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Countries of the European Union and 15 more from the Mediterranean meet in Barcelona to improve cooperation

The European Union (EU), its 27 Member States and 15 Mediterranean countries meet this Thursday in Barcelona with the aim of improving”cooperation, development and integration” in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

It will be the VII Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean, an intergovernmental organization made up of 42 countries -27 from the EU and another 15 from North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Europe-, united by Mediterranean ties.

“The Forum is an opportunity to reflect on how to promote better cooperation, development and integration in the Mediterranean region. Along the same lines, it will take place on the same day in Barcelona a ministerial meeting of the EU and its southern neighborssays the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), in a press release about the meetings of this day.

The UfM Regional Forum, a meeting of foreign affairs ministers (MNE), takes place during the morning and is chaired by the head of EU diplomacy, the Spanish Josep Borrell, and by the Jordanian minister Ayman Safadi. Portugal is represented by Minister João Gomes Cravinho.

At the opening, the accession of North Macedonia to the UfM and this group will be ratified, and issues such as food and energy security, aggravated by the war in Ukraine, or employment policies aimed at young people in a region marked by great workflows. immigrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, according to sources from the organization.

Italy “by no means intends” to deal alone with migratory pressure

After the forum, the most restricted meeting of the EU – Southern Neighborhood will take place, which will bring together the countries of the EU block and another eight of the Mediterranean with which it has association agreements (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Palestinian Authority).

These agreements fall within the scope of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), under which the EU and its southern partners “adopt bilateral action, partnership priorities or partnership agendas“, according to the official information available on the websites of the European institutions.

“These action plans establish political and economic reform programs with priorities in the short and medium term (three to five years)” and “seek, in particular, to develop democratic, socially equitable and inclusive societies, promoting economic integration and education , developing small and medium-sized businesses and agriculture and facilitating the movement of people across borders”, says the same information.

The Barcelona meetings take place on the eve of the celebration, for the second year, of Mediterranean Day, on Friday, established by the UfM in 2020, with the unanimous support of its 42 members, and whose objective is to “celebrate the achievements, recognize diversity, deepen mutual understanding and strengthen cooperation and ties between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

The UfM was created in 2008 by French and Egyptian initiative and is the heir to the Euro-Mediterranean Conference, created in 1995 in Barcelona.

The UfM Regional Forum was created in 2015 to address issues of common interest to the 42 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.

Source: Observadora

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