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The UNION FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN (UFM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 countries from Europe
Europe
and the Mediterranean Basin : the 28 member states of the European Union
European Union
and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa
North Africa
, the Middle East
Middle East
and Southeast Europe
Europe
.

It was created in July 2008 at the Paris
Paris
Summit for the Mediterranean, with a view to reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 and known as the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process.

The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region, in order to support the countries' socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The actions of the organization fall under three, interrelated priorities —regional human development, regional integration and regional stability. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries.

CONTENTS

* 1 Members

* 2 History

* 2.1 Context

* 2.1.1 Antecedents: Barcelona
Barcelona
Process * 2.1.2 Euromediterranean Summit 2005 * 2.1.3 Regional aspects * 2.1.4 The Euromed Heritage Programme * 2.1.5 Response * 2.1.6 Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Union

* 2.2 Launch of the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean

* 2.2.1 2008–2010: First years * 2.2.2 2011–present

* 3 Aims and concrete projects

* 3.1 Regional dialogue

* 3.2 Regional projects

* 3.2.1 Employability of youth and growth inclusive * 3.2.2 Sustainable development * 3.2.3 Women empowerment

* 4 Institutions

* 4.1 North and South Co-presidency system * 4.2 Meeting of UfM Senior Officials * 4.3 Secretariat

* 5 Other organizations and euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
institutions

* 5.1 Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Parliamentary Assembly * 5.2 Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Regional and Local Assembly * 5.3 Anna Lindh Foundation

* 6 Funding * 7 List of Sectorial Ministerial meetings * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links

MEMBERS

Flags of UfM members, located at the Royal Palace of Pedralbes , in Barcelona
Barcelona
(UfM headquarters)

The members of the Union of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
are the following:

* From the European Union
European Union
side:

* The 28 European Union
European Union
member states (those on the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
in bold): Austria
Austria
, Belgium
Belgium
, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
, CROATIA , CYPRUS , the Czech Republic , Denmark
Denmark
, Estonia
Estonia
, Finland
Finland
, FRANCE , Germany
Germany
, GREECE , Hungary
Hungary
, Ireland
Ireland
, ITALY , Latvia
Latvia
, Lithuania
Lithuania
, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
, MALTA , the Netherlands
Netherlands
, Poland
Poland
, Portugal
Portugal
, Romania
Romania
, Slovakia
Slovakia
, SLOVENIA , SPAIN , Sweden
Sweden
and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
. * The European Commission .

* From the side of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partner countries:

* 15 member states: Albania
Albania
, Algeria
Algeria
, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
, Egypt
Egypt
, Israel
Israel
, Jordan
Jordan
, Lebanon
Lebanon
, Mauritania , Monaco
Monaco
, Montenegro
Montenegro
, Morocco
Morocco
, State of Palestine ( Palestinian Authority until 4 January 2013 ), Syria
Syria
(self-suspended on 22 June 2011), Tunisia
Tunisia
and Turkey
Turkey
. * Libya
Libya
as an observer state. The UfM has expressed a desire to grant Libya
Libya
full membership, and Mohamed Abdelaziz , Libya's Foreign Minister, has stated that his country is "open" to joining. * The League of Arab States

HISTORY

CONTEXT

Antecedents: Barcelona
Barcelona
Process

The Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partnership, also known as the Barcelona Process, was created in 1995 as a result of the Conference of Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Barcelona
Barcelona
on 27 and 28 November under the Spanish presidency of the EU. The founding act of the Partnership in 1995 and Final Declaration of the Barcelona
Barcelona
Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Ministerial Conference is called the Barcelona
Barcelona
Declaration, which is often used to refer to the Process itself.

The Partnership culminated a series of attempts by European countries to articulate their relations with their North African and Middle Eastern neighbours: the global Mediterranean
Mediterranean
policy (1972–1992) and the renovated Mediterranean
Mediterranean
policy (1992–1995).

Javier Solana
Javier Solana
opened the conference by saying that they were brought together to straighten out the "clash of civilizations" and misunderstandings that there had been between them, and that it "was auspicious" that they had convened on the 900th anniversary of the First Crusade . He described the conference as a process to foster cultural and economic unity in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region. The Barcelona Treaty was drawn up by the 27 countries in attendance, and Solana, who represented Spain
Spain
as its foreign minister during the country's turn at the Presidency of the Council of the European Union
European Union
, was credited with the diplomatic accomplishment.

