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HTML Document The Barcelona work programme, 1995

Released 03/03/2006

Follow up to the conference

considering that the Barcelona Conference provides the basis for a process, which is open and should develop;

reaffirming their will to establish a partnership based on the principles and objectives defined in this Declaration;

resolved to give practical expression to this Euro­Mediterranean partnership;

convinced that, in order to achieve this objective, it is necessary to continue the comprehensive dialogue thus initiated and to carry out a series of specific actions;

hereby adopt the attached work programme:

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs will meet periodically in order to monitor the application of this Declaration and define actions enabling the objectives of the partnership to be achieved.

The various activities will be followed by ad hoc thematic meetings of ministers, senior officials and experts, exchanges of experience and information, contacts between those active in civil society and by any other appropriate means.

Contacts between parliamentarians, regional authorities, local authorities and the social partners will be encouraged.

A "Euro­Mediterranean Committee for the Barcelona process" at senior-official level, consisting of the European Union Troïka and one representative of each Mediterranean partner, will hold regular meetings to prepare the meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, take stock of and evaluate the follow­up to the Barcelona process and all its components and update the work programme.

Appropriate preparatory and follow­up work for the meetings resulting from the Barcelona work programme and from the conclusions of the "Euro­Mediterranean Committee for the Barcelona process" will be undertaken by the Commission departments.

The next meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs will be held in the first semester of 1997 in one of the twelve Mediterranean partners of the European Union, to be determined through further consultations.

Work programme

I. Introduction

The aim of this programme is to implement the objectives of the Barcelona Declaration, and to respect its principles, through regional and multilateral actions. It is complementary both to the bilateral cooperation, implemented in particular under the agreements between the EU and its Mediterranean partners, and to the cooperation already existing in other multilateral fora.

The preparation and the follow-up to the various actions will be implemented in accordance with the principles and mechanisms set out in the Barcelona Declaration.

The priority actions for further cooperation are listed below. This does not exclude Euro­Mediterranean cooperation being extended to other actions if the partners so agree.

The actions may apply to States, their local and regional authorities as well as actors of their civil society.

With the agreement of the participants, other countries or organizations may be involved in the actions contained in the work programme. The implementation must take place in a flexible and transparent way.

With the agreement of the participants, future Euro­Mediterranean cooperation will take account, as appropriate, of the opinions and recommendations resulting from the relevant discussions held at various levels in the region.

The implementation of the programme should start as soon as practical after the Barcelona Conference. It will be reviewed at the next Euro­Mediterranean Conference on the basis of a report to be prepared by the European Commission departments, particularly on the basis of reports from the various meetings and Groups mentioned below, and approved by the "Euro­Mediterranean Committee for the Barcelona process" set up by the Barcelona Declaration.

II. Political and Security Partnership: Establishing a common area of peace and stability

With a view to contributing to the objective of progressively creating a zone of peace, stability and security in the Mediterranean, senior officials will meet periodically, starting within the first quarter of 1996. They will:

  • conduct a political dialogue to examine the most appropriate means and methods of implementing the principles adopted by the Barcelona Declaration, and
  • submit practical proposals in due time for the next Euro­Mediterranean Meeting of Foreign Ministers.

Foreign policy institutes in the Euro­Mediterranean region will be encouraged to establish a network for more intensive cooperation which could become operational as of 1996.

III. Economic and Financial Partnership: Building a zone of shared prosperity

Meetings will take place periodically at the level of Ministers, officials or experts, as appropriate, to promote cooperation in the following areas. These meetings may be supplemented, where appropriate, by conferences or seminars involving the private sector likewise.

Establishment of a Euro­Mediterranean Free Trade Area

The establishment of a free trade area in accordance with the principles contained in the Barcelona Declaration is an essential element of the Euro­Mediterranean partnership.

Cooperation will focus on practical measures to facilitate the establishment of free trade as well as its consequences, including:

  • harmonising rules and procedures in the customs field, with a view in particular to the progressive introduction of cumulation of origin; in the meantime, favourable consideration will be given, where appropriate, to finding ad hoc solutions in particular cases;
  • harmonisation of standards, including meetings arranged by the European Standards Organisations;
  • elimination of unwarranted technical barriers to trade in agricultural products and adoption of relevant measures related to plant­health and veterinary rules as well as other legislation on foodstuffs;
  • cooperation among statistics organisations with a view to providing reliable data on a harmonized basis;
  • possibilities for regional and subregional cooperation (without prejudice to initiatives taken in other existing fora).


