From the Barcelona Process (1995) to the Union for the Mediterranean (2008)
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.
The Stuttgart Conference (15 and 16 April 1999) and the creation of the Euromed Cities Network (2000)
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.
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 development of the Network
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 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, Nice took over, installed a permanent General Secretariat and decided to place the Mediterranean at the heart of the thinking, encounters and achievements of the Euromed Cities Network, 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.
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.
Today, 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 Network 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.
First plenary assembly of the Euromed Cities Network in Nice (9 and 10 July 2009)
The first plenary assembly, held in Nice on 9 and 10 July 2009, was devoted to the theme of sustainable development.
Holding the presidency of the Network, the city of Nice set itself the objective of giving meaning to the concept of a “sustainable city adapted to the Mediterranean” by introducing sustainable urban development strategies.
This encounter aimed to encourage exchanges of experience and best practice likely to stimulate the emergence of partnerships and the development of projects between the Network’s member cities.
The days were structured according to two aspects:
- a plenary assembly reviewing the state of Euro-Mediterranean policy,
- a seminar outlining exchanges of experience based on successful sustainable development models.
Second plenary assembly of the Euromed Cities Network in Fez (3 and 4 February 2011)
The city of Nice organised the second plenary assembly on 3 and 4 February 2011 in Fez, Morocco, at the invitation of the city of Fez, which held the vice presidency of the Network.
The days were dedicated to the following themes:
- Mediterranean players at the heart of local sustainable development (water and waste management, green tourism),
- the construction of a new, diverse, shared economy in the Mediterranean,
- the decentralisation and autonomy of local authorities (decentralised cooperation, public service, executive training),
- the presentation of the Network’s official website.
The delegations re-elected the city of Nice to the presidency of the Network.The delegations approved the Network’s broad directions:
- developing and reinforcing decentralised cooperation actions between the Network’s local authorities,
- reinforcing the links between Network members and the Network’s influence by developing the website,
- establishing a permanent General Secretariat for the first time since the Euromed Cities Network’s creation, based in Nice.
The Network also made a commitment to two European projects in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) programme: the MED-3R strategic waste management platform and ShMILE2, promoting and publicising the European Ecolabel for tourist accommodation providers, by encouraging Network members to take part and contributing its expertise.
Third plenary assembly of the Euromed Cities Network in Nice (9 and 10 February 2012)
The city of Nice, occupying the presidency of the Euromed Cities Network, hosted the Network’s third plenary assembly on 9 and 10 February 2012.
The goal of this third session was to encourage dialogue and develop projects to support partnerships and exchanges of knowledge in the Mediterranean area through concrete policies of decentralised cooperation.
Round-table talks on 9 and 10 February 2012 brought together the Network’s members and partners to discuss the following themes:
- Euro-Mediterranean partnerships to respond to the challenges of sustainable development in the areas of waste, water, transport and urban planning,
- the options for Euro-Mediterranean financial partnerships,• the decentralisation process in support of partnership development,
- moving towards a Union of Mediterranean Cities.A twinning agreement was signed between the cities of Nice and Sousse (Tunisia).
Fourth plenary assembly of the Euromed Cities Network in Nice (3 and 4 November 2016)
The Euromed Cities Network stakeholders’ meeting was held in Nice on 3 and 4 November 2016, attended by Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy, and Ihab Fahmy, the Deputy General Secretary of the Union for the Mediterranean.
The event brought together over fifty cities in twenty countries in Europe and on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
The discussions focused on Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, with a workshop dedicated more specifically to water and sanitation to highlight the experience of Mediterranean cities.
Christian Estrosi’s welcome speech
Over 50 cities are represented in this chamber, the ambassadors of twenty countries covering the whole Mediterranean basin and part of Europe.
This is a wonderful demonstration of confluence and cooperation.
And we cannot help seeing it as an extension of the fresco in front of you, outlining the civilisations that have succeeded each other on our shores.
We are the Mediterranean and we are Europe.
Your presence, dear Johannes Hahn (European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations), is living proof of this.
I am delighted that the European Union has chosen greater cooperation with its neighbours and partners, particularly to the South. Stronger partnerships for a stronger neighbourhood, as you have firmly reasserted.
And I am delighted that your priorities include employment and economic development. These are the keys to resolving many of the difficulties assailing our world.
Your ambitions in these areas are of course the same as ours.
Symposium on Euro-Mediterranean cooperation
Thursday 3 November 2016
Workshop on “Mediterranean cities: experience of water and sanitation management in the context of climate change” co-organised by the Office International de l’Eau.
General Assembly of the Euromed Cities Network
Friday 4 November 2016 – Summary
Created in 2000, the Euromed Cities Network includes cities located in several countries in Europe and on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean. The territory of Nice Côte d’Azur has occupied the presidency and hosted the General Secretariat since 2012.
The General Assembly brings together over 50 cities representing twenty Euro-Mediterranean countries.
The General Secretariat is responsible for reflecting on the development of the Euromed Cities Network in preparation for the General Assembly.
The proposed agenda:
- Review of the Network’s strategy, development and structure,
- Vote on the Charter,
- Vote on the Rules of Procedure,
- Choice of themes for the Working Committees,
- Election of the Network’s presidency,
- Election of the presidencies of the Working Committees,
is thus entirely focused on the development of the Network.