The Barcelona Summit aims to launch a new phase in Euro-Mediterranean relations, to meet the demands created by major changes on the international scene, and within the European Union itself. EU expansion, and the beginning of accession talks with other countries, have caused the number of members in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership to rise from 27 to 38.  Full members of the Barcelona Process are:

  • 25 Member States of the European Union.
  • 10 countries from the southern Mediterranean shore: Algeria, Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey (already part of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, the latter began EU accession talks on 3rd October).  
  • Romania and Bulgaria, that are candidates to join the European Union, which have already signed  an Accession Agreement.
  • Croatia, a candidate to join the EU, which began accession talks on 3rd October.
  • The European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Secretariat-General of the Council of the EU

Moreover, the Barcelona Process includes 6 countries and institutions participating as permanent observers (Libya, Mauritania, the Secretary-General of the Arab League) and invited observers, such as the European Investment Bank, the Arab Maghreb Union, the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures, the Economical and Social Committee or the Euromed Economical and Social Councils.

The new realities and challenges of the 21st century make it necessary to update the Barcelona Declaration and create a new Action Plan (based on the good results of the Valencia Action Plan), encompassing four fundamental areas:

  • Peace, Security, Stability, Good Government, and Democracy. It is necessary to strengthen our common democratic principles with concrete measures, and respond to new common threats, such as the fight against terrorism or weapons of mass destruction.  
  • Sustainable Economic Development and Reform. The modernisation of economic structures, growth, and sustainable development will be accelerated.  The methods used for managing EU financial aid to countries on the southern Mediterranean coast will be reinforced and improved, and support to the private sector will be made much stronger than it has been to date.
  • Education and Cultural Exchange. Civil society’s participation in every process plays an essential role in cultures’ mutual knowledge and understanding.  Therefore, contributions to better intercultural understanding will be made through the recently created Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures (with its headquarters in Alexandria), to which Spain is the principal individual contributor.
  • Justice, Security, Migration, and Social Integration. The value that migratory movements have today will be enhanced, intensifying co-operation in an area of such great importance, where concerted action is increasingly necessary.