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News MEPs seek historic commitment for new impetus to Union for the Mediterranean

The Union for the Mediterranean needs a fresh impetus that will require a "historic commitment" by heads of state and government to provide adequate funding for major projects and consolidate the institutions underpinning the process, members of the European Parliament have said, voicing their support for the UfM in a resolution adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, ahead of the second summit scheduled for 7 June in Barcelona.

A press release from the European Parliament said the UfM had undergone a period of political stagnation since the Gaza conflict of December 2008, despite the resumption of meetings of ministers and senior officials since September 2009. MEPs stressed that regional conflicts - notably the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also those in Cyprus and the Western Sahara - must not limit the possibility of progressing towards sectoral and multilateral cooperation, although they believe the UfM cannot be a complete success without this.

The resolution underlines the limits of the neighbourhood policy conducted with the Mediterranean countries. By stressing bilateral relations at the expense of a global approach, it says, this policy has not helped contribute to a process of integration and significant reform in the region, in terms of democratic progress.

The resolution proposes that the secretariat be given adequate funding to enable it to function, and in the longer term, MEPs want to see a considerable increase in the resources for the UfM in the EU's financial perspective for 2014-2020.

A major part of the UfM's new projects must be devoted to teaching, school and university exchanges and research, including upgrading the Erasmus Mundus programmes for the Mediterranean and the creation of a Mediterranean Erasmus junior, to step up educational exchanges between the Member States of the UfM, believe MEPs.

The resolution supports a rapid implementation of the Mediterranean solar energy project DESERTEC, emphasises the need to develop maritime highways and urges the UfM countries to move towards greater convergence of Euro-Mediterranean agriculture policies, in particular as regards rules on food safety, plant health, environmental issues and product quality.

The institutional architecture of the UfM will not be complete without parliamentary scrutiny of the process, the resolution says: this should be devolved to the Euromediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA), which should become the parliamentary assembly of the UfM.


Draft report on the Union for the Mediterranean (26/02/10) amendments (31/03/10)      

Contact information Thomas DUDRAP, Press Unit (email:
Phone: (+32) 2 28 44524 (BXL) / (+33) 3 881 77015 (STR) / Mobile: (+32) 498 98 32 84
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information ENPI Info Centre
Keyword(s) Union for the Mediterranean
Geographical coverage Euromed
News date 30/04/2010
Working language(s) ENGLISH