Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean : EU texts

The Union for the Mediterranean, 2008 

In 2008, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) - alternatively labeled the "Barcelona Process" (because it was launched through a declaration at the Conference of Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Barcelona) - was re-evaluated and re-launched. The name applied to the revamped partnership was "Union for the Mediterranean".

This process was formally initiated in May 2008, when the European Council "approved the principle of a Union for the Mediterranean which will include the Member States of the EU and the non-EU Mediterranean coastal states. It invited the Commission to present to the Council the necessary proposals for defining the modalities of what will be called "Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean" with a view to the Summit which will take place in Paris on 13 July 2008."

The resulting communication from the European Commission analysed the previous dozen years:

"The Commission has made an analysis of the achievements of the Barcelona process and its contribution to dialogue, peace, stability and prosperity in this region, shared by the EU and some of its closest partners. They have also taken into account the shortcomings and difficulties in this process of multilateral co-operation which the EU has pursued since 1995. This Communication takes these factors into account and sets out the Commission's proposals for developing the "Barcelona process: Union for the Mediterranean"."

Two months later, the new Union for the Mediterranean was formally confirmed at the Summit for the Mediterranean held in Paris. The EU and 15 Mediterranean countries agreed to create the "multilateral partnership with a view to increasing the potential for regional integration and cohesion. Heads of State and Government also reassert the central importance of the Mediterranean on the political agenda of all countries."

The European Parliament voted resolutions in response to the Commission's Communication and the Paris Joint Declaration.

Barcelona Declaration, 1995 

In 1995, the Conference of Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Foreign Affairs was held in Barcelona on 27 and 28 November.

The final declaration of this conference, called the "Barcelona Declaration", signed by the EU and southern Mediterranean countries, creates a partnership among the signatories and sets out a series of commitments and areas of cooperation.

In their declaration, the signatories "agree to establish a comprehensive partnership among the participants the EuroMediterranean partnership through strengthened political dialogue on a regular basis, the development of economic and financial cooperation and greater emphasis on the social, cultural and human dimension, these being the three aspects of the EuroMediterranean partnership."

The declaration launched the "Barcelona Process", which is alternatively called the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP).