Ten years ago, the countries of the Mediterranean Basin and the European Union met in Barcelona. Today, 35 countries meet in the same city to continue the process. It’s important to update our ambitions and to deal with the new challenges: terrorism, immigration, organized crime, etc. We should all reach an agreement to regulate the migratory waves, especially. All these themes are the order of the day. We all recognize that together we have a lot to win with regard to better prosperity and security in the region.
The extension of the European Union has brought about better security and economic development to the European continent. The Barcelona partnership helps the Mediterranean countries, but we must go beyond. The European Union is working particularly on the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by providing assistance for the reconstruction of the Palestinian economy and the development of State infrastructures. We also have an observation mission on the border between Gaza and Egypt. In addition, we support the “roadmap”. But we must do more than this. We must strengthen our actions to support political reforms and Human Rights in the region. We must also develop the Mediterranean economy and the exchanges by breaching trade barriers. We must also discuss how to improve governmental management, education and the war against terror.

El País (Spain)

Una cumbre para el futuro”, by Tony Blair and José Luis Zapatero, El País, November 28, 2005.