Euro-Mediterranean conference adopts action plan
Regional-European Union, Politics, 4/25/2002
The 5th Euro-Mediterranean Conference held in Valencia Apr.22-23 adopted Tuesday an action plan recommending the promotion of political ties between the European Union and the countries of the southern shore of the Mediterranean, signatories of the Barcelona process.
The action plan proposes the application at the political and security levels, for the first time, of a cooperation program in judicial and interior matters.
The program provides for a number of actions meant to fight drug smuggling, illegal emigration, criminal organizations, and terrorism.
The 15 European Union countries and their Mediterranean partners agreed to hold a conference on migratory movements.
The action plan also provides for the constitution of a Euro-Mediterranean parliamentary assembly, and a Mediterranean foundation for the promotion of dialogue between cultures and civilizations.
Economically, Euro-Mediterranean countries reaffirmed their will to create a free trade zone by 2010, and lauded the Agadir Declaration setting up a free-trade area between Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia as a step towards south-south integration.
They also voiced support for the European Union's decision to make the European Bank for Investment (BEI) provide more resources for the Mediterranean, mainly the private sector.
The foreign ministers taking part in this conference agreed to hold another ministerial meeting during the first semester of 2003. The 6th Euro-Mediterranean conference will be held in the course of the second semester of 2003 in Italy.
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