The object of cooperation will be to help create a climate favourable to the removal of obstacles to investment, by giving greater thought to the definition of such obstacles and to means, including in the banking sector, of promoting such investment.


Industrial modernisation and increased competitiveness will be key factors for the success of the Euro­Mediterranean partnership. In this context, the private sector will play a more important role in the economic development of the region and the creation of employment. Cooperation will focus on:

  • the adaptation of the industrial fabric to the changing international environment, in particular to the emergence of the information society;
  • the framework for and the preparation of the modernisation and restructuring of existing enterprises, especially in the public sector, including privatisation;
  • the use of international or European standards and the upgrading of conformity testing, certification, accreditation and quality standards.

Particular attention will be paid to means of encouraging cooperation among SMEs and creating the conditions for their development, including the possibility of organising workshops, taking account of experience acquired under MED-INVEST and inside the European Union.


While pointing out that such matters are covered under bilateral relations in the main, cooperation in this area will focus on:

  • support for policies implemented by them to diversify production;
  • reduction of food dependency;
  • promotion of environment­friendly agriculture;
  • closer relations between businesses, groups and organizations representing trades and professions in the partner States on a voluntary basis;
  • support for privatisation;
  • technical assistance and training;
  • harmonization of plant­health and veterinary standards;
  • integrated rural development, including improvement of basic services and the development of associated economic activities;
  • cooperation among rural regions, exchange of experience and know­how concerning rural development;
  • development of regions affected by the eradication of illicit crops.


Efficient interoperable transport links between the EU and its Mediterranean partners, and among the partners themselves, as well as free access to the market for services in international maritime transport, are essential to the development of trade patterns and the smooth operation of the Euro­Mediterranean partnership.

The Transport Ministers of Western Mediterranean countries met twice in 1995 and, following the Regional Conference for the Development of Maritime Transport in the Mediterranean, the Mediterranean Waterborne Transport Working Group adopted a multiannual programme.

Cooperation will focus on:

  • development of an efficient Trans-Mediterranean multimodal combined sea and air transport system, through the improvement and modernization of ports and airports, the suppression of unwarranted restrictions, the simplification of procedures, the improvement of maritime and air safety, the harmonization of environmental standards at a high level including more efficient monitoring of maritime pollution, and the development of harmonized traffic management systems;
  • development of east-west land links on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean, and
  • connection of Mediterranean transport networks to the Trans-European Network in order to ensure their interoperability.


A high-level Conference was held in Tunisia in 1995 with a follow­up meeting in Athens and an Energy Conference in Madrid on 20 November 1995.

With a view to creating appropriate conditions for investment in and activities by energy companies, future cooperation will focus, inter alia on:

  • fostering the association of Mediterranean countries with the Treaty on the European Energy Charter;
  • energy planning;
  • encouraging producer-consumer dialogue;
  • oil and gas exploration, refining, transportation, distribution, and regional and trans-regional trade;
  • coal production and handling;
  • generation and transmission of power and interconnection and development of networks;
  • energy efficiency;
  • new and renewable sources of energy;
  • energy-related environmental issues;
  • development of joint research programmes;
  • training and information activities in the energy sector.

Telecommunications and information technology

With a view to developing a modern, efficient telecommunications network, cooperation will focus on:

  • information and telecommunications infrastructures (minimum regulatory framework, standards, conformity testing, network interoperability, etc.);
  • regional infrastructures including links with European networks;
  • access to services, and
  • new services in priority fields of application.

Intensification of Euro­Mediterranean exchanges and access to the nascent information society will be facilitated by more efficient information and communications infrastructures.

A regional conference is planned for 1996 with the aim of paving the way for pilot projects to show the concrete benefits of the information society.