According to the 1995 Barcelona
Barcelona
Declaration, the aim of the initiative was summed up as: "turning the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
basin into an area of dialogue, exchange and cooperation guaranteeing peace, stability and prosperity." The Declaration established the three main objectives of the Partnership, called "baskets" (i.e., strands or facets):

* Definition of a common area of peace and stability through the reinforcement of political and security dialogue (Political and Security Basket). * Construction of a zone of shared prosperity through an economic and financial partnership and the gradual establishment of a free-trade area (Economic and Financial Basket). * Rapprochement between peoples through a social, cultural and human partnership aimed at encouraging understanding between cultures and exchanges between civil societies (Social, Cultural and Human Basket).

The European Union
European Union
stated the intention of the partnership was "to strengthen its relations with the countries in the Mashreq and Maghreb regions". Both Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
and Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
had high praises for Solana's coordination of the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process. The Barcelona
Barcelona
Process, developed after the Conference in successive annual meetings, is a set of goals designed to lead to a free trade area in the Mediterranean Basin by 2010.

The agenda of the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process is:

* Security and stability in the Mediterranean; * Agreeing on shared values and initializing a long-term process for cooperation in the Mediterranean; * Promoting democracy, good governance and human rights ; * Achieving mutually satisfactory trading terms for the region's partners, the "region" consisting of the countries that participated; * Establishing a complementary policy to the United States
United States
' presence in the Mediterranean.

The Barcelona
Barcelona
Process comprises three "baskets", in EU jargon, or strands:

* economic – to work for shared prosperity in the Mediterranean Region, including the Association Agreements on the bilateral level * political – promotion of political values, good governance and democracy * cultural – cultural exchange and strengthening civil society

The Euro-Mediterranean free trade area (EU-MEFTA) is based on the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process and European Neighbourhood Policy . The Agadir Agreement of 2004 is seen as its first building block.

At the time of its creation, the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partnership comprised 27 member countries: 15 from the European Union
European Union
and 12 Mediterranean
Mediterranean
countries ( Algeria
Algeria
, Cyprus
Cyprus
, Egypt
Egypt
, Israel
Israel
, Jordan
Jordan
, Lebanon
Lebanon
, Malta
Malta
, Morocco
Morocco
, Palestine , Syria
Syria
, Tunisia
Tunisia
, and Turkey ). As a result of the European Union's enlargements of 2004 and 2007 the number of EU member states grew up to 27, and two of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
partner countries— Cyprus
Cyprus
and Malta
Malta
—became part of the European Union
European Union
. The EU enlargement changed the configuration of the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process from "15+12" to "27+10." Albania
Albania
and Mauritania joined the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process in 2007, raising the number of participants to 39.

Euromediterranean Summit 2005

The 10th anniversary Euromediterranean summit was held in Barcelona on 27–28 November 2005. Full members of the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process were:

* 27 Member States of the European Union
European Union
. * 10 countries from the southern Mediterranean
Mediterranean
shore: Algeria
Algeria
, Palestine , Egypt
Egypt
, Israel
Israel
, Jordan
Jordan
, Lebanon
Lebanon
, Morocco
Morocco
, Syria
Syria
, Tunisia
Tunisia
, and Turkey
Turkey
(already part of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, the latter began EU accession talks on 3 October). * Croatia
Croatia
, a candidate to join the EU, which began accession talks on 3 October. * The European Parliament , the European Commission , and the Secretary General of the Council of the EU

Moreover, the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process included 6 countries and institutions participating as permanent observers ( Libya
Libya
, Mauritania , the Secretary-General of the Arab League ) and invited observers, such as the European Investment Bank , the Arab Maghreb
Maghreb
Union , the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures, the Economical and Social Committee or the Euromed Economical and Social Councils.

According to the ISN , "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were the only leaders from the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
countries to attend, while those of Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt
Egypt
were not present."

From the official web site, "The new realities and challenges of the 21st century make it necessary to update the Barcelona
Barcelona
Declaration and create a new Action Plan (based on the good results of the Valencia Action Plan), encompassing four fundamental areas":

* Peace, Security, Stability, Good Government, and Democracy. * Sustainable Economic Development and Reform. * Education and Cultural Exchange * Justice, Security, Migration, and Social Integration (of Immigrants).

Regional Aspects

Regional dialogue represents one of the most innovative aspects of the Partnership, covering at the same time the political, economic and cultural fields (regional co-operation). Regional co-operation has a considerable strategic impact as it deals with problems that are common to many Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partners while it emphasises the national complementarities.

The multilateral dimension supports and complements the bilateral actions and dialogue taking place under the Association Agreements.

Since 2004 the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partners are also included in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and since 2007 are funded via the ENPI .

The Euromed Heritage Programme

As a result of the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partnership, the Euromed Heritage program was formed. This program has been active since 1998, and has been involved in programs to identify the cultural heritages of Mediterranean
Mediterranean
states, promote their preservation, and educate the peoples of partner countries about their cultural heritages.

