The Euro-Mediterranean partnership (EMP) was established by the Barcelona Declaration on 28 November 1995. Originally this was a joint initiative of 27 partners (15 EU Member States and 12 non-EU Mediterranean countries). The partnership has now expanded to 35 countries following the enlargement of the EU (1). The EMP is remarkable as the fi rst serious attempt to create lasting, powerful bonds between the countries located around the shores of the Mediterranean.
In its first 10 years, the EMP has provided over EUR 8 billion in grant aid through the MEDA programme toward cooperation in infrastructural improvements, administrative reforms, preparation for investments, etc. In addition, the European Investment Bank (EIB) committed loans of EUR 6.1 billion to the region between 1996 and 2001 (of which EUR 2.3 billion in 1995u009699) and is mandated to lend a further EUR 6.52 billion covered by the Community Guarantee Fund in the period 2000u009607. In addition, the EIB established a further EUR 1 billion Mediterranean partnership facility at its own risk for large cross-regional transport, energy and environment projects.