Imagen de otras iniciativas en el Mediterráneo
Other Initiatives
After the end of the Cold War, institutions and organisations in which European countries had integrated have tried to maintain good neighbourly and collaborative relations with their neighbours on the opposite shore of the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Central Asia, through different programmes, initiatives and work groups at the highest level.

The Member States of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), made up of more than 50 States, the majority of them in Europe, appreciated during the 1990s, following the end of the Cold War, the importance of the Mediterranean for European security. Hence, the OSCE invited the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC), as from 1994, to take part in the activities of the organisation and to step up dialogue. This initiative includes Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan (since 1998), Morocco and Tunisia (since 1994).

The aim is to maintain security in the OSCE region and in the southern basin of the Mediterranean through dialogue, the adoption of common rules and commitments, cooperation in the fields of activity of the OSCE and the transfer of the OSCE’s experiences.

These relations involve the organisation of seminars focused on tackling specific issues in the Mediterranean region, regular meetings of the Mediterranean Contact Group with the Member States of the OSCE and Mediterranean Partner Countries, as well as the holding of parliamentary forums on the Mediterranean.

This Contact Group of the OSCE was precisely set up within the framework of the Permanent Council of the OSCE to facilitate the exchange of information of mutual interest and the generation of ideas (1994 Bucharest Summit). Despite these meetings being held on an informal basis, the Member States of the OSCE and their partners are normally represented by their ambassadors. Furthermore, the meetings between the Contact Group and its partners are preceded by a series of meetings to prepare the agenda for the meeting and to explore other types of cooperation within the Mediterranean dimension of the OSCE. The Contact Group also invites representatives from other international organisations to its meetings.

In addition, the so-called NATO Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) was set up in 1994, upon an initiative from Spain, and gathers together seven countries that are not members of the strategic alliance in the Mediterranean region: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. This initiative also forms part of NATO’s adaptation to a new security situation and is an important component of its alliance and cooperation policy. The Mediterranean Dialogue reflects NATO’s vision that security in Europe is closely tied to security and stability in this region, and its main goals are to contribute to the security and stability of the Mediterranean, ensure greater understanding between NATO and the Mediterranean countries and dispel certain perceptions regarding NATO’s role in the Mediterranean.

Another framework for cooperation between these regions is the OECD’s MENA Programme, which backs the development and creation of a favourable climate for business initiatives and economic growth in both directions. This initiative was set in motion at the end of 2004, and is the first time that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has developed its activities in Arab countries. The initiative seeks to foster reforms to strengthen investment, modernise governmental and administrative structures, and promote sustainable economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The initiative establishes a regional network of public officials, including participation from the private sector, NGOs, international organisations and donor agencies.

The Council of Europe operates at a more political and legal level, as an organisation designed to define, through the cooperation of its Member States, the configuration of a common political and legal space on the continent, founded upon the values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Since 1989, the Council of Europe has developed its own neighbourhood policy that seeks to draw together its experience in the promotion of democratic principles beyond its borders. This initiative has become essential at a time in which some Arab countries are undergoing significant political transformations and pro-democracy processes that the Council of Europe can assist and strengthen through the European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity, better known as the North-South Centre. Its aims are based, among others, on helping guarantee democratic transitions, aiding in the implementation of good governance formulas, following standards of the Member States of the Council of Europe and taking part as observers in electoral processes.

 

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