Response

By some analysts, the process has been declared ineffective. The stalling of the Middle East
Middle East
Peace Process is having an impact on the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process and is hindering progress especially in the first basket. The economic basket can be considered a success, and there have been more projects for the exchange on a cultural level and between the peoples in the riparian states. Other criticism is mainly based on the predominant role the European Union
European Union
is playing. Normally it is the EU that is assessing the state of affairs, which leads to the impression that the North is dictating the South what to do. The question of an enhanced co-ownership of the process has repeatedly been brought up over the last years.

Being a long-term process and much more complex than any other similar project, it may be many years before a final judgment can be made.

Bishara Khader argues that this ambitious European project towards its Mediterranean
Mediterranean
neighbours has to be understood in a context of optimism. On the one hand, the European Community was undergoing important changes due to the reunification of Germany
Germany
after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the beginning of the adhesion negotiations of Eastern and Central European countries. On the other, the Arab–Israeli conflict appeared to be getting closer to achieving peace after the Madrid Conference (1991) and the Oslo Accords (1992). As well, Khader states that the Gulf War
Gulf War
of 1991, the Algerian crisis (from 1992 onwards) and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism throughout the Arab world are also important factors in Europe's new relations with the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
countries based on security concerns.

Criticism of the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process escalated after the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Summit in Barcelona
Barcelona
in 2005, which was broadly considered a failure. First, the absence of Heads of State and Government from the Southern Mediterranean countries (with the exception of the Palestinian and Turkish ones) heavily contrasted with the attendance of the 27 European Union's Heads of State and Government. Second, the lack of consensus to define the term "terrorism" prevented the endorsement of a final declaration. The Palestinian Authority , Syria
Syria
and Algeria
Algeria
argued that resistance movements against foreign occupation should not be included in this definition. Nevertheless, a code of conduct on countering terrorism and a five-year work program were approved at Barcelona summit of 2005. both of which are still valid under the Union for the Mediterranean.

For many, the political context surrounding the 2005 summit — the stagnation of the Middle East
Middle East
Peace Process, the US-led war on Iraq , the lack of democratisation in Arab countries, and the war on terror 's negative effects on freedoms and human rights, among others—proved for many the inefficiency of the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process for fulfilling its objectives of peace, stability and prosperity. Given these circumstances, even politicians that had been engaged with the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process since its very beginnings, like the Spanish politician Josep Borrell , expressed their disappointment about the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partnership and its incapacity to deliver results. Critiques from Southern Mediterranean
Mediterranean
countries blamed the Partnership's failure on Europe's lack of interest towards the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
in favour of its Eastern neighbourhood; whereas experts from the North accused Southern countries of only being interested on "their own bi-lateral relationship with the EU" while downplaying multilateral policies.

However, many European Union
European Union
diplomats have defended the validity of the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process' framework by arguing that the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partnership was the only forum that gathered Israelis and Arabs on equal footing ), and identifying as successes the Association Agreements , the Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism and the establishment of the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures .

On 2006 the first proposals for improving the Partnership's efficiency, visibility and co-ownership arouse, such as establishing a co-presidency system and a permanent secretariat or nominating a "Mr./Ms. Med."

Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Union

As of 2007 , on the initiative of France, States embark on a round negotiations to revive the process.

A proposal to establish a " Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Union", which would consist principally of Mediterranean
Mediterranean
states, was part of the election campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy during the French presidential election campaign in 2007. During the campaign Mr. Sarkozy said that the Mediterranean Union would be modelled on the European Union
European Union
with a shared judicial area and common institutions. Sarkozy saw Turkish membership of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Union as an alternative to membership of the European Union, which he opposes, and as a forum for dialogue between Israel and its Arab Neighbours.

Once elected, President Sarkozy invited all heads of state and government of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region to a meeting in June 2008 in Paris, with a view to laying the basis of a Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Union.

The Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Union was enthusiastically supported by Egypt
Egypt
and Israel
Israel
. Turkey
Turkey
strongly opposed the idea and originally refused to attend the Paris
Paris
conference until it was assured that membership of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Union was not being proposed as an alternative to membership of the EU.

Among EU member states, the proposal was supported by Italy
Italy
, Spain
Spain
, and Greece
Greece
.

However the European Commission and Germany
Germany
were more cautious about the project. The European Commission saying that while initiatives promoting regional co-operation were good, it would be better to build them upon existing structures, notable among them being the Barcelona process . German chancellor Angela Merkel said the UfM risked splitting and threatening the core of the EU. In particular she objected to the potential use of EU funds to fund a project which was only to include a small number of EU member states. When Slovenia took the EU presidency at the beginning of 2008, the then Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša added to the criticism by saying: "We do not need a duplication of institutions, or institutions that would compete with EU, institutions that would cover part of the EU and part of the neighbourhood."

