12.03.2005

TENTH ANNIVERSARY EURO-MEDITERRANEAN SUMMIT

Still the EU has its own agenda and interest, and still the questions of immigration, and recently, terror are the most important and somewhat urgent to the EU. However, the EU has certainly a legitimate concerns and interests in the neighboring region, which is a vital space and has a strategic importance to the EU countries.

Obviously, the EU has a shy democratic initiative in the Arab Mediterranean region. That is due to many reasons including the absence of a plan, considering that 10 years of Barcelona process yielded nothing in political reform, and the absence of something like the American political leverage, besides the consistent European pursuit of distancing the EU from the American policies in the region.

The terror strikes inside Europe, the change in the post-Iraq Middle East and the decreasing European influence revealed at the latest Euromed summit must be reminders that Europe must revise the course. The freedom and democracy in the Middle East are important foundations to ensure the European strategic interests and to cope with the European concerns in this neighboring and strategic region. This task of promoting democracy must be concerted with the American efforts. The political reform in the Middle East is a mutual interest to U.S. and EU. The Middle East democratization is impossible without the United States. And it would be more strengthened by a somewhat concerted efforts based on an understanding between the U.S. and EU. All those facts must be clear and taken into account by the EU otherwise; we will witness more Euromed summits without final declarations and pressure about reform.

Nevertheless, the code of conduct on countering terrorism adopted at summit is an important and required accomplishment.

Here are related information, the chairman's statement and the agreed code of conduct on countering terrorism:

Related documents and official websites:

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Barcelona Declaration

Euro-Mediterranean Five Year Work Programme PDF

Related post:

The Forum of the Future without final declaration.


Key agreements in Euromed summit

AFP
Monday 28 November 2005

EU and Mediterranean-rim leaders met in Barcelona

Here are key points agreed to on Monday at a summit in Barcelona of the European Union's 25 member states with 10 Mediterranean-rim countries.

Terror

The 35 countries agreed to a code of conduct, which starts by declaring that they are "united in the struggle against terrorism", the threat of which "remains serious".

Concretely, they agreed to exchange intelligence, seek to cut off terrorists' funding and arms supplies, and help one another prepare for and manage the consequences of any attacks.

They also broached the root causes of terrorism, pledging to "do all we can to resolve conflict, end occupation, confront oppression, reduce poverty, promote good governance and human right, improve intercultural understanding and ensure respect for all religions".

Immigration

A series of measures were agreed upon in the context of a five-year work programme, which covers increasing political cooperation and social and educational exchanges.

Leaders in Barcelona initially disagreed on defining terrorism The summit agreed to "promote legal migration opportunities ... recognising that these constitute an opportunity for economic growth and a means of improving links between countries".

They pledged to "reduce significantly the level of illegal migration, trafficking in human beings and loss of life through hazardous sea and border crossings".

Expanding relations

The 35 countries pledged "their renewed commitment to the objective of achieving a common area of peace, stability and prosperity in the Mediterranean region through ongoing dialogue, exchange and cooperation".

They called for a "rapid and full implementation" of the EU-backed "roadmap" for Mideast peace leading to "the fulfilment of the vision of two states, a safe and secure Israel and a viable, sovereign, contiguous, democratic Palestine, living side by side in peace and security".

They reiterated the aim of the original 1995 Barcelona Declaration, of creating a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010.
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EU-Euromed summit fails to agree final declaration

By Daniel Dombey and Frederick Studemann in Barcelona

Financial Times
November 28 2005

The limits of the European Union’s influence were on Monday laid bare when a summit with countries bordering the Mediterranean to the south and east failed to agree a final declaration.

Nevertheless, Tony Blair, British prime minister, and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, his Spanish counterpart who co-hosted the summit, insisted progress had been made in deepening ties with the region and continuing the struggle against terrorism.

“I think that this is an area where semantic agreements are less important than shared spirit and determination,” said Mr Blair.

