Thursday 24 November 2022, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Antonio Tajani, will be in Barcelona to attend the 4th meeting between EU Foreign Affairs Ministers and their counterparts of the Southern Neighbourhood countries.
Co-organised by the European External Action Service (EEAS), by the European Commission and by Spain, the Ministerial Meeting – to be chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell – gathers EU Member States, EU institutions and the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia all to attend). The goal is to facilitate the consolidation of a ‘Southern Partnership’ that can fully build on the inter-dependence between the two shores of the Mediterranean, bearing in mind that tragic events such as the war in Ukraine and tension in several African regions have confirmed the need to bolster cooperation with the partners of the southern Mediterranean shore in some strategic sectors, in particular migration, energy and food security.
Regarding migration, Italy will reassert the need for a concrete, shared and supportive European strategy, so as to properly manage the phenomenon, as well as the need for ‘tailored’ and balanced partnerships with third countries, which can be reciprocally beneficial. In terms of energy, the meeting will focus on the development of infrastructure projects with the Southern Neighbourhood within the context of the Global Gateway – the new European strategy promoting smart, clean and secure links, and featuring a significant package of resources for Africa – in order to favour strategic autonomy too.
Finally, regarding food security – a sector in which Italy stands out – focus shall be on the recent progress made at the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the deal that has enabled the exportation of 11.6 million tonnes of agricultural products from Ukraine, and by the EU Solidarity Lanes, the fast-track solidarity lanes set up by the EU to make sure that Ukraine can export grains and import the goods it requires, from humanitarian aid to animal fodder and fertilizers.