Think EU-MED

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Masade, Masa'deh, Massedeh

Since the 4th of March 2010 the organisational structure of the secretariat of the Mediterranean Union is in place. The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona, is the home of the new Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, where already the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership was founded in 1995. The EU Member States and the 16 States of the Mediterranean region presented the Jordan Ahmad Khalaf Massadeh officially as first Head of the organisation.

Although the writing of the Jordan diplomat varies in the media from Masade, Masa’deh or Massedeh (among others) he is not a dark horse in the European diplomatic world. Massedeh is a former minister and Jordanian ambassador to the EU and NATO in Brussels. (his CV on EIB)

Massadeh’s close relations to the diplomat circle in Brussels might have even facilitated his election as first secretary-general of the Union of the Mediterranean. What underlines this assumption is the untransparent and behind-closed-doors deal which seemed to have led to his nomination. Instead of having a Summit with all participants of the Union to elect the new secretary, the foreign ministers of France, Spain, Egypt, Tunis and Jordan met in Cairo to support Massadeh’s candidacy. According to them this represents a consensus of all Union member states. French spokesperson Bernard Valéro is quoted as saying: “The candidacy of Jordan's Ahmed Masade [sic!] for the post of secretary-general was mentioned and received the support of the five ministers.”

Just five countries out of 44? Is this the new mechanism of differentiation which should make the Union more successfully than its predecessor or is it just a lack of interest by the other Member States? No official press conference or official document can be found which is also due to the fact that there’s still no official website of the UfM. This is ridiculous taking into account that 16,6 Million Euros were mobilized for the inauguration event in Paris 2008 and the Union presents no less than 780 Million inhabitants. If the UfM will be a transparent and efficient organisation for the people and not another diplomatic framework with rather useless high-level Summits, there need to be an official presentation or at least a phone number to ring.