The 35 countries – the EU member states and their Euromed partners Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey – did endorse a previously negotiated five-year work plan on extending “political pluralism”, modernising the southern Mediterranean’s economies and reducing illegal migration.

They also backed a “code of conduct” intended to increase police and judicial co-operation against terrorist groups, but omitted a definition of “terrorism” the EU had worked on for months.

The EU provides the Euromed region with €3bn ($3.5bn, £2.1bn) a year in grants and loans, but none of the Arab heads of state who had been invited attended the meeting in Barcelona, sending prime ministers and foreign ministers instead.

Arab leaders were wary of attending an event that could be seen as cracking down on groups denounced as terrorists in the west but regarded as freedom fighters by many of their own people.

European leaders were relieved at not having to meet Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, and Lebanon’s President Emile Lahoud, who are the subjects of an international outcry over Syria's alleged involvement in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister.

By contrast, the organisers’ hopes were hit hard by the absence of leaders such as Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah, both of whom are struggling with political challenges at home.

President Muammer Gad-affi of Libya spurned an invitation to attend as an observer, despite EU hopes of reaching a deal to release five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death in Libya for allegedly infecting children with the HIV virus.

Also absent was President Abdulaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, who was undergoing treatment in a Paris clinic. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish prime minister, attended the event, as did almost all of the EU leaders.

A dispute between Israel and its Arab neighbours foiled last-minute attempts to agree a final declaration for the 35-nation summit. Israel, which will have early elections, wanted the text to emphasise its pull-out from Gaza and objected to a reference to an Arab peace initiative.

Instead, the conclusions of the meeting were summed up by a chairman’s statement by Britain and Spain.

“This is not binding to all parties; it’s a presidency declaration,” said an Israeli official. “What was binding were the documents which were accepted by consensus, the code of conduct and this five-years’ work plan.”
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CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT
10TH ANNIVERSARY EURO-MEDITERRANEAN SUMMIT


On the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Barcelona Declaration in November 1995, the leaders of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership pledge their renewed commitment to the objective of achieving a common area of peace, stability and prosperity in the Mediterranean region through ongoing dialogue, exchange and co-operation. They reaffirm that this objective requires a comprehensive approach to enhancing security, the just resolution of regional conflicts, strengthening democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, sustainable and balanced economic and social development, measures to combat poverty and exclusion, and the promotion of greater understanding between cultures and peoples.

The partners recognise that only determined action will enable the region’s young people to fulfil their aspirations of a better future.

They reaffirm their commitment to the principles and objectives of the Barcelona Declaration and re-emphasise the importance of co-ownership of the Process, which remains the cornerstone of the Euromed partnership. They reiterate that their partnership should serve as a framework for building regional co-operation and understanding.

The Barcelona Process provides an important contribution to promoting progress in the Middle East Peace Process and to furthering mutual understanding, even if it is not the forum in which a settlement will be reached. They call for the rapid and full implementation of the Road Map and encourage the parties to continue on the path of direct dialogue and negotiation in the fulfilment of the vision of two states, a safe and secure Israel and a viable, sovereign, contiguous, democratic Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. Final status issues have to be agreed by the parties.

Partners reaffirm their commitment to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement consistent with the Road Map and principles of the Madrid Conference including land for peace and based on relevant UNSC resolutions, including 242, 338 and 1397 and take note of recent regional developments and initiatives, including the Beirut Arab Peace Initiative.

Partners also call for the reinvigoration of efforts to promote progress in the Middle East Peace
Process on all tracks, Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese.

They recognise that major changes have occurred in the European Union and internationally since the Barcelona Declaration was signed in 1995. The EU has launched the European Neighbourhood Policy to reinforce and complement the Barcelona Process. The EU has also developed the European Security and Defence Policy on which a dialogue has been initiated with Mediterranean partners. They also recall Turkey’s special situation as a candidate country and a member of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

The partners make the following collective commitments:

1) To strive collectively to achieve peace in the region.

