Union for the Mediterranean
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure this morning to welcome Mr Amrani, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean. I went to Barcelona on 5 July 2011 to attend his investiture. I’d like to thank him and congratulate him on all the work he’s done over the past three months, in particular convincing both the northern and southern Mediterranean countries of the UfM’s existence and of the need, more than ever, to relaunch this Union in order to deal with everything that happens around our shared sea.
We agreed on the fact that the Union for the Mediterranean has to be relaunched mainly on the basis of concrete projects. I believe that the best way of coordinating all the existing initiatives focusing on the Mediterranean – the European Neighbourhood Policy, Deauville Partnership, 5+5 initiatives – is to press forward with the concrete projects. We talked about a few of these projects: for example, the Mediterranean Office for Youth, which Mr Amrani wants to develop by broadening the spectrum of its activities to include employment, business start-ups and training for young people.
I wholly share Mr Amrani’s view that the Union for the Mediterranean has to promote regional integration; so all liaison projects between the Maghreb countries also deserve to be encouraged. Let me remind you that there are also civil protection and energy projects.
As regards the Union for the Mediterranean’s governance, the Secretariat General, with Mr Amrani as its driving force, is functioning absolutely remarkably. We now have to think about re-establishing a co-presidency, since it’s the very philosophy of the Union for the Mediterranean. We’re going to work, in the next few weeks, towards this equal responsibility between the North and South. (…)./.