The First Mediterranean Agreement: An Overview
The First Mediterranean Agreement, also known as the Barcelona Declaration, was signed on November 27, 1995, in the Spanish city of Barcelona. The agreement was a joint effort by the European Union (EU) and 12 Mediterranean nations to establish closer political, economic, and cultural cooperation in the region.
The signatory countries of the agreement were Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. The Barcelona Declaration aimed to create a common area of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Mediterranean by enhancing political dialogue and economic integration.
One of the most significant aspects of the Barcelona Declaration was the establishment of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP), also known as the Barcelona Process. The EMP aimed to foster economic and political cooperation between the EU and the Mediterranean region.
The EMP was based on three pillars: political and security cooperation, economic and financial cooperation, and social, cultural, and human cooperation. The partnership involved regular meetings between the EU and partner countries, as well as technical and financial assistance to support economic reforms and social development in the Mediterranean region.
The Barcelona Declaration also addressed issues such as environmental protection, energy, transport, and migration. It recognized the importance of sustainable development and called for measures to combat climate change and protect biodiversity.
In the years following the signing of the Barcelona Declaration, the EMP faced several challenges, including political instability, economic crises, and conflicts in the region. However, the partnership continued to evolve and expand, with new countries joining and new initiatives launched.
In 2008, the EMP was replaced by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), a regional intergovernmental organization that aims to promote stability and prosperity in the Mediterranean region. The UfM builds on the achievements of the Barcelona Process and seeks to deepen cooperation between the EU and partner countries in areas such as energy, environment, transport, and higher education.
In conclusion, the First Mediterranean Agreement or the Barcelona Declaration was a landmark agreement that aimed to create a more stable, prosperous, and integrated Mediterranean region. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership established under the agreement paved the way for further cooperation and partnership between the EU and Mediterranean countries, leading to the establishment of the Union for the Mediterranean. Despite the challenges, the Barcelona Declaration remains an important milestone in the evolution of regional cooperation and economic integration.