Other criticisms of the proposal included concern about the relationship between the proposed UfM and the existing Euromediterranean Partnership ( Barcelona
Barcelona
Process), which might reduce the effectiveness of EU policies in the region and allow the southern countries to play on the rivalries to escape unpopular EU policies. There were similar economic concerns in the loss of civil society and similar human rights based policies. Duplication of policies from the EU's police and judicial area was a further worry.

At the start of 2008 Sarkozy began to modify his plans for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Union due to widespread opposition from other EU member states and the European Commission. At the end of February of that year, France's minister for European affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet , stated that "there is no Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Union" but rather a "Union for the Mediterranean" that would only be "completing and enriching" to existing EU structures and policy in the region. Following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel it was agreed that the project would include all EU member states , not just those bordering the Mediterranean, and would be built upon the existing Barcelona
Barcelona
process. Turkey
Turkey
also agreed to take part in the project following a guarantee from France
France
that it was no longer intended as an alternative to EU membership.

The proposed creation of common institutions, and a Mediterranean Investment, which was to have been modelled on the European Investment Bank , was also dropped.

In consequence the new Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
would consist of regular meeting of the entire EU with the non-member partner states, and would be backed by two co-presidents and a secretariat.

LAUNCH OF THE UNION FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN

At the Paris
Paris
Summit for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
(13 July 2008), the 43 Heads of State and Government from the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region decided to launch the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process: Union for the Mediterranean. It was presented as a new phase Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partnership with new members and an improved institutional architecture which aimed to "enhance multilateral relations, increase co-ownership of the process, set governance on the basis of equal footing and translate it into concrete projects, more visible to citizens. Now is the time to inject a new and continuing momentum into the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process. More engagement and new catalysts are now needed to translate the objectives of the Barcelona
Barcelona
Declaration into tangible results."

The Paris
Paris
summit was considered a diplomatic success for Nicolas Sarzoky. The French president had managed to gather in Paris
Paris
all the Heads of State and Government from the 43 Euro-Mediterranean countries, with the exception of the kings of Morocco
Morocco
and Jordan
Jordan
.

At the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Conference of Foreign Affairs held in Marseilles
Marseilles
in November 2008, the Ministers decided to shorten the initiative's name to simply the "Union for the Mediterranean".

This meeting concluded with a new joint declaration, which completed the Paris
Paris
Declaration by defining the organisational structure and the principles on which the UfM would be run. A rotating co-presidency was set up, held jointly by one EUmember country and one Mediterranean partner. France
France
and Egypt
Egypt
were the first countries to hold this co-presidency. The presence of the Arab League at all meetings is written into the rules. A secretariat with a separate legal status and its own statutes was created. Its headquarters were established in Barcelona
Barcelona
.

The fact that the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
is launched as a new phase of the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partnership means that the Union accepts and commits to maintain the _acquis_ of Barcelona, the purpose of which is to promote "peace, stability and prosperity" throughout the region (Barcelona, 2). Therefore, the four chapters of cooperation developed in the framework of the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process during thirteen years remain valid:

* _Politics and Security_ * _Economics and Trade_ * _Socio-cultural_ * _Justice and Interior Affairs_. This fourth chapter was included at the 10th Anniversary Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Summit held in Barcelona
Barcelona
in 2005.

The objective to establish a Free Trade Area in the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region by 2010 (and beyond), first proposed at the 1995 Barcelona
Barcelona
Conference, was also endorsed by the Paris
Paris
Summit of 2008.

In addition to these four chapters of cooperation, the 43 Ministers of Foreign Affairs gathered in Marseilles
Marseilles
on November 2008 identified six concrete projects that target specific needs of the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
regions and that will enhance the visibility of the Partnership:

