The Barcelona Process, launched by Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers in November 1995, formed an innovative alliance based on the principles of joint ownership, dialogue and co-operation. It brings together the 27 Members of the European Union and 12 Southern Mediterranean states.
The Barcelona Declaration outlines the main objectives of the partnership: to build together an area of peace, security and shared prosperity. Progress towards this end is to be achieved by activities in the political area, the economic/financial area and the cultural/social sector. In 2005 migration was added as a fourth key sector.
In 2005, the Barcelona Summit agreed on a five year work programme and a Euro-mediterranean Code of Conduct for countering terrorism.
The Barcelona Process develops the regional/multilateral dimension of the Partnership between Europe and the Southern Mediterranean. The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) works to complement and reinforce the Barcelona Process on a bilateral basis, through action plans agreed with the partner countries.
The Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean was launched in Paris on July 13th, 2008. It aims to infuse new vitality into the partnership, offering more balanced governance and increased visibility. See the European Commission's Communication of 20th May, 2008.
The EU works closely with each of its Mediterranean partners to establish support programmes for economic transition and reform which take into account each country’s specific needs and characteristics. These actions are funded under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).
The European Commission has supported the Barcelona Process with the provision of €16 billion from the Community budget since 1995. Loans from the European Investment Bank amount to approximately €2 billion per year.