Regional planning

Cooperation will focus on:

  • defining a regional planning strategy for the Euro­Mediterranean area commensurate with the countries' requirements and special features;
  • promoting cross-border cooperation in areas of mutual interest.


The Ministers for Tourism, meeting in Casablanca, adopted the Mediterranean Tourism Charter in 1995. The cooperation actions to be initiated will relate in particular to information, promotion and training.


Cooperation will focus on:

  • assessing environmental problems in the Mediterranean region and defining, where appropriate, the initiatives to be taken;
  • making proposals to establish and subsequently update a short and medium­term priority environmental action programme for intervention coordinated by the European Commission and supplemented by long­term actions; it should include among the main areas for action, the following: integrated management of water, soil and coastal areas; management of waste; preventing and combating air pollution and pollution in the Mediterranean sea; natural heritage, landscapes and site conservation and management; Mediterranean forest protection, conservation and restoration, in particular through the prevention and control of erosion, soil degradation,forest fires and combating desertification; transfer of Community experience in financing techniques, legislation and environmental monitoring; integration of environmental concerns in all policies;
  • setting up a regular dialogue to monitor the implementation of the action programme;
  • reinforcing regional and subregional cooperation and strengthening coordination with the Mediterranean Action Plan;
  • stimulating coordination of investments from various sources, and implementation of relevant international conventions;
  • promoting the adoption and implementation of legislation and regulatory measures when required, especially preventive measures and appropriate high standards.

Science and Technology

Cooperation will focus on:

  • promoting research and development and tackling the problem of the widening gap in scientific achievement, taking account of the principle of mutual advantage;
  • stepping up exchanges of experience in the scientific sectors and policies which might best enable the Mediterranean partners to reduce the gap between them and their European neighbours and to promote the transfer of technology;
  • helping train scientific and technical staff by increasing participation in joint research projects.

Following the Ministerial meeting at Sophia Antipolis in March 1995, a Monitoring Committee was set up; this Committee will meet for the first time immediately after the Barcelona Conference. It will focus on making recommendations for the joint implementation of the policy priorities agreed at Ministerial level.


The Mediterranean Water Charter was adopted in Rome in 1992.

Water is a priority issue for all the Mediterranean partners and will gain in importance as water scarcity becomes more pressing. The purpose of cooperation in this area will be as follows:

  • to take stock of the situation taking into account current and future needs;
  • to identify ways of reinforcing regional cooperation;
  • to make proposals for rationalising the planning and management of water resources, where appropriate on a joint basis;
  • to contribute towards the creation of new sources of water.


In view of the importance of conservation and rational management of Mediterranean fish stocks, cooperation in the framework of the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean will be reinforced.

Following the Ministerial Fisheries Conference held in Heraklion in 1994, appropriate follow-up action will be taken in the legal sphere through meetings to take place in 1996.

Cooperation will be improved on research into fish stocks, including aquaculture, as well as into training and scientific research.

IV. Partnership in Social, Cultural and Human affairs : Developing Human Resources, Promoting Understanding between Cultures and Exchanges between Civil Societies

Development of human resources

The Euro­Mediterranean partnership must contribute to enhancing educational levels throughout the region, whilst laying special emphasis on the Mediterranean partners. To this end, a regular dialogue on educational policies will take place, initially focusing on vocational training, technology in education, the universities and other higher­education establishments and research. In this context as well as in other areas, particular attention will be paid to the role of women. The Euro-Arab Business School in Granada and the European Foundation in Turin will also contribute to this cooperation.

A meeting of representatives of the vocational training sector (policy makers, academics, trainers, etc) will be organised with the aim of sharing modern management approaches.

A meeting will be held of representatives of universities and higher­education establishments. The European Commission will strengthen its ongoing MED­Campus programme.

A meeting will also be called on the subject of technology in education.

Municipalities and Regions

Municipalities and regional authorities need to be closely involved in the operation of the Euro­Mediterranean Partnership. City and regional representatives will be encouraged to meet each year to take stock of their common challenges and exchange experiences. This will be organised by the European Commission and will take account of previous experience.

Dialogue between cultures and civilizations

Given the importance of improving mutual understanding by promoting cultural exchanges and knowledge of languages, officials and experts will meet in order to make concrete proposals for action, inter alia, in the following fields: cultural and creative heritage, cultural and artistic events, co-productions (theatre and cinema), translations and other means of cultural dissemination, training.

