Messina Conference Final Communiqué

After the first Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Marseille in September 1997, the 2nd Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Trade, Distribution and Services took place in Messina on 22-23 October 1998.
The Conference was prepared at two preliminary meetings held respectively in Rome and Messina in June and September 1998. The Conference was organized by Confcommercio, under the patronage of Manuel Marín González, Vice-President of the European Commission, the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the City of Messina, the Province of Messina, the Region of Sicily.

The Conference brought together the business associations of trade, distribution and services from the Euro-Mediterranean region. The participants discussed the following issues:

  • Euro-Med trade, distribution and services. EU policies and resources;
  • distribution trends and patterns and their relations in the Euro-Mediterranean region;
  • patterns of trade in goods and services among Mediterranean countries and payments in euro;
  • services for trade: trends and developments.

The participants decided to set up a multilateral network aiming to:

  • define common problems and propose possible solutions to overcome any barrier to the free flow of goods and services in the region;
  • organize common activities dealing with the problems and promoting the development of trade, distribution and services in the Mediterranean region;
  • undertake - if required - common actions.

TOP In order to realize these goals, the participants decided to:
  • create the "Euro-Mediterranean Trade, Distribution and Services Initiative, Euro-Med TDS"
  • adopt a yearly rotating Presidency, according to English alphabetical order;
  • elect Mr. Sergio Billé, Confcommercio (Italy), as Euro-Med TDS President, asking him and the Steering Committee to propose to the next Assembly a successor from the Euro-Med TDS members during 1999. Once conditions are in place, the Troika will be established;
  • establish a Steering Committee to carry out the follow-up to the Conferences deliberations, and stimulate and monitor the Secretariat's activities (see next point). The Steering Committee members until the next Conference shall be the following representatives, from Croatia (Katarina Sobat), Egypt (Mohamed El Masry), France (Jacques Dermagne), Hellas (Christos Folias) and Morocco (Ahmed M'Rabet);
  • create the Euro-Med TDS Secretariat, in order to guarantee any required assistance to the President, the Troika, and the Steering Committee. The Secretariat will also co-ordinate all activities of the Euro-Med TDS and guarantee efficient communication between members. Luigi Troiani, from Confcommercio, was elected as Euro-Med TDS Secretary General for a renewable three year period. In agreement with the President, the Secretary General will represent the position of the Euro-Med TDS, when required by circumstances;
  • call the 3rd Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Trade, Distribution and Services, to be held in Port Said, Egypt on 23-24 October 1999. In parallel with the Conference, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership on wholesale and retail trade, international goods and services trade will be held under the patronage of the European Commission. Both activities will be organized by the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce and assisted by the Secretariat;
  • invite the European Commissioner responsible for distributed trade and the Ministers of Trade of the member countries of the Euro-Med TDS to participate in the 3rd Conference.

The Conference expressed its deep appreciation to Confcommercio for the organization of the event. A special word of thanks was also due to the local Messina authorities.

Approved, Messina, 23 October 1998