Catalonia plays an acknowledged role on the Mediterranean stage and aspires to use it to encourage dialogue and cooperation. This role, which is the product of our history and is a stimulus for facing the challenges of the future, leads us to promote initiatives such as this Yearbook, which will encourage mutual understanding with the other peoples of the Euro-Mediterranean area. We are a country committed to the objectives of the Barcelona Process: solidarity and the building of a new order based on greater equity, respect for human rights, democratic values and the rule of law.
The aim of the Generalitat of Catalonia Mediterranean policy is to promote economic and commercial activity, develop active policies of cooperation and cultural dialogue and reinforce civil society and democratic institutions. Together with our neighbours, we aim to create the structure for a great European region from which to develop relations with the countries of the South and the East of the Mediterranean. We need to revive the policy initiated at the Barcelona Conference of 1995 with fresh ideas, and contribute to creating an awareness of the links that exist between the Euro-Mediterranean societies. In this respect, it is essential to involve civil society and make everyone more aware of the whole process.
This Mediterranean Yearbook responds to the need to work towards a better understanding of neighbouring societies, and a willingness to undertake joint initiatives. I am proud that two institutions based in Barcelona, the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and the Fundació CIDOB, have joined forces to undertake this project, which encourages analysis and provides information about the challenges ahead for all of us. I am sure that this Yearbook will become a work of reference for all those with an interest in the European and Mediterranean world.