FIVE YEAR WORK PROGRAMME

1. The aim of this programme is to implement the objectives agreed by partners at the 10th Anniversary Euro-Mediterranean Summit in accordance with the Barcelona Declaration of 1995. This work plan is designed to provide the basis for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation for the next five years. It aims to deliver results that will have a positive impact for all citizens in the region, thereby increasing the visibility of the Partnership. This work programme, as well as the implementation of the Association Agreements and the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plans, will be supported through technical and financial assistance provided through the MEDA Programme, the future European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), bilateral contributions from Member States, FEMIP and other relevant financial instruments, at levels consistent with the high ambition of our Euromediterranean Partnership.

Political and Security Partnership

2. To help realise a region of peace, security, prosperity and opportunity for our present and future generations, we will continue to work together to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. We will also promote a peaceful, stable and secure Euro-Mediterranean Region through partnership-building measures, joint regional projects, sustainable development and strengthened rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights.

3. Moreover, members of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership will strive to achieve their mutual commitments in this area including through measures that:

a) Extend political pluralism and participation by citizens, particularly women and youth, through the active promotion of a fair and competitive political environment, including fair and free elections;

b) Enable citizens to participate in decision-making at the local level including by increasing the decentralisation of governance and the management of public affairs and delivery of public services;

c) Increase the participation of women in decision-making including in political, social, cultural and economic positions;

d) Ensure freedom of expression and association by facilitating the work of independent information providers and increasing access to information for all citizens;

e) Foster the role of civil society in accordance with national legislation as appropriate and enhance its capability through improved interaction with governments and parliaments;

f) Enable the further implementation of UN and Regional Charters and Conventions on civil, political, social and economic rights to which they are party and promote the ratification of other instruments in this area.

4. With a view to contributing to the above objectives:

a) The EU will co-operate with partners in promoting and supporting their political reforms on the basis of universal principles, shared values and the Neighbourhood Action Plans, in accordance with national priorities, building on the commitment countries in the region have demonstrated to reform, including in the Tunis Declaration;

b) In this context the EU will establish a substantial financial Facility to support willing Mediterranean partners in carrying out their reforms taking into account that successful reforms must develop from within the societies of the region;

c) Euro-Mediterranean partners will meet internationally agreed standards in the conduct of elections. In this context they will discuss the possibility of developing, on a voluntary basis and upon request of the country concerned, joint co-operation and exchange of experience in the field of elections;

d) Euro-Mediterranean partners will deepen dialogue on Human Rights issues in the framework of the Association Agreements; representatives in the permanent missions at UN Headquarters shall conduct informal exchanges of views before the meetings of the UN Commission on Human Rights and of the UN General Assembly where appropriate;

e) Euro-Mediterranean Partners will take measures to achieve gender equality, preventing all forms of discrimination and ensuring the protection of the rights of women;

f) Euro-Mediterranean partners will take action to implement the agreed Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism.

5. Euro-Mediterranean partners will develop and deepen dialogue on ESDP and security issues with a view to strengthening co-operation, on a voluntary basis in conflict prevention, partnership building measures and crisis management activities, and also on civil protection and natural disaster prevention.

6. To implement the relevant paragraphs of the Barcelona Declaration as stated in paragraph four of the Statement for the 10th Anniversary Summit. The EU is also prepared to examine appropriate technical assistance in the field of clearing areas affected by land mines.

Sustainable Socio-Economic Development and Reform

7. To work towards creating more job opportunities for the increasing numbers of young people across the region, reducing regional poverty rates and closing the prosperity gap and raising GDP growth rates, Euro-Mediterranean partners will undertake measures to achieve:

a) An improved business climate, in particular for SMEs, including by reducing regulatory and administrative obstacles to the creation and operation of businesses, as well as the time taken to create a new business;

b) Increased access to bank lending by the private sector through consolidating and liberalising the financial sector, improving financial supervision and facilitating cooperation between financial institutions;

c) Improved management and upgrading of public institutions;

d) Consolidated macro-economic stability and improved public finance management;

e) Strengthened social protection systems to ensure a basic standard of living for the most vulnerable;

f) Developed national capabilities in the field of scientific and technological research and innovation to establish a knowledge based society through increased co-operation with and access to relevant European programmes and institutions;

g) Better socio-economic inclusion, in particular in order to face social consequences of sectoral restructuring;

h) A significant increase in the percentage of women in employment in all Euro-Mediterranean partner countries;

i) Increased labour force productivity through greater access to vocational and technical training and measures to encourage technology transfer from European partners. An increased role for the private sector in financing and training within the workplace;

j) An increase in the region’s domestic investment and of its share of global foreign direct investment, particularly in non-oil sectors, by inter alia improving its investment climate and supporting efforts to attract foreign and domestic investment that contribute to the creation of new jobs in the region;

k) An increase in the percentage of the labour force working in the private sector;

l) An increase in north-south and south-south regional or sub regional cooperation through financial assistance in fields of mutual interest.