Greater understanding among the major religions present in the Euro­Mediterranean region will facilitate greater mutual tolerance and cooperation. Support will be given to periodic meetings of representatives of religions and religious institutions as well as theologians, academics and others concerned, with the aim of breaking down prejudice, ignorance and fanaticism and fostering cooperation at grass­roots level. The conferences held in Stockholm (15/17.6.1995) and Toledo (4/7.11.1995) may serve as examples in this context.


Close interaction between the media will work in favour of better cultural understanding. The European Union will actively promote such interaction, in particular through the ongoing MED-Media programme. An annual meeting of representatives of the media will be organised in this context.


Youth exchanges should be the means to prepare future generations for a closer cooperation between the Euro­Mediterranean partners. A Euro­Mediterranean youth exchange programme should therefore be established based on experience acquired in Europe and taking account of the partners' needs; this programme should take account of the importance of vocational training, particularly for those without qualifications, and of the training of organizers and social workers in the youth field. The European Commission will make the necessary proposals before the next meeting of Euro­Mediterranean Foreign Ministers.

Exchanges between Civil Societies

Senior officials will meet periodically to discuss measures likely to facilitate human exchanges resulting from the Euro­Mediterranean partnership, especially those involving officials, scientists, academics, businessmen, students and sportsmen, including the improvement and simplification of administrative procedures, particularly where unnecessary administrative obstacles might exist.

Social Development

The Euro­Mediterranean partnership must contribute to improving the living and working conditions and increasing the employment level of the population in the Mediterranean partner States, in particular of women and the neediest strata of the population. In this context the partners attach particular importance to the respect and promotion of basic social rights. To that end, actors in social policies will meet periodically at the appropriate level.


The partners agree to concentrate cooperation in this area on:

  • action on raising awareness, information and prevention;
  • development of public health services, in particular health care, primary health centres, maternal and child health care services, family planning, epidemiological supervision systems and measures to control communicable diseases;
  • training of health and health-administration personnel;
  • medical cooperation in the event of natural disasters.


Given the importance of the issue of migration for Euro­Mediterranean relations, meetings will be encouraged in order to make proposals concerning migration flows and pressures. These meetings will take account of experience acquired, inter alia, under the MED-Migration programme, particularly as regards improving the living conditions of migrants legally established in the Union.

  • Terrorism
  • Drug Trafficking, Organised crime

Fighting terrorism will have to be a priority for all the parties. To that end, officials will meet periodically with the aim of strengthening cooperation among police, judicial and other authorities. In this context, consideration will be given, in particular, to stepping up exchanges of information and improving extradition procedures.

Officials will meet periodically to discuss practical measures which can be taken to improve cooperation among police, judicial, customs, administrative and other authorities in order to combat, in particular, drug trafficking and organised crime, including smuggling.

All these meetings will be organized with due regard for the need for a differentiated approach that takes into account the diversity of the situation in each country.

Illegal Immigration

Officials will meet periodically to discuss practical measures which can be taken to improve cooperation among police, judicial, customs, administrative and other authorities in order to combat illegal immigration.

These meetings will be organized with due regard for the need for a differentiated approach that takes into account the diversity of the situation in each country.

V. Institutional contacts

Euro­Mediterranean Parliamentary Dialogue

An Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean was held in Valletta from 1 to 4 November 1995. The European Parliament is invited to take the initiative with other parliaments concerning the future Euro­Mediterranean Parliamentary Dialogue, which could enable the elected representatives of the partners to exchange ideas on a wide range of issues.

Other institutional contacts

Regular contacts among other European organs, in particular the Economic and Social Committee of the European Community, and their Mediterranean counterparts, would contribute to a better understanding of the major issues relevant in the Euro­Mediterranean partnership.

To this end, the Economic and Social Committee is invited to take the initiative in establishing links with its Mediterranean counterparts and equivalent bodies. In this context, a Euro­Mediterranean meeting of Economic and Social Committees and equivalent bodies will take place in Madrid on 12 and 13 December.