2) To strengthen democracy, expanding participation in political life, public affairs and decision making, and further promoting gender equality. To enhance respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression in accordance with their international obligations. To continue maintaining and ensuring the independence of the judiciary and expand
access to justice to all. In this context the EU will establish a substantial financial Facility to support willing Mediterranean partners’ in carrying out their reforms, taking into account that successful reforms must develop from within the societies of the region.

3) To enhance the security of all citizens, particularly through more effective counter-terrorism policies and deeper co-operation to dismantle all terrorist activities, to protect potential targets, to manage the consequences of attacks, and to implement the Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism they have agreed today. To condemn terrorism, wherever it is committed, without
qualification and reject all attempts to associate any religion or culture with terrorism

4) In the context of the implementation of the chapter on political and security partnership:

to promote regional security by acting, inter alia, in favour of nuclear, chemical and biological nonproliferation through adherence to and compliance with a combination of international and regional non-proliferation regimes, and arms control and disarmament agreements such as NPT, CWC, BWC, CTBT and/or regional arrangements such as weapons free zones including their verification regimes, as well as by fulfilling in good faith their commitments under arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation conventions.

The parties shall pursue a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems.

Furthermore the parties will consider practical steps to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as excessive accumulation of conventional arms.

Refrain from developing military capacity beyond their legitimate defence requirements, at the
same time reaffirming their resolve to achieve the same degree of security and mutual confidence with the lowest possible levels of troops and weaponry and adherence to CCW.

Promote conditions likely to develop good-neighbourly relations among themselves and support
process aimed at stability, security, prosperity and regional and subregional cooperation.

Consider any confidence and security-building measures that could be taken between the parties with a view to the creation of an “area of peace and stability in the Mediterranean”, including the long term possibility of establishing a Euro-Mediterranean pact to that end.

5) To contribute to achieving an area of shared economic development by: fulfilling the undertaking to achieve a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010; promoting broad-based equitable sustainable economic development and employment by inter alia pursuing economic reform, supporting efforts to promote domestic and attract foreign investment in the region, enhancing public financial management, strengthening the role of the private sector, improving legal systems, reinforcing industrial cooperation, enhancing equitable access to basic services; developing integrated transport, energy and telecommunications networks and encouraging the objective of establishment of a Euro-med Energy Market. To assess in December 2006 the possibility of the incorporation of an EIB majority owned subsidiary dedicated to the Mediterranean partner countries, on the basis of an evaluation of FEMIP’s performance. In this context they welcome the EIB’s intention to provide a further tranche of financial assistance to the region in 2006.

6) To develop the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development and review the
implementation of all relevant regional agreements and action plans. To endorse a feasible timetableto de-pollute the Mediterranean Sea by 2020, while providing appropriate financial resources and technical support to implement it, using the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development and exploring possible areas for co-operation in this regard with UNEP.

7) To reinforce and support the efforts of all countries in the region to meet the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in the areas of education, vocational training and of gender equality, given the importance of human development and knowledge-based societies to modernisation. To significantly enhance national efforts to meet agreed targets for standards of education across the region, through developing educational systems, administration and management, with a particular focus on creating skilled workforces. In this context partners will
increase significantly resources devoted to education.

8) To create an area of mutual cooperation on migration, social integration, justice, and security.

9) To strengthen the management of regular migratory flows in a comprehensive manner beneficial to the peoples of both shores of the Mediterranean, respecting migrants’ rights. To intensify cooperation on all aspects of illegal immigration between all parties concerned, including human trafficking, reflecting shared responsibility and solidarity.

10) To act jointly against racism, xenophobia and intolerance, stressing respect for all religions,
rejecting extremist views which attempt to divide us and incite violence and hatred, and joining
together to promote common understanding. To improve intercultural dialogue aiming at promoting understanding, building on our cultural heritage, including through the work of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures, and in support of the UN Alliance of Civilisations.

11) To strengthen dialogue between governmental and non-governmental actors across the Euro-Mediterranean region, including through the promotion of dialogue between Parliamentarians within the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, contacts between civil society associations, youth, trade unions, business and professional associations and cooperation between regional and local administrations.

