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EU and Mediterranean countries agree on fostering education and information exchange to face jihadism

The Euromed ministerial conference held in Barcelona on Monday 13 April has ended with agreement on a number of initiatives to fight jihadist terrorism. The informal meeting gathered together the foreign affairs ministers of 22 European Union Member States and 10 southern Mediterranean countries and is the most important Euromed conference since 2008. They discussed irregular immigration, trade and Islamic terrorism. In regard to the latter, they agreed on increasing cooperation and information exchange between them to face this threat, as well as improving the education offered to young people, so as to avoid recruitment by jihadist activists, explained the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President, Federica Mogherini. Besides this, the Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, also insisted on his proposal to create an International Penal Court for Terrorism.

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13 April 2015 09:25 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Euromed ministerial conference held in Barcelona on Monday 13 April has ended with agreement on a number of initiatives to fight jihadist terrorism. The informal meeting gathered together the foreign affairs ministers of 22 European Union Member States and 10 southern Mediterranean countries and is the most important Euromed conference since 2008. They discussed irregular immigration, trade and Islamic terrorism. In regard to the latter, they agreed on increasing cooperation and information exchange between them to face this threat, as well as improving the education offered to young people, so as to avoid recruitment by jihadist activists, explained the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President, Federica Mogherini, in a press conference held during the meeting. Besides this, the Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, also insisted on his proposal to create an International Penal Court for Terrorism. This is an idea dating from the years immediately after the Second World War, but has never been implemented due to the lack of international consensus on the definition of terrorism.


The informal ministerial summit was opened in the morning by the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. Both Mas and Rajoy sent veiled messages regarding Catalonia's independence debate in their welcoming addresses.

Today's meeting had an "informal" setting, despite it gathering together 32 foreign affairs ministers, the EU High Representative and the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy, Johannes Hahn. They gathered at the Pedralbes Palace, which is owned by the Catalan Government and hosts the Permanent Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, headquartered in Barcelona.

Mogherini also announced that she proposes that the attendants meet at least once per year because there is "a need" to discuss issues affecting the entire Mediterranean region. Such an annual meeting would be set in different countries and would adopt an informal setting such as today or could be "more institutionalised, more structured", she added. However, "what is important is that we agree on working together and in a joint way".

In this vein, the EU High Representative also announced a new summit specifically focusing on immigration, in which Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs ministers from both sides of the Mediterranean Sea will be gathered together. Such a topic has been discussed in this Monday's meeting but Mogherini is pushing for a specific conference on it.

"For the first time immigration will be the central topic of such a conference", she stressed. "We will deal with internal and external measures to work with the countries" where the migrant people come from with the objective "to save lives", Mogherini highlighted. EU and Mediterranean countries "need to cooperate and work closer because they share the most turbulent region in the world", she added.

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  • The press conference on the conclusions of the informal ministerial meeting held in Barcelona (by J. Pérez)

  • The press conference on the conclusions of the informal ministerial meeting held in Barcelona (by J. Pérez)