Euromed +15: New Paths of Cooperation Across the Mediterranean

17 November 2010- 18 November 2010 | Conference | English | Palau de Pedralbes, Barcelona

On the occasion of the anniversary of the 1995 Barcelona conference, the main network of think tanks on politics and security in the Mediterranean gathers in Barcelona to discuss the future of Euro-Med relations.

The conference is structured on several sessions tackling different topics:

While the UfM and the ENP are understood as two components of the same process – the Barcelona process – the coordination between and leadership over them, is unclear. In this context of institutional confusion, how precisely is the ENP-UfM policy framework working? What are the prospects of the Barcelona process, understood as a coherent process leading to Euro-Mediterranean cohesion?

Thanks to the doubled hatted role of the High Representative/Vice-president of the Commission and the establishment of the European External Action Service, the Union is expected to develop a more effective foreign policy in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. How are these institutional changes within the EU expected to impact upon the EU’s foreign policy in the region? In particular, how are they likely to influence the EU’s objectives and guidelines with regard to regional conflicts, first and foremost towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

The geopolitics of the Mediterranean and the Middle East is being altered by important changes: the enhanced roles of Turkey and of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in both the Mediterranean and the Middle East; the influence of Iran in the Near East; and the presence of new actors from far a field, such as China, South Korea and India. How are the EU and its Euro-Med partners reacting to these geopolitical alterations in the region? Is this geopolitical evolution having an impact on the Euro-Mediterranean concept?

Beside the continuation of the EU’s long-standing programmes aimed at fostering development, liberalization and reforms, the UfM has launched a programme of big common projects with regard to infrastructures and key developmental sectors, such as education and the role of the SMEs in the Southern Mediterranean economies. These big projects respond to the need to increase regional cohesion but also to respond to globalization. Does the UfM as a “union of projects” fit with the objective of development and security set by the EU and other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern partners? May the UfM’s big projects offer a way to cooperate with the new actors emerging in the region?

To answer these questions, several experts from both shores of the Mediterranean, gather in the EuroMeSCo Annual Conference.