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Greece is an intrinsic part of the Mediterranean and since ancient times has maintained strong and unbroken bonds with the peoples and countries of the region. As a European coastal country in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greece – which sees the Mediterranean as a sea of communication, trade and cooperation – plays an active, substantial and leading role in the wider region, pursuing the promotion of actions, programmes and synergies in all sectors.
As such, Greece supported the Union for the Mediterranean (EfM) – the new EU institutional framework for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, adopted at the Paris Summit Meeting (13 July 2008) – from the very outset and participates actively in setting up EfM Secretariat, in which it is represented on the level of Deputy Secretary General for Energy.
In the conviction that the Mediterranean is not a boundary, but a natural bridge joining the peoples on all sides of the Sea – and given the importance to European security of the Mediterranean Sea, neighbouring regions and the wider Mediterranean periphery – during its 2009 OSCE Chairmanship, Greece actively and systematically promoted OSCE cooperation with the Mediterranean Partners, implementing a number of actions (including the appointment of an OSCE Chairmanship special representative to the Mediterranean partners; a seminar for young diplomats in Athens; and a workshop on a comprehensive approach on supply-chain security), contributing in parallel to upgrading the annual meetings with the Mediterranean partners to the level of Conferences.
Additionally, from 2003 on, Greece has been the leading country in the Mediterranean Component of the EU Water Initiative (MED EUWI), which was created to contribute to the planning of programmes for water resource management in the region, and has proved to be the most important political process for waters in the Mediterranean.
Greece’s emphasis on the importance of establishing substantial coordination among the countries of the Mediterranean is reflected in the fact that it was a founding member of the Mediterranean Forum – an informal cooperation platform between six northern Mediterranean countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Malta) and five countries on the southern shores of the Mediterranean (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey) – and a leading member of the Olive Group, which consists of the ten Mediterranean EU member states and is aimed at coordinating efforts to confront problems and challenges common to the countries of the region.
Second Rhodes Conference for Security and Stability (22-23.05.2017)
The Second Rhodes Conference for Security and Stability, to be held 22 and 23 May 2017, will bring together states from a region facing multiple crises, including conflicts and geopolitical competitions.
States from Southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Gulf region will meet in Rhodes in order to reiterate that no country can effectively address such mounting challenges on its own.
The need to act collectively and develop projects aiming at building a safer and more prosperous neighborhood is more timely than ever, if we are to promote security and stability throughout the turbulent eastern Mediterranean region .
The Second Rhodes Conference for Security and Stability will strengthen the "Spirit of Rhodes", which is about to promoting a positive agenda of regional cooperation and establish the appropriate networks in order to cement synergies and relations of mutual understanding among the participant states.