Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EUROMED)

In November 1995, following a European Council decision, a Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Foreign Affairs Ministers was held in the Spanish city of Barcelona. It marked the launch of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EUROMED), also known as the Barcelona Process for short, after the name of the city in which the decision was taken. It was the EU's first comprehensive policy for the region.

The Barcelona Declaration agreed at this meeting laid down the foundations of a new regional relationship, aiming at achieving peace, stability and growth in the Mediterranean Partner Countries. It covers political, economic and social cooperation and represents a turning point in Euro-Mediterranean collaboration.

In 2008 a new impetus was given to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership through the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). The UfM gave a new impulse to the Barcelona Process and turned into more concrete and more visible relations. New regional and sub-regional projects with real relevance for those living in the region were initiated. Projects address areas such as economy, environment, energy, health, migration, and culture.

Along with the 28 EU Member States, 15 Southern Mediterranean, African and Middle Eastern countries are members of the UfM: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.

Currently meetings are co-presided over by one Mediterranean and one EU country. The UfM also has a functional secretariat, based in Barcelona, a Secretary General and six deputy secretary generals.