Think EU-MED

Monday, October 27, 2008

Barcelona's Candidature for the UfM Secretariat Seat

Barcelona, which hosted the birth of the Process in 1995, could become the central reference in the creation of a space for dialogue between the northern and the southern rim of the Mediterranean. The city was elected as appropriate candidate for the seat of the secretariat of the new Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean(UfM). The Spanish and Catalan governments and Barcelona City Council have initiated the promotion of Barcelona’s nomination.

At the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean (13 July 2008), the heads of state decided to create a Secretariat for the Union for the Mediterranean.
The Government of Spain presents Barcelona’s candidature on a new website. There you can find the main arguments in favour of this candidature. Barcelona is characterized as ideal site for the Secretariat because of its open, multicultural and cosmopolitan being and its geographical location. Barcelona "shares with the peoples of the Mediterranean basin a long history of influences, dialogue and cooperation" and "boasts a vibrant, participative civil society that believes in peace, democracy and human rights".

On the website created by the IEMed institution based in Barcelona, you will find a presentation of the buildings, where the Secretariat would be located and further information (Opinions, news and reference documents) about its candidature.

The odds are in favour of Barcelona as Valetta has not got enough support for its candidacy. The other competitor Tunis has withdrown already its candidacy to host the UM's headquarters.

Visit the website:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Middle East Quartet Criticized

Acoording to a report by leading humanitarian and human rights organisations published on 25 September, the Middle East Quartet (EU, Russia, UN, USA) fails to make progress towards improving the lives of Palestinians nor improving the prospects for peace. The report, using data gathered by the humanitarian and human rights organisations that work on the ground, is questioning if the the Middle East Quartet is further required in future when they can not improve their outcome.

The report focuses on 10 political issues in the region which are considered to be of vital importance for the broader peace process. The Quartet failed to improve the situation in five of the ten Quartet’s objectives. In the cessation of violence in Gaza, the agreement on reinvigoration of the private sector, the fulfilment of donor pledges, and Palestinian security sector reform and increasing fuel to Gaza there has not been a significant progress or an actual deterioration in the situation.
This report provides recommendations to Quartet members on how best to respond to ensure urgently needed progress.

Middle East Quartet is failing, warn aid agencies