Minister Cowen to attend the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Meeting,
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Brian Cowen T.D., will attend the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial meeting in Crete, 26-27 May 2003.
The meeting will focus primarily on social and economic issues but Ministers will also discuss the political situation in the Middle-East, Iraq, Cyprus and EU Turkey relations.
This Ministerial meeting is an important part of the preparations for Ireland's EU Presidency which begins on 1 January 2004. It is expected that a similar Ministerial meeting will take place in Ireland during the Presidency.
The Euro-Mediterranean partnership was set up by the Barcelona Declaration of November 1995. The partnership is a process of co-operation between the 15 EU member States and 12 countries and authorities of the southern Mediterranean - Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. The Accession Countries participate as active observers.
The partnership covers three broad areas of co-operation, political and security co-operation, economic and financial co-operation and social, cultural and humanitarian co-operation.