At the initiative of its section for energy, nuclear issues and research, the Economic and Social Committee held, on 19 October 1995, an open hearing on the theme "Energy cooperation in the Mediterranean region". Participants included representatives from southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. Organized in view of the Barcelona Conference in November, this hearing confirmed that energy is destined to constitute a central element of cooperation within the context of strengthened Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. Numerous possibilities for mutual cooperation were identified including: - Development of energy infrastructures; - Energy efficiency; - Renewable energies; - Rural electrification; - Use of energy for water desalinization. Several participants underlined the role of the European Union in developing energy cooperation between the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. The potential contribution of economic and social Councils and all socio-professional organizations to the reinforcement of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation was also stressed. A communication based on the results of this hearing will be forwarded to the participants of the Barcelona Conference strongly urging that energy be recognized as a central element in the development of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.