Muriel Asseburg

"Barcelona Plus 10"

No Breakthrough in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

SWP Comment 2005/C 55, December 2005, 8 Pages

On November 27 and 28, 2005 the tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) was to be celebrated with a summit of heads of state and government in Barcelona. The high-level meeting was supposed to demonstrate Europe's closeness to and solidarity with its largely Muslim neighborhood, because, as a result of September 11, 2001 and the attacks on Madrid and London, a climate of mistrust, xenophobia, and Islamophobia had developed. The meeting was also supposed to rejuvenate the Partnership, frequently criticized as inefficient and ineffective, by infusing it with new priorities and clear objectives. As the summit approached, however, it turned out that the European and Arab Mediterranean partners had very different ideas for the future of the Partnership. These differences were among the reasons why the southern partner countries' heads of state and government, with two exceptions, stayed away from the meeting. In the end, the summit's participants adopted a work program for the next five years and a Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism. However, they could not agree on a joint vision for the future of the Partnership.

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