‘We are not
With regard to the Mediterranean’s current pressing issues, Kamel stresses that the Union is not at the forefront of handling political issues, but works more towards resolving the root cause of such challenges. He said the Union works towards creating an area of peace and stability by means of regional integration through enhancing economical and infrastructural relations. It focuses on creating co-operation to ease tensions both internally and between member states.
With regard to the Arab Spring – just a year before the Union was being renamed and rebranded and against all the odds – the Union was able to create and maintain a structure that focused on trying to achieve results for those regions that were facing a challenging period. Despite the instability which member states of the Union faced during this
hile the activities and initiatives carried out by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in the region are not well known in Malta, its SecretaryGeneral, Nasser Kamel, explained that the Maltese and other regional citizens have most likely worked on projects in which the Union was the key players.He noted, however, that most people are aware of Euro Mediterranean Cooperation, which structures and integrates numerous sectors such as higher education, transport and trade.Launched in 1995 as The Barcelona Process, the aims of the project were to strengthen relations between Europe and Southern Mediterranean countries and to promote a EuroMediterranean association. Then, in Paris in 2008, the Process was re-launched as The Union for the Mediterranean, which today brings together the 28 countries of the European Union and 15 countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean.Kamel explains how one major project on which the Union has focused is the Regional Dialogue Platforms, a close interaction in which not only over 2,000 stakeholders are involved but which is also open to members of civil society: a platform for sharing experiences and promoting concrete cooperation projects, which is one of the Union’s main purposes. He goes on to mention that the Union has fostered and mobilised funds for numerous projects, identifying over 50 projects which resulted in over €5 million in funding.