Based on a proposal by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen the Prime Ministers of the Nordic EU countries and the Baltic countries today have sent a joint letter to the Greek Presidency calling for a special effort by the EU in relation to the Arab world.
In light of the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001 and events since then and with a view to the upcoming EU Summit in Thessaloniki the six Prime Ministers call on the EU to launch a new Partnership for Progress and Reform with the Middle East and North Africa. The Partnership shall promote the political dialogue between the EU and the Arab world on democracy and good governance as well as the economic and social development in the Arab world. It shall offer support for more pluralistic media and serve to enhance the cultural and religious dialogue with the Muslim world.
The Prime Ministers suggest that the EU at the coming European Council in Thessaloniki invite the Commission and Secretary General Solana to carry forward the work and to formulate a detailed work plan for the implementation of such a new Partnership. They also suggest that the issue be discussed at the upcoming EU-USA Summit on 25 June.
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen says:
“I am very satisfied with the agreement between the Nordic EU countries and the Baltic countries on working for a new Partnership for Progress and Reform with the Middle East and North Africa. Democratisation and reform of the Arab countries are key preconditions for our security in the longer term. It is a key element of the new and active foreign policy of the Danish government.
It sends a strong signal that the Nordic EU countries and the Baltic countries are joining efforts on this issue. It is my hope that our proposal can gather broad support among the EU countries at the EU Summit in Thessaloniki at the end of next week".