Ten years ago, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership was born in Barcelona as an ambitious initiative to establish the basis for a new relation between the Mediterranean countries and the European Union. The objective of the Barcelona Process was to secure a common area of freedom, security and shared prosperity. Despite all of the difficulties that it has had to overcome, and without doubt, an inequitable balance, the Partnership continues to be an instrument of reference in the development of a multilateral policy in the Mediterranean region.
The European Union wishes to take this opportunity of the Partnership’s tenth anniversary to strengthen it and to give it a new impulse, in keeping with the new situation existing in the Mediterranean and the EU’s new Neighbourhood Policy. With this in mind, a summit of the countries that make up the Barcelona Process is due to be held, under the British presidency of the EU and in close collaboration with the Spanish Government.
It is our pleasure to present this second edition of the Mediterranean Annual, through which we aim to contribute to the reflection on the common challenges, to the circulation of clear and reliable information, to the analysis of the problems existing in the region and to present possible approaches to help overcome them.
For the CIDOB Foundation and the Instituto Europeo del Mediterráneo (IEMed), this second edition represents the consolidation of a risky and innovative collaboration project,, set up with the objective of making it an instrument of knowledge and debate for both institutions and the general public.
Med.2005 has the same thematic structure as its predecessor. In addition to tackling some of this year’s topics that we considered most relevant – such as international terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the incorporation of Turkey into the EU, the situation in Iraq and the new geostrategies in the Maghreb-, other questions in the sectoral ambit are also treated, such as Mediterranean policies, agriculture, investment, the environment, the importance of the territory, cooperation, the family law reform in Maghreb, press freedom, migration and cultural dialogue. As in the previous edition, the evolution of events of the region’s crucial issues and in its countries are also analysed using chronological annexes, graphs and statistics.
In the context of the “Year of the Mediterranean”, the dossier’s theme in this 2005 edition could not be any other than the ten years of the Barcelona Process. We have included a wide and varied balance of topics that highlight the essential aspects of Euro-Mediterranean relations during the past decade.
We hope that this new edition of the Mediterranean Annual will be useful for all experts in Mediterranean matters, as well as for those who, from a governmental or civil society sector, believe in the possibility of making the Mediterranean an area of freedom, security and shared prosperity.