The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, formerly known as the Barcelona Process, was re-launched in 2008 as the Union for the Mediterranean at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean July, with the new network of relations endorsed at the Marseille Meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Foreign Affairs in November. The Partnership now includes all 27 member states of the European Union, along with 16 partners across the Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East.
This re-launching aimed to infuse a new vitality into the Partnership and to raise the political level of the strategic relationship between the EU and its southern neighbours. While maintaining the acquis of its predecessor, the Barcelona Process, the Union for the Mediterranean offers more balanced governance, increased visibility to its citizens and a commitment to tangible, regional and trans-national projects.
Some of the most important innovations of the Union for the Mediterranean include the rotating co-presidency with one EU president and one president representing the Mediterranean partners, and a Secretariat based in Barcelona that is responsible for identifying and promoting projects of regional, sub-regional and transnational value across different sectors.
The Union for the Mediterranean has also identified six priority projects which are at the heart of the of Partnership’s efforts, including projects for:
the de-pollution of the Mediterranean Sea;
the establishment of maritime and land highways;
civil protection initiatives to combat natural and man-made disasters;
a Mediterranean solar energy plan;
the inauguration of the Euro-Mediterranean University in Slovenia;
and the Mediterranean Business Development Initiative focusing on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
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