Putting the Mediterranean Union in Perspective

The broad debate kick-started by French President Sarkozy’s electoral campaign proposal to create a “Mediterranean Union” of sorts has stimulated a renewed interest in the Euro-Mediterranean region and a much-needed re-evaluation of the Barcelona Process. Mixed reactions, marked by Germany’s vehement response, led to an evolution of the original idea into the present compromise of a “Union for the Mediterranean” (UfM), which has been incorporated into a revised Barcelona Process and now includes all 27 EU member states alongside the Mediterranean partner countries. The outlines of this union have been traced, yet its final shape will only begin to emerge during the 2nd half of 2008, when France assumes the EU Presidency. In this context, the study “Putting the Mediterranean Union in Perspective” seeks to enhance the present debate by providing an overview of the different views emerging in the main zones of the Euro-Med. A comparison of the four distinct expert perspectives outlined – namely from Southern Europe, Germany, North Africa and Israel – highlights the main issues of contention, but also those around which consensus has rallied. Paper 68 takes stock of the EU’s past and current policy for the Mediterranean in order to determine its future potential within the UfM framework. Now that this project is in full-fledged development, such region-specific assessments should hopefully contribute towards the establishment of an inclusive, responsive, relevant and effective Union for the Mediterranean.

Report jointly submitted by the Leonard Davis Institute at the Hebrew University and the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in the framework of the EuroMeSCo project.

Lisboa, EuroMeSCo Secretariat at the IEEI, June 2008, 33 p. (EuroMeSCo Papers ; 68)
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General Introduction

Southern European Perspectives, Roberto Aliboni
The Background
The Mediterranean Perspective
The European Perspective
Conclusions and Recommendations

German Perspectives, Tobias Schumacher
The Background
The EU’s North and Euro-Mediterranean Dynamics
Conclusions and Recommendations

North-African Perspectives, Ahmed Driss
The Background
Maghreb Countries’ Evaluations of the General Objectives
Evaluations of the Proposed Structures
Evaluations of the Project’s Content
Conclusions and Recommendations

Israeli Perspectives, Alfred Tovias
The Background
The “New Mediterranean” Dimension in the Initial Project
The Geo-Economic Dimension
The “Essen” Dimension
The Project Dimension
The Institutional Dimension
The Israeli-Palestinian Dimension
The Personalities’ Dimension
Conclusions and Recommendations

Final Remarks: A Couple of Policy Suggestions by Non-Appointed Advisors
About the Authors

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