Think EU-MED

Thursday, June 10, 2010

THINK EU-MED #1

What future for the Union for the Mediterranean?

Timo Behr asks in his 2-page comment for the Finnish Institute of International Affairs about the future for the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) after the cancellation of the biannual summit.
The current Israeli-Palestinian crisis has led again to the blockage of the UfM and Behr suggests that it should not be an option for the EU to wait out for any progress in these indirect peace talks. As the chance of success is little the EU should rather concentrate on its own policies and act now to avoid the “further disintegration of its regional policy.”
The Union has to “employ a mixture of quick fixes and long-term restructuring”.

In the short-term perspective Behr recommends, on the one hand, to solve the question of the successor of the French-Egyptian Co-Presidency which ends this July. One the other hand, the newly created Secretariat in Barcelona needs to push ahead the UfM’s core projects such as the Mediterranean Solar Plan and the Motorways of the Sea.

In the long-term the UfM needs to be isolated “from the vagaries of the Middle East” by strengthening the non-political Secretariat and by increasing the “variable geometry” in the development of the envisaged projects.

Dr. Timo Behr is Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

What future for the Union for the Mediterranean
? Published 7.6.2010