The Euro Med partnership, also known as the Barcelona Process, was initiated on 27 and 28 November 1995, giving birth to an alliance based on the principles of adopting common dialogue and cooperation.
The resulting Barcelona Declaration listed the primary objectives: building a common area of peace, stability and prosperity.
To achieve this, it set out a series of actions to be taken, working closely with the European Union, addressing economic, environmental, cultural and social aspects.
Within this framework, the Euromed Cities Network was created by the City of Bordeaux in 2000 based on the conclusions of the third Euro-Mediterranean conference of foreign ministers, held in Stuttgart on 15 and 16 April 1999, which encouraged local authorities to engage with the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.
Initiating concrete dialogue
Its ambition was to initiate a concrete, interactive dialogue between the cities on the northern, southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean in order to bring projects, actions and programmes to life between its members by providing an institutional approach.
The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), introduced in 2004, aims to complement and reinforce the Barcelona Process via bilateral and multilateral action plans agreed with all the partner countries.
On 13 July 2008, the Heads of State and Government of 43 countries met at a Paris summit, invited by the President of the French Republic and the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, where they decided to implement a reinforced partnership around the Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean at the centre of thinking
The vocation of the Euromed Cities Network was thus reinforced, placing the Mediterranean at the heart of its thinking, encounters and achievements, particularly with regard to climate change, the development of smart, sustainable cities and protecting the Mediterranean’s environment and heritage and its cultural, philosophical and artistic influence.
The development of the Euromed Cities Network, which is also intended to be a hub for technical exchanges between operators and public services in the Mediterranean, came precisely at a time when the need for operational dialogue between the shores was growing, particularly in terms of innovation.
The city of Turin took on the presidency of the Euromed Cities Network in 2004, followed by Barcelona in 2006.
Marseille then took over the presidency until 2008, working to intensify the Network’s relations with European Union institutions and the cities of North Africa and the Mashriq region of the Middle East.
In 2008, following Bordeaux, Turin, Barcelona and Marseille, the presidency of the Network came to Nice, with Fez and Jdeideh as the two vice presidencies.
Since 4 November 2016, the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolitan region has held the presidency of the Network alongside six vice-presidency cities chairing the Working Committees: Algiers for youth employment, Greenwich for innovation, Jdeideh for security and migration, Nuremberg for energy, Sfax for waste and Tangier for urban planning and heritage.
Promoting cooperative project engineering
The Euromed Cities Network consists of cities in Europe and on the northern, southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean basin, together with a number of other partners.
The Euromed Cities Network currently includes 150 cities across 27 countries in Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and Tunisia), Asia (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian Territories and Turkey) and Europe (Albania, Germany, Belgium, Cyprus, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom). It is also strengthened by thematic partners. It aims to support cooperative project engineering among its members and helps raise the corresponding finance.
The Euromed Cities Network is open to other cities and partners developing an interest in the Mediterranean.
The permanent General Secretariat is based in Nice. The Network emphasises the importance of creating the conditions for collaboration that is above all respectful and positive with regard to the identities of its members and of developing partnerships and projects that promote peace and economic development.