Spain Hosts the OSCE Mediterranean Conference on the Importance of Energy for Economic Growth and Co-operation in Malaga

​The Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation, Josep Borrell, alongside the Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miroslav Lajčák, in his role as president of the Mediterranean Contact Group of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Secretary-General of the OSCE, Thomas Greminger, today closed the 2018 OSCE Mediterranean Conference, held in Malaga on 25 and 26 October. The Conference was dedicated to “the importance of energy for economic growth and co-operation in the Mediterranean”.

The Conference welcomed more than 170 participants and was attended by close to fifteen ministers and vice-ministers from the OSCE Participant States and its Partners for Cooperation in the Mediterranean region (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia).

Minister Borrell, as Conference host, received the participants in the high-level segment and gave an address in which he emphasised the importance of the Mediterranean Partnership in the scope of the OSCE, making reference to the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 which acknowledged that the security of the OSCE region was inextricably linked to security in the Mediterranean.

The participants agreed that regional and inter-regional cooperation and dialogue on the challenges related to energy are essential in order to guarantee energy security and to develop strategies that encourage a rational and sustainable use of energy sources. 

The work of the Conference has allowed for the analysis of the importance of connectivity and cooperation with regard to energy. They also specifically addressed the protection of critical energy infrastructure, an issue of increasing concern, due to the increase in terrorism, conflicts and more frequent natural disasters. Likewise, the relation between energy and the environment was addressed; an issue that Spain has been working on in a sustained manner for years and for which, in 2007, the OSCE Council of Ministers released the Madrid Declaration on Environment and Security, which provided decisive political impetus for the development of the OSCE’s work in this field.

An event was also held in parallel to the Conference on the role of the private sector in energy development, which concluded that there is a need for governments and the private sector to work together to more positively influence the region’s energetic future.

The debates also demonstrated that the Mediterranean Partnership does not just involve governments, but also has an impact on citizens. The lack of access to energy provision is an obstacle for human and economic development and energy has an evident direct impact in terms of creating employment and saving and reducing emissions that affect health.

Spain has demonstrated its leadership in the OSCE with regard to the attention that the organisation pays to Mediterranean issues, which is why the Slovak president of the OSCE Mediterranean Contact Group offered the opportunity to host this Conference, which was unanimously supported by the entire organisation in July.  





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