* _De-pollution of the Mediterranean_. This broad project encompasses many initiatives that target good environmental governance, access to drinkable water, water management, pollution reduction and protection of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
biodiversity. * _Maritime and land highways_. The purpose of this project is to increase and improve the circulation of commodities and people throughout the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region by improving its ports, and building highways and railways. Specifically, the Paris
Paris
and Marseilles Declarations refer to the construction of both a Trans-Maghrebi railway and highway systems, connecting Morocco, Algeria
Algeria
and Tunisia. * _Civil protection_. The civil protection project aims at improving the prevention, preparedness and response to both natural and man-made disasters. The ultimate goal is to "bring the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partner Countries progressively closer to the European Civil Protection Mechanism. * _Alternative energies: Mediterranean
Mediterranean
solar plan_. The goal of this project is to promote the production and use of renewable energies . More specifically, it aims at turning the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
partner countries into producers of solar energy and then circulating the resulting electricity through the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region. In this connection the union and the industrial initiative Dii signed a Memorandum of Understanding for future collaboration in May 2012 which included developing their long-term strategies " Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Solar Plan" and "Desert Power 2050". At the signing in Marrakesh the union's Secretary General called the new partnership "a key step for the implementation of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Solar Plan." * _Higher education and research: Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
University_. On June 2008 the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
University of Slovenia
Slovenia
was inaugurated in Piran (Slovenia), which offers graduate studies programs. The Foreign Ministers gathered at Marseilles
Marseilles
on 2008 also called for the creation of another Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
University in Fes , Morocco, Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
University of Morocco
Morocco
(Euromed-UM). The decision to go ahead with the Fes university was announced in June 2012. At the 2008 Paris
Paris
summit, the 43 Heads of State and Government agreed that the goal of this project is to promote higher education and scientific research in the Mediterranean, as well as to establish in the future a "Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Higher Education, Science and Research Area." * _The Mediterranean
Mediterranean
business development initiative_. The purpose of the initiative is to promote small and medium-sized enterprises from the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
partner countries by "assessing the needs of these enterprises, defining policy solutions and providing these entities with resources in the form of technical assistance and financial instruments."

2008–2010: First Years

A summit of heads of state and government is intended to be held every two years to foster political dialogue at the highest level. According to the Paris
Paris
Declaration:

* these summits should produce a joint declaration addressing the situation and challenges of the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region, assessing the works of the Partnership and approving a two-year work program; * Ministers of Foreign Affairs should meet annually to monitor the implementation of the summit declaration and to prepare the agenda of subsequent summits; and * the host country of the summits would be chosen upon consensus and should alternate between EU and Mediterranean
Mediterranean
countries.

The first summit was held in Paris
Paris
in July 2008. The second summit should have taken place in a non-EU country in July 2010 but the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
countries agreed to hold the summit in Barcelona
Barcelona
on 7 June 2010, under the Spanish presidency of the EU , instead. However, on 20 May the Egyptian and French co-presidency along with Spain
Spain
decided to postpone the summit, in a move which they described as being intended to give more time to the indirect talks between Israel
Israel
and the Palestinian Authority that had started that month. In contrast, the Spanish media blamed the postponement on the Arab threat to boycott the summit if Avigdor Lieberman , Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended the Foreign Affairs conference prior to the summit.

At the time of the Paris
Paris
summit, France—which was in charge of the EU presidency—and Egypt
Egypt
held the co-presidency. Since then, France had been signing agreements with the different rotator presidencies of the EU (the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
, Sweden
Sweden
and Spain
Spain
) in order to maintain the co-presidency for alongside Egypt. The renewal of the co-presidency was supposed to happen on the second Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Summit. However, due to the two postponements of the summit, there has been no chance to decide which countries will take over the co-presidency.

The conflict between Turkey
Turkey
and Cyprus
Cyprus
has been responsible for the delay in the endorsement of the statutes of the Secretariat, which were only approved in March 2010 even though the Marseille declaration set May 2009 as the deadline for the Secretariat to start functioning. At the Paris
Paris
summit, the Heads of State and Government agreed to establish five Deputy Secretaries General from Greece
Greece
, Israel
Israel
, Italy , Malta
Malta
and the Palestinian Authority . Turkey
Turkey
's desire to have a Deputy Secretary General and Cyprus
Cyprus
' rejection of it, resulted in months of negotiation until Cyprus
Cyprus
finally approved the creation of a sixth Deputy Secreaty General post assigned to a Turkish citizen.

Due to its seriousness, the Arab-Israeli conflict is the one that most deeply affects the Union for the Mediterranean. As a result of an armed conflict between Israel
Israel
and Gaza from December 2008 to January 2009, the Arab Group refused to meet at high level, thus blocking all the ministerial meetings scheduled for the first half of 2009. As well, the refusal of the Arab Ministers of Foreign Affairs to meet with their Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman , resulted in the cancellation of two ministerial meetings on Foreign Affairs on November 2009 and June 2010. Sectorial meetings of the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
have also been affected by Israel's actions against the Palestinian civilian population under its occupation. At the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
ministerial meeting on Water, held in Barcelona
Barcelona
on April 2010, the Water Strategy was not approved due to a terminological disagreement of whether to refer to territories claimed by Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese as "occupied territories" or "territories under occupation." Two other ministerial meetings, on higher education and agriculture, had to be cancelled because of the same discrepancy.

After the initial postponement, both France
France
and Spain
Spain
announced their intentions to hold peace talks between Israel
Israel
and the Palestinian Authority as part of the postponed summit under the auspices of the US. In September, U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
was invited to the summit for this purpose. The summit which was then scheduled to take place in Barcelona
Barcelona
on 21 November 2010, was according to Nicolas Sarkozy, the summit was "an occasion to support the negotiations."

