development of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the fields of agriculture and rural development and to deepen our common reflection on the challenges and outstanding issues for the future.
The Conference will, on the one hand, be a follow-up to work already carried out by the two institutions within the framework of the First Conference, which was held on 14/15 June 2001. However, it will also consider the new reality of Mediterranean agriculture in the context of recent reforms of the CAP, the development of commercial multilateralism (WTO), the cooperation taking place between the countries of the Southern Mediterranean involved in the Barcelona process and, finally, the possibilities opened up by the new EU Neighbourhood Policy.
In this context, the Conference will, under the general theme of "Building a Euro-Mediterranean agricultural and rural policy in a global context:
- consider the agricultural and rural policies being applied in the Mediterranean basin within the framework of the relationship between Europe and her southern partners, with a view to consolidating an approach based on cooperation between operators on both sides of the Mediterranean;
- evaluate the effects on the commercial preferences of the Euro-Mediterranean area of the multilateral negotiations currently under way to produce a new WTO Agriculture Agreement;
- analyse the available tools for improving the Mediterranean identity of agricultural product in markets which are more open and global;
- promote a dialogue between European countries and those of the southern Mediterranean already participating in the Barcelona process and particularly between parliamentarians on the one hand and between professional representatives of the agriculture sector on the other;