Resolution on the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership

Meeting of the Socialist International Mediterranean Committee, Rome, 6-7 March 1998


Original: French

The Socialist International Mediterranean Committee, meeting in Rome on 6-7 March 1998, reaffirms, as stated at its meeting in Tangier in March 1997, that "the establishment and maintenance of conditions of peace, security and prosperity on the northern shores of the Mediterranean are more than ever linked to the promotion of economic and social developments in countries to the south and east of the Mediterranean". In this context, the Committee expresses its concern over the present impasse affecting the peace process in the Middle East. At the same time, the Committee expresses its concern at the tragedy of the Algerian people and hopes that a dialogue will be established between those forces which reject and unreservedly condemn violence and terrorism. In the hope that these difficulties can be overcome as soon as possible, the Committee:

1. underlines the commitment of all our parties on the two shores of the Mediterranean to this partnership, and counts on the engagement of all the member states of the European Union (EU) to contribute to its strengthening;

2. calls for the relaunching of the process agreed at the Barcelona Conference in November 1995 and urges all the governments of the EU and of the Mediterranean Partner Countries to make every effort to ensure that the mid-term Conference to be held on 3-4 June in Palermo, is an effective and concrete occasion to relaunch Euro-Mediterranean cooperation;

3. reiterates that this process should be implemented in its entirety, respecting its three essential components, that is, the political and security, the economic and social, and the cultural cooperation aspects;

4. calls for reflection, aimed at enabling this partnership to meet the 1999 deadline, notably in relation to the following points:

- EU enlargement and its relations with the countries of central and eastern Europe is not in contradiction to the development of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. New balances and new synergies should be sought in this context.

- The construction of this Euro-Mediterranean concept should not entail giving priority to free trade and the market. The notion of cooperation must be replaced by one of true co- development which also takes on board macro-economic policies, starting with the rescheduling of the Mediterranean Partner Countries public debt, and the promotion of direct investments in these countries.

- The economic and social aspects should be integrated, starting with the affirmation of fundamental social and civil rights;

- Economic complementarity and integration should be pursued in order to overcome all current competitiveness, mainly within the Mediterranean Basin.

- Greater weight must be given to regional and sub-regional partnership activities, and greater financial resources should be devoted to this end.

5. underlines the importance of the democratic and parliamentary dimension of the Mediterranean partnership and the holding of the next Euro-Mediterranean Forum without delay;

6 appeals to the parliaments of all concerned states to accept the invitation extended to them to participate in the next preparatory meeting scheduled in Valetta;

7. requests that this meeting set up the necessary modalities for the organisation of the next Forum in the shortest possible time;

8. requests the parliaments of the EU member states to proceed without delay to the ratification of the association agreements already signed with the countries of the south shore of the Mediterranean and expresses its hope that the negotiations with Egypt and Lebanon are concluded before the Palermo conference.