The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership provides the institutional structure for the development of relations between the European Union and the Mediterranean states. The Partnership was initiated with the Conference of EU and Mediterranean Foreign Ministers in Barcelona, on 27 and 28 November 1995. This event noted the start of a new "partnership" phase in the relationship including bilateral and multilateral or regional cooperation. Cyprus has participated in the Barcelona Process since its inauguration: as a Mediterranean Partner, together with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey, and as of the 1 May 2004, as a member of the Union in a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership that numbers 35 participating states.
The Republic of Cyprus, as a participant in the Barcelona Process since its creation, has followed the evolution of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership very closely. As a Mediterranean country and a European Union member state, Cyprus is one of the more fervent supporters of the enhancement of the Mediterranean dimension of the Union's foreign policy.
Furthermore, as a country with historical, cultural, and commercial bonds with Europe and the Middle East, as well as due to the good relations it maintains with its fellow EU member states and all the countries in the Middle East, Cyprus is ideally placed to act as a bridge between the two, in order to achieve a greater convergence of policies for the resolution of problems in the Euro-Mediterranean area. As a result, the European Union could benefit from Cyprus' close and excellent relations with the countries of the region, towards strengthening and enriching its relations and enhancing cooperation with the Mediterranean partners, as well as towards enhancing the Mediterranean dimension of the Union's policy priorities.
Cyprus fully supports the Union for the Mediterranean and actively participates in the relevant deliberations, so that this new body succeeds in fulfilling the high tasks assigned to it.