Nevertheless, at the beginning of November 2010 the peace talks stalled, and the Egyptian co-presidents conditioned the occurrence of the summit on a gesture from Israel
Israel
that would allow the negotiations to resume. According to some experts Benjamin Netanyahu 's announcement of the construction of 300 new housing units in East Jerusalem ended all the possibilities of celebrating the summit on 21 November. The two co-presidencies and Spain
Spain
decided on 15 November to postpone the summit _sine die_, alleging that the stagnation of the Middle East
Middle East
Peace Process would hinder a "satisfactory participation."

Having been slowed down by the financial and political situation in 2009, the UfM was given a decisive push in March 2010 with the conclusion of the negotiations on the set-up of its General Secretariat and the official inauguration of the same on 4 March 2010 in Barcelona, in the specially refurbished Palau de Pedralbes .

The European Union
European Union
Ambassador to Morocco, Eneko Landaburu, stated on September 2010 that he does "not believe" in the Union for the Mediterranean. According to him, the division among the Arabs "does not allow to implement a strong inter-regional policy", and calls to leave this ambitious project of 43 countries behind and focus on bilateral relations.

2011–present

On 22 June 2011, the UfM labels its first project, the creation of a seawater desalination plant in Gaza.

In 2012, the UfM has a total of 13 projects labelled by the 43 countries in the sectorial areas of transport, education, water and development companies.

In January 2012, the Secretary General, Youssef Amrani was appointed Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in the Benkirane government. He is replaced by the Moroccan diplomat Fathallah Sijilmassi.

In 2013, the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
launches its first projects:

* April 30: Young women as job creators * May 28: Governance Brussels, November 2015

In March 2015, the Interparliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy, in its final conclusions, described the UfM as "the most efficient and multifaceted cooperation forum in the region".

REGIONAL PROJECTS

Via the process of labelisation, the UFM supports projects that address common regional challenges that are likely to have a direct impact on the lives of citizens. The UfM label guarantees regional recognition and visibility for the selected projects. It also gives them access to funding opportunities through the network of financial partners of the UfM.

In December 2015, 37 projects were labeled by the UfM. As of May 2016, more than 40 projects were labeled by the UfM:

* Developing Youth Employability & Entrepreneurial Skills – Maharat MED * Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Entrepreneurship Network * Promoting Financial Inclusion via Mobile Financial Services in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Countries * Establishment of a Regional Platform for the Development of Cultural and Creative Industries and Clusters in the Southern Mediterranean * Generation Entrepreneur * EDILE – Economic Development through Inclusive and Local Empowerment * EMIPO – EUROMED Invest Promotion & Observatory * Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs) * EMDC – Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Development Center for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises * UPFI Sfax Taparura Project * Bouregreg Vallay Development * Imbaba Urban Upgrading Project * Jordanian Railway Network * Completion of the Central Section of the Trans- Maghreb
Maghreb
Motorway Axis * The Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Sustainable Urban Development Strategy * LOGISMED Training Activities * Motorway of the Sea (MoS) Turkey-Italy- Tunisia
Tunisia
Project * UfM Climate Change Expert Group * Extended Technical Committee on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency * Tafila Wind Farm * UfM Energy University by Schneider Electric * Capacity Building Programme on Water Integrity in the Middle East and North Africa * BlueGreen Med-CS * MED RESCP – POST RIO +20: Supporting the adoption of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and Resource Efficiencu (RE) models in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region * Towards a Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Water Knowledge Platform * Integrated Programme for Protection of the Lake Bizerte against Pollution * Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Water Sector * The "Desalination Facility for the Gaza Strip" Project * PLASTIC-BUSTERS for a Mediterranean
Mediterranean
free from litter * MedNC – New Chance Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Network * HOMERe – High Opportunity for Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Executive Recruitment * Higher Education on Food Security and Rural Development * The Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
University of Fes * WOMED: the "next generation of leaders" * CEED GROW: Growing and Scaling Small and Medium-Sized Businesses * Forming Responsible Citizens – Promoting citizenship education to prevent school violence, particularly against girls and women * Developing Women Empowerment * Skills for Success – Employability Skills for Women * Young Women as Job Creators * Promoting women empowerment for inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the MENA region * Women's Right to Health – The WoRTH Project

Employability Of Youth And Growth Inclusive

By 2015, the secretariat of the UfM had labeled 13 projects addressing the challenges of youth employability and inclusive growth. Framed by the political mandate (in particular the Ministerial conferences on industrial cooperation and the Digital Economy) and the priorities expressed in regional dialogues, these projects target 200,000 beneficiaries, mostly young people, and involve over 1,000 small and medium private enterprises.