8. With a view to contributing to the above objectives and based on the Barcelona Declaration, Euro-Mediterranean partners will:

a) Design and implement a road map, the components of which should be developed in a comprehensive way, in accordance with the provisions of the Association Agreements, for the creation of a Free Trade Area by 2010.

This road map includes:

i) The progressive liberalisation of trade in agriculture, processed agricultural products and fisheries products, with a possible selected number of exceptions and timetables for gradual and asymmetrical implementation, taking into account the differences and individual characteristics of the agricultural sector in different countries, building on the Euromed Association Agreements and regional free trade agreements, based on the Rabat roadmap. Non-tariff aspects of agricultural trade liberalisation should be properly dealt with, along with other issues such as rural development, agricultural productivity and quality, as well as sustainable development. Negotiations will start with partner countries as soon as possible;

ii) The progressive liberalisation of trade in services taking into account the non binding Framework Protocol adopted in Istanbul in 2004, in order to open negotiations on a voluntary basis on agreements on services and establishment of partner countries as soon as possible;

b) Advocate the acceleration of the conclusion of free trade agreements with each other, and promote other regional agreements and bilateral trade agreements; and work for the entry into force of the Agadir Agreement at the latest by the end of 2005;

c) Take advantage of the adoption of the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean protocol on cumulation of origin as a step towards promoting intra and inter-regional integration;

d) Approximate standards, technical legislation and conformity assessment, and provide support and assistance to that end, so as to pave the way for the negotiations of Acceptance and Cooperation Assessment Agreements on Industrial Products (ACAAs) and the elimination of technical obstacles to commerce at the latest by 2010;

e) Assess in December 2006 the possibility of the incorporation of an EIB majority owned subsidiary dedicated to the Mediterranean partner countries on the basis of an evaluation of FEMIP’s performance;

f) Apply the principles of the Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Enterprise and assess together their implementation;

g) Take measures to promote the conditions to allow a substantial increase in the European investment rate in southern Mediterranean partner countries;

h) Encourage the increase of the investment rate in the region by supporting regional programmes and networks towards this end. Establish an ad hoc group to examine ways and means of enhancing investment flows across the Mediterranean region and monitor progress;

i) Strengthen impact analysis of economic reforms and co-operation in the region;

j) Promote environmental sustainability and implement the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development. To develop as soon as possible a road map for de-polluting the Mediterranean by 2020, based on the recommendations of Euromed Environment Ministers using inter alia the MSSD and the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan towards this end, while providing adequate financial and technical assistance to this end. The goal should be to tackle all the major sources of pollution including industrial emissions, municipal waste and particularly urban wastewater. Exchange experience on sustainable development in the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea;

k) Develop scientific and technological research and innovation and facilitate the transfer of technology in accordance with national legislation; implement the recommendations of the 2005 Euromed Dundalk Ministerial Conference on ICT; invite the competent EU authorities to extend the Eureka Programme to all Mediterranean partners;

l) Launch by 2007 at least two projects implementing EU regional policy methodology in two pilot regions in the south and review the results with a view to making recommendations on future projects;

m) Develop a regional transport infrastructure network and adopt a set of recommendations at the Marrakech Euromed Transport Ministerial Conference in December 2005 to boost transport co-operation;

n) Implement sub-regional energy projects to promote a Euro-Mediterranean energy market, including the progressive integration of Mashrek-Maghreb electricity networks with the EU electricity network; the integration of Middle East gas networks, energy co-operation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority; and several important pipeline connections;

o) Co-operate to enhance the impact of tourism on job creation, infrastructure development and inter-cultural understanding while ensuring environmental sustainability;

p) Promote effective health cooperation as an essential factor for social and economic development.

Education and Socio-Cultural Exchanges

9. Recognising the crucial role of education for political, social and economic development, partners will improve equitable access to quality education in line with the Millennium Development Goals and the Education for All objectives. Euro-Mediterranean partners commit to undertake measures aiming to:

a) Halve the number of illiterate female and male adults and children by 2010;

b) Ensure equality of access to quality education at all levels for girl and boy students by 2015;

c) Ensure that by 2015 all children complete at least primary education;

d) Reduce disparities in educational achievement between Euro-Mediterranean states under internationally recognised education standards;

e) Increase completion rates at the different education levels, particularly for girls and students with special needs;

f) Enhance graduate employment through efficient, high quality higher education and greater co-operation across higher education and research;

g) Increase awareness and understanding of the different cultures and civilisations of the region, including through conservation and restoration of cultural heritage.

