The sustained relevance of the Barcelona process in the Mediterranean basin

Tsopanakis, George (2015)


The European Union has historically been unable to maintain an open channel of meaningful communication particularly with its southern Mediterranean neighbours. Contrary to the rest European initiatives in the region, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) scheme, best known as the Barcelona Process, has so far successfully attained the aforementioned objective. Over the past twenty years, the EMP initiative has successfully acclaimed the status of a multilateral negotiating table which brings together twenty seven delegates from the Middle East, North African and European world. In other words, the Barcelona framework holds out the most potential for keeping twenty seven and completely diverse countries tied together into a common aspiration: the dream of maintaining an everlasting peace and security dialogue in the Mediterranean Rim. The EMP’s multilateral and dialectic approach can alleviate the extent of political turmoil in the region and delimit the unprecedented expansion of Islamist violence in the extended Mediterranean neighbourhood, especially in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolts. It is these issues that the present dissertation critically assesses through a historical evaluation of the European and international initiatives in the Mediterranean world.