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A New Agenda For The Mediterranean: EU and Southern Neighbourhood

Source: European Commission Press Center

A new Agenda for Mediterranean was adopted on 9th of February, by the European Commission and the High Representative in order to relaunch and deepen the strategic relationship between the European Union and its Southern Neighbourhood partners.

A joint communication proposing a new Agenda for Mediterranean was adopted on 9th of February, by the European Commission and the High Representative in order to relaunch and deepen the strategic relationship between the European Union and its Southern Neighbourhood partners Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Palestine*.

The new agenda draws on the full EU toolbox and proposes to promoting peace and security in the Mediterranean region. It includes join forces in fighting against climate change and building up the twin green and digital transition, addressing forced displacement and migration and strengthening the unity of the EU. It mainly focuses on five policy areas:

  • Human development, good governance and the rule of law: Renew the shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law, human rights and accountable governance;

  • Resilience, prosperity and digital transition: Support resilient, inclusive, sustainable and connected economies that create opportunities for all, especially women and youth;

  • Peace and security: Provide support to countries to address security challenges and find solutions to ongoing conflicts,

  • Migration and mobility: Jointly address the challenges of forced displacement and irregular migration and facilitate safe and legal pathways for migration and mobility,

  • Green transition: Climate resilience, energy, and environment: Taking advantage of the potential of a low-carbon future, protect the region's natural resources and generate green growth.

The new agenda includes a dedicated Economic and Investment Plan to drive the long-term socio-economic recovery in the Southern Neighbourhood. It is planned to allocate up to €7 billion for the period 2021-2027 under the new EU's Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) for the implementation of the new agenda. In the next decade, this amount could mobilise up to €30 billion in private and public investment in the region. This new Investment Plan aims to increase the quality of life for people in the region and the economic recovery, including following the COVID-19 pandemic, leaves no one behind. The plan includes preliminary flagship initiatives to strengthen resilience, bring stability and increase trade and investment opportunities to support competitiveness and inclusive growth.

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell stated that: “This Communication sends a crucial message about the importance we attach to our Southern Neighbourhood. A strengthened Mediterranean partnership remains a strategic imperative for the European Union. 25 years after the Barcelona Declaration and 10 years after the Arab Spring, challenges in the Mediterranean – many of which resulting from global trends – remain daunting. To address these challenges, we need to renew our mutual efforts and act closely together as partners, in the interest of all of us. This is what this new Agenda is all about. We are determined to work together with our Southern Partners on a new Agenda that will focus on people, especially women and youth, and help them meet their hopes for the future, enjoy their rights and build a peaceful, secure, more democratic, greener, prosperous and inclusive Southern Neighbourhood.”

Background as Published by the EU Commission

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership was initiated by the Barcelona Declaration in 1995 with the goal of establishing an area of peace, mutual prosperity and human and cultural exchange. The last review of the European Neighbourhood Policy was conducted in 2015.

Twenty-five years later, the Mediterranean region faces a number of challenges on governance, socio-economic, climate, environmental and security areas, heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Council emphasized the need to create a new Southern Neighbourhood Agenda in December 2020 and looked forward to the Joint Contact.

The new Agenda for the Mediterranean will guide the EU's policy towards the region and the multi-annual programming under the EU's new Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) at the regional and bilateral levels. By 2024, the mid-term analysis of the Joint Correspondence will be carried out by the EU.

*This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of Member States on this issue.

Source: European Commission Press Center


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