After a consultation process with stakeholders, the UfM launched in 2013 a regional initiative (Med4Jobs) that defines the priorities of intervention in terms of employability, intermediary services and job creation in the region, under which specific projects are developed.

Sustainable Development

By 2015, 14 projects were labelled by the 43 countries of the UfM, included the cleanup of Lake Bizerte in Tunisia, the construction of the desalination plant in Gaza, and the integrated urban development of the city of Imbaba.

Women Empowerment

By 2015, the UfM has labeled 10 projects benefiting over 50,000 women in the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region, this with the participation of over 1000 shareholders and with a budget of over 127 million euros.

INSTITUTIONS

In contrast with the Barcelona
Barcelona
Process, one of the biggest innovations of the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
is its institutional architecture. It was decided at the Paris
Paris
Summit to provide the Union with a whole set of institutions in order to up-grade the political level of its relations, promote a further co-ownership of the initiative among the EU and Mediterranean
Mediterranean
partner countries and improve the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partnership's visibility.

NORTH AND SOUTH CO-PRESIDENCY SYSTEM

With the purpose of guaranteeing the co-ownership of the Union for the Mediterranean, the Heads of State and Government decided in Paris that two countries, one from the EU and one from the Mediterranean partner countries, will jointly preside the Union for the Mediterranean. The 27 agreed that the EU co-presidency had to "be compatible with the external representation of the European Union
European Union
in accordance with the Treaty provisions in force." The Mediterranean partner countries decided to choose by consensus and among themselves a country to hold the co-presidency for a non-renewable period of two years."

From 2008 to 2012, France
France
"> Headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean

The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
was inaugurated on March 4, 2010 in an official ceremony in Barcelona.

The task of the permanent Secretariat is to provide operational follow-up of the sectorial ministerial meeting, identifying and monitoring the implementation of concrete projects for the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
region, and searching for partners to finance these projects and coordinating various platforms for dialogue.

The Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Ministers of Foreign Affairs decided at the Marseilles
Marseilles
conference of November 2008 that the headquarters of the Secretariat would be at the Royal Palace of Pedralbes in Barcelona
Barcelona
. They also agreed on the structure of this new key institution and the countries of origin of its first members:

* The Secretary General is elected by consensus from a non-EU country. His term is for three years, which may be extended for another three. The first Secretary General was the Jordanian Ahmad Khalaf Masa\'deh , the former Ambassador of Jordan
Jordan
to the EU, Belgium, Norway and Luxembourg, and Minister of Public Sector Reform from 2004–2005. He resigned after one year in office. In July 2011, the Moroccan diplomat Youssef Amrani takes office. When he is named deputy foreign minister by the Benkirane government, he is replaced as Secretary General by fellow Moroccan Ambassador Fathallah Sijilmassi .

* In order to enhance the co-ownership of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, six posts of Deputy Secretaries General were assigned to three countries from the EU and three from the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
partner countries. For the first term of three years (extendible to another three) the Deputy Secretaries General were:

* Mr. Panagiotis Roumeliotis (Greece) – Energy Division; * Prof. Ilan Chet (Israel) – Higher Education and Research Division; * Mr. Lino Cardarelli (Italy) – Business Development Division; * Amb. Celia Attard Pirotta (Malta) – Social and Civil Affairs Division; * Dr. Rafiq Husseini (Palestine) – Water and Environment Division; * Amb. Yigit Alpogan (Turkey) – Transport and Urban Development Division.

The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
was inaugurated on March 2010 in an official ceremony in Barcelona.

In 2015, the secretariat of the UfM has a staff of 60 persons from more than 20 nationalities, including the permanent presence of senior officials seconded from the European Commission, the EIB, the BERD and CDC.

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AND EURO-MEDITERRANEAN INSTITUTIONS

EURO-MEDITERRANEAN PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY

The Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) is not a new institution inside the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partnership framework. It was established in Naples
Naples
on 3 December 2003 by the Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Foreign Affairs and had its first plenary session in Athens on 22–23 March 2004. The EMPA gathers parliamentarians from the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
countries and has four permanent committees on the following issues:

* Political Affairs, Security and Human Rights * Economic, Financial and Social Affairs and Education * Promotion of the Quality of Life, Human Exchanges and Culture * Women's Rights in the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Countries

The EMPA also has an _ad hoc_ committee on Energy and Environment. Since the launch of the Union for the Mediterranean, the EMPA's role has been strengthened for it is considered the "legitimate parliamentary expression of the Union".

EURO-MEDITERRANEAN REGIONAL AND LOCAL ASSEMBLY

At the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Foreign Affairs Conference held in Marseilles
Marseilles
on November 2008, the Ministers welcomed the EU Committee of the Regions proposal to establish a Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Assembly of Local and Regional Authorities ( ARLEM in French). Its aim is to bridge between the local and regional representatives of the 43 countries with the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
and EU institutions.