10. With a view to contributing to the above objectives, Euro-Mediterranean partners will:

a) Increase significantly funding devoted to education in the Mediterranean region through EU assistance and Mediterranean partners’ national plans and raise education as a priority sector within the ENPI;

b) Increase enrolment rates through increasing the number of schools and rehabilitating existing schools, and by measures to stimulate demand including community involvement;

c) Expand and improve illiteracy eradication and adult education programmes across society with special focus on females;

d) Expand and improve education opportunities for girls and women, as a basic right;

e) Work to strengthen the quality and relevance to the labour market of primary and secondary education and training by increasing the effectiveness of the school system, promoting skills, innovation and active self-learning, providing continuous education and training for the teaching force, making appropriate use of educational materials and information technology and e-learning, and through the monitoring of quality assurance, including support for participation in international assessments (e.g. TIMSS);

f) Support market based reform of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, the involvement of commerce and industry, and rationalisation of qualifications;

g) Enhance the capabilities of universities and higher learning institutions, including by encouraging networking between them within the Euro- Mediterranean region, and improve the relevance of their programmes to labour market demands and the knowledge-based society;

h) Introduce a standard of university education qualification transferable within the Euro-Mediterranean region, encourage distance education and electronic communications and promote student exchanges;

i) Increase access to the internet and create a Virtual Library to increase the accessibility of textbooks, reference books, publications and documents including in the original Arabic and through translating between Arabic and European languages;

j) Support the work of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures to improve intercultural understanding through regular dialogue, promotion of exchanges and mobility between people at all levels;

k) Work to increase the involvement of civil society in the EuroMed partnership;

l) Launch a substantial scholarships scheme for university students from Euro- Mediterranean Partner countries and increase mobility grants for Higher Education staff;

m) Strengthen youth dialogue through the Euromed Youth Platform and promote youth exchanges;

n) Co-operate to combat discrimination, racism and xenophobia and to increase tolerance, understanding and respect of all religions and cultures;

o) Enhance the role of the media for the development of intercultural dialogue, including by supporting the setting up of multicultural and multilingual channels and portals.

Migration, Social Integration, Justice and Security

11. Acknowledging that Migration, Social Integration, Justice and Security are issues of common interest in the Partnership, and should be addressed through a comprehensive and integrated approach, the Euro-Mediterranean partnership will enhance co-operation in these fields to:

a) Promote legal migration opportunities, work towards the facilitation of the legal movement of individuals, recognising that these constitute an opportunity for economic growth and a mean of improving links between countries, fair treatment and integration policies for legal migrants, and facilitate the flow of remittance transfers and address ‘brain drain’;

b) Reduce significantly the level of illegal migration, trafficking in human beings and loss of life through hazardous sea and border crossings;

c) Continue to pursue the modernisation and efficiency of the administration of justice and facilitate access to justice by citizens;

d) Reinforce judicial co-operation, including on cross border issues;

e) Facilitate solutions to problems arising from mixed marriage disputes and child custody cases and encourage cooperation in accordance with the principle of the UN Convention of 1989 on the Rights of the Child and national legislation;

f) Promote the ratification and further implementation of the relevant UN conventions on combating organised crime and drugs, and improve cooperation by law enforcement agencies.

12. With a view to contributing to the above objectives Euro-Mediterranean partners will:

a) Hold a Ministerial meeting to discuss all issues pertinent to migration. And hold an expert senior officials meeting to prepare the Ministerial and discuss other issues of relevance;

b) Develop mechanisms for practical co-operation and sharing experience on managing migration flows humanely, deepen dialogue with countries of origin and transit and explore options for providing assistance for countries of origin and transit;

c) Promote schemes for safer, easier, less expensive channels for the efficient transfer of migrants’ remittances, encourage active contacts with expatriate communities to maintain their participation in the development process in their country of origin;

d) Develop ways to assist capacity building for those national institutions in partner countries dealing with expatriates;

e) Promote legal migration opportunities and integration of migrants;

f) Enhance cooperation to fight illegal migration. This cooperation should involve all aspects of illegal migration, such as the negotiation of different kinds of readmission agreements, the fight against human trafficking and related networks as well as other forms of illegal migration, and capacity building in border management and migration;

g) The Euromed Partners welcome the convening of a Euro-African Conference on Migration;

h) Develop contacts, training and technical assistance for judicial and legal professionals, building on the Euromed Justice Programme, the ENP Action Plans and other agreed multilateral and bilateral instruments, with the participation of the concerned Mediterranean partners in the design and implementation process;

i) Develop contacts, training and technical assistance for police and law enforcement officers, building on ENP Action Plans, other agreed instruments and the Euromed Police Programme, encouraging networks in the Euromed region and drawing on the expertise of Europol with the participation of the concerned Mediterranean partners in the design and implementation process.

ref: 15074/05 (Presse 327)