Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Barcelona HQ of new Mediterranean Union

Paris summit approves the creation of a Mediterranean Union

At the conclusion of the Paris summit meeting yesterday Nicolas Sarkozy announced the approval of the creation of a Mediterranean Union (UPM) which will be a new organization aimed at strengthening cooperation between the EU and its southern Mediterranean neighbours.

At the end of the summit meeting between 42 heads of state from the EU and the Mediterranean region Sarkozy is quoted as saying "We had all dreamed of this and now the UPM is a reality’.

It is hoped that the creation of the UPM will promote cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean by setting up permanent mechanisms which will ensure that projects aimed at regional integration are carried out. Six initial projects have already been put forward and approved.

The Foreign ministers of the 42 countries attending the Paris summit will meet again in November this year to reach an agreement on the location of the headquarters of the Permanent Secretary for the UPM and to define in more detail the financing of this new organization.

Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the Spanish Foreign Minister has already confirmed that Spain will present an official proposal for Barcelona to be the base for the UPM Permanent Secretariat. Moratinos said that he believed that Barcelona is an excellent choice that meets all the criteria and has all the ‘historic legitimacy’ required. Paris has already ruled itself out of being the headquarters although Malta and Tunisia remain hopeful candidates.

The Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, spoke of the creation of the UPM as a ‘giant step’ that opens a new page in European-Mediterranean cooperation. He also said that it would bring more stability and peace to the Mediterranean region.

José Manuel Durao Barroso, the president of the European Commission, said that the UPM would ‘open the way to authentic regional cooperation’. He also recognized that although the Mediterranean is a critically important region for Europe, where unfortunately there are numerous conflicts, it is also promising.

The UPM will establish Permanent structures including a rotating co-presidency which will be shared between European and the Mediterranean countries, a permanent secretary in charge of public and private finance and the supervision of projects.
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posted by Euroresidentes at 4:18 PM



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