The EU participants are the members of the EU Committee of the Regions , as well as representatives from other EU institutions engaged with the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Partnership. From the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
partner countries, the participants are representatives of regional and local authorities appointed by their national governments. The ARLEM was formally established and held its first plenary session in Barcelona
Barcelona
on 31 January 2010. The ARLEM's co-presidency is held by the President of the EU Committee of the Regions, Luc Van den Brande, and the Moroccan mayor of Al Hoceima, Mohammed Boudra.

ANNA LINDH FOUNDATION

The Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures , with headquarters are in Alexandria
Alexandria
, Egypt, was established in April 2005. It is a network for the civil society organisations of the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
countries, aiming at the promotion of intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.

At the Paris
Paris
Summit it was agreed that the Anna Lindh Foundation, along with the UN Alliance of Civilizations
Alliance of Civilizations
will be in charge of the cultural dimension of the Union for the Mediterranean.

In September 2010 the Anna Lindh Foundation published a report called "EuroMed Intercultural Trends 2010." This evaluation about mutual perceptions and the visibility of the Union of the Mediterranean across the region is based on a Gallup Public Opinion Survey in which 13,000 people from the Union of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
countries participated.

FUNDING

The Paris
Paris
Declaration states that contributions for the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
will have to develop the capacity to attract funding from "the private sector participation; contributions from the EU budget and all partners; contributions from other countries, international financial institutions and regional entities; the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Investment and Partnership Facility (FEMIP); the ENPI", among other possible instruments,

* The European Commission contributes to the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
through the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (ENPI). In July 2009 the ENPI allocated €72 million for the following Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
projects during 2009–2010:

* De-pollution of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
(€22 million). * Maritime and land highways (€7.5 million). * Alternative energies: Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Solar Plan (€5 million). * Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
University of Slovenia
Slovenia
(€1 million)

* The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) came into force in 2014. It is the financial arm of the European Neighbourhood Policy , the EU’s foreign policy towards its neighbours to the East and to the South. It has a budget of €15.4 billion and will provide the bulk of funding through a number of programmes. The ENI, effective from 2014 to 2020, replaces the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument – known as the ENPI. * The European Investment Bank contributes to the Union for the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
through its Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Investment and Partnership (FEMIP). Specifically, the FEMIP was mandated by the Euro- Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Ministers of Finance on 2008 to support three of the six concrete projects: the de-pollution of the Mediterranean; alternative energies; and maritime and land highways. Following the June 2012 meeting the EIB announced it would give 500 million euros to support projects for the UfM. * The InfraMed Infrastructure Fund was established in June 2010 by five financial entities: the French Caisse des Dépôts, the Moroccan Caisse de Dépôts et de Gestion, the Egyptian EFG Hermes, the Italian Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and the European Investment Bank . On an initial phase, the Fund will contribute €385 million to the Secretariat's projects on infrastructure. * The World Bank
World Bank
has allocated $750 million for the renewable energy project through the Clean Technology Fund.

LIST OF SECTORIAL MINISTERIAL MEETINGS

* Economic-Financial Meeting, 7 October 2008, Luxembourg. Conclusions. * Industry, 5–6 November 2008, Nice (France). Conclusions. * Employment and Labor, 9–10 November 2008, Marrakech (Morocco). Conclusions. * Health, 11 November 2008, Cairo (Egypt). Conclusions. * Water, 22 December 2008, Amman (Jordan). Conclusions. * Sustainable Development, 25 June 2009, Paris
Paris
(France). Conclusions. * Economic-Financial Meeting, 7 July 2009, Brussels (Belgium). Conclusions. * Strengthening the Role of Women in Society, 11–12 November, Marrakech (Morocco). Conclusions. * Trade, 9 December 2009, Brussels (Belgium). Conclusions. * Water, 21–22 April 2010, Barcelona
Barcelona
(Spain). * Tourism, 20 May 2010, Barcelona
Barcelona
(Spain). * Employment and Labour, 21–22 November 2010, Brussels (Belgium) * Sustainable Urban Development, 9–10 November 2011, Strasbourg (France) * Strengthening the role of women in society – September 2013 * Transport – November 2013 * Energy – December 2013 * Industrial cooperation – February 2014 * Environment and climate change – May 2014 * Digital Economy – September 2014 * Blue Economy – November 2015

SEE ALSO

* European Neighbourhood Policy * Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation * Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation * Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation * Eastern Partnership * Future enlargement of the European Union
European Union

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EXTERNAL LINKS

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* Official website

* v * t * e

International reach and expansion of the European Union
European Union

THEORY

* Integration * Eurosphere * Pax Europaea * Superpower status *