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S&D Group’s declaration on the Southern Mediterranean

9 mars 2011

S&D Group warmly welcomes the joint Communication by the Commission and the High Representative proposing a new Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity to support the Southern Mediterranean countries.

We applaud the idea of a strong EU support for home grown democracy in the Southern Mediterranean.

We are pleased to record that the Commission has learned the lessons of past failures of the European Neighbourhood Policy: erratic conditionality and unclear benchmarks.

The new approach by the Commission sets a very clear condition for entry into the new Partnership:  a commitment to adequately monitored, free and fair elections.

The Communication offers a new platform to address the historical moment being offered to us.

S&D Group has always understood that economic prosperity and social justice are key steps to engaging in open and honest relations with our neighbours. We are glad that the Commission is proposing a set of concrete measures to foster inclusive economic development: promote small and medium size enterprises and job creation as well as making substantial funds available to reach these ends.

We are very satisfied that the Commission is tackling the challenges of mobility. The new Mobility Partnership with partner countries should focus on the previously neglected legal framework for economic migration, i.e. EU common standards for entry and stay, an assessment of EU needs and a high level set of rights attached to mobility.

S&D Group urges the extraordinary European Council on developments in Southern Neighbourhood, and Libya in particular, taking place on Friday 11 March, to fully embrace the message of this Communication and swiftly act upon all its recommendations, taking into account that this a shared responsibility of the EU, the Member States and the Southern Mediterranean countries.

The S&D Group pledges to contribute actively in support of this process.

 Adrian SEVERIN -Vice-president

Raimon OBIOLS-  Coordinator UfM -PA                                                                                           

Kristian VIGENI- Coordinator AFET


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