The partners recall the application presented by the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to join the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership which will be given consideration in due time.

Expressing their renewed determination to drive the Process forward in pursuit of a better future for the youth of the region and fully implement the principles of the 1995 Barcelona Declaration, the leaders of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership commit to work towards the objectives contained in the attached work plan over the next five years and to regularly review progress against these undertakings.
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Euro-Mediterranean Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism

The countries of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, guided by the principles and objectives of
the Barcelona Declaration, are united in the struggle against terrorism. The threat that terrorism poses to the lives of our citizens remains serious and terrorist attacks seriously impair the enjoyment of human rights. We remain determined to strengthen co-operation and coordination to respond to this global challenge. Today, we reiterate our total condemnation of
terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and our determination to eradicate it and to combat its sponsors.

We have exerted considerable effort and had significant success in combating terrorism. We must continue to prevent terrorists accessing money and weapons, to disrupt their plans and disrupt their networks and to bring them to justice, by strengthening international co-operation.
Our response must remain proportionate and solidly anchored within international and domestic legal frameworks that ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. We must not imperil the democratic values to which we are committed.

We confirm that we will:

• implement in full all Security Council resolutions addressing the issue of terrorism, ensuring respect for the Charter of the United Nations, international law and international humanitarian law.

• strive to achieve the ratification and implementation of all 13 UN Counter-Terrorism Conventions;

• welcome the work on the development of the UNSG’s strategy in the fight against terrorism and co-operate with UN anti terrorism bodies;

• encourage the full implementation of the standards established by the Financial Action Task Force;

• exchange information on a voluntary basis on terrorists and their support networks, in accordance with international and national law;

• work bilaterally and in accordance with national legislation to develop our effective and operational co-operation to disrupt networks and bring individuals involved in terrorist acts to justice;

• refuse asylum to terrorists and deny them safe haven in accordance with international law;

• share expertise and best practices on countering terrorism on a voluntary basis, including through technical assistance;

• ensure respect for human rights in the fight against terrorism in accordance with international law;

• Consider convening a high level conference under the auspices of the UN to formulate an international response to terrorism in all its aspects and manifestations, following agreement on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.

Terrorism can never be justified. If we are to succeed in the long term in enabling international institutions, governments to stop terrorism we need to address all its causes. We recognise the links between peace, security, social and economic development and human rights. We will continue to do all we can to resolve conflict, end occupation, confront oppression, reduce poverty, promote good governance and human right, improve intercultural understanding and ensure respect for all religions. Such actions serve directly the interests of the people of the Euromed region and work against the interests of the terrorists and their networks.

We confirm that we will:

• condemn terrorism in all its manifestations without qualification.

• reject any attempts to associate terrorism with any nation, culture or religion;

• prohibit and prevent the incitement of terrorist acts through the adoption of appropriate measures and in accordance with international law and the national legislation of each country;

• implement the commitments we have made on security and development in our Work Programme;

• work together to conclude the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, including a legal definition of terrorist acts, before the end of the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly;

• encourage moderation, tolerance, dialogue and understanding amongst our societies;

• co-ordinate our work to identify the factors which contribute to the terrorist threat and share experiences and expertise on how to address them.

As well as reducing the terrorist threat, we must lessen our vulnerability to attack by protecting our citizens. We have taken huge steps in improving security over recent years, notably in protecting aviation. We will also develop further efforts in the field of maritime security.

We must also be prepared to minimise the consequences of attacks. We have conducted exercises and anticipated such a moment. We will share the lessons of past attacks and provide technical and other assistance where appropriate.

We confirm that we will:

• strengthen our national and collective mechanisms to deal with the aftermath of terrorist attacks;

• share experience on managing the consequences of terrorist attacks and build contacts as appropriate;

• consider inviting one another to participate in or observe our emergency exercises;

• help victims of terrorism and provide assistance to the competent authorities in dealing with the consequences of a major attack.

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