the course of the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership process,
the necessity for shaping a culture of dialogue and cooperation among the European
member states and its Mediterranean Partners has continually been emphasised.
As one of the results, the European Commission has entrusted the Mediterranean
Academy of Diplomatic Studies to run a semi-annual Information and Training
Seminar for Euro-Mediterranean desk officers of the 39 partner countries.
The Euro-Med seminars
have consisted of a series of presentations with a primary objective of familiarization
with the Euro-Mediterranean Process. Subject areas examined were: the EU institutional
setting and decision-making patterns, the question of how to deal with the EU
in practical terms, and the selected aspects of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership
and its implementation.
All of the Euro-Mediterranean
Information and Training sessions were geared towards mid-ranking diplomats.
At the same time an effort was made to attract junior representatives who had
attended previous meetings for the purpose of building a core group across the
Euro-Med area dealing with Euro-Med matters. An additional feature at recent
Euro-Mediterranean Information and Training Seminars has been the organizing
of workshops within the seminars. This approach has helped participants work
more closely together when examining issues pertaining to the Euro-Mediterranean
All of the Information
and Training programmes have provided an up-to-date analysis of the Euro-Mediterranean
process. They have brought together specialists from Europe and the Mediterranean
who provided in-depth assessments of the progress registered to date in each
of the three chapters of the Barcelona process: political and security; economic
and financial; social, cultural and human.
assessment of the Euro-Mediterranean Information and Training Programme reveals
that this is a unique mechanism to facilitate the informal exchange and open
dialogue between actual practitioners directly involved in the implementation
of the Partnership. The networking effect has already turned out to be a much-appreciated
feature of the meeting.
rapidly growing number of programmes and projects under the auspices of the
Barcelona Partnership necessitates regular updates of desk officers. Apart from
its intrinsic value, the continuous and consistent dissemination of information
pertaining to the Partnership process is helping to overcome inconsistencies
in the process and facilitate informal exchanges of views on a wide variety
of subjects of common interest. The significance of this exercise was further
underlined in the Political and Security Dialogue section of the Presidency Conclusions for the Euro-Mediterranean Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (The Hague, 29-30 November 2004)
where direct reference is made to the training sessions as a confidence-building measure:
"Ministers encouraged the Commission to continue support for Partnership Building Measures i.e. the
Malta Diplomatic Seminars..."
Malta Seminars were again highlighted at ministerial conference in Luxemburg 2005: "Ministers reiterated their support to existing partnership building measures which have been successfully pursued under the MEDA programme, notably the Malta seminars,..." - VIIth Euro-Mediterranean Conference, May 2005, Luxembourg-Kiem.