01 Nov 2011

The Future of Euro-Mediterranean – Regional Cooperation: The Role of the Union fo the Mediterranean

Rym Ayadi / Salim Gadi


Thirteen years after the Barcelona Process was launched, in 2008, Euro-Mediterranean relations were provided with a new framework for regional cooperation: the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). Since then, the institution has attracted wide attention less because of its achievements than because of its stalemate. The much publicized cancellation of Heads of State Summits and Foreign Affairs Meetings, the delays in setting up the Secretariat and the empty chair policies pur- sued by its members were a blow to the institution’s credibility. However, through the UfM’s focus on co-ownership and concrete initiatives the institution could be a valuable framework for upgrading Euro-Mediterranean relations by strengthening regional cooperation provided reforms of govern- ance are implemented. This paper reviews the history behind the UfM’s creation, analyzes its ins- titutional architecture by delving into its different bodies, and points at the synergies that could be exploited with the EU Neighbourhood Policy.