The Union for the Mediterranean promotes economic integration and democratic reform across 16 neighbours to the EU’s south in North Africa and the Middle East.
Formerly known as the Barcelona Process, cooperation agreements were re-launched in 2008 as the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) .
The re-launch was an opportunity to render relations both more concrete and more visible with the initiation of new regional and sub-regional projects with real relevance for those living in the region. Projects address areas such as economy, environment, energy, health, migration and culture.
Along with the 28 EU member states, 15 Southern Mediterranean, African and Middle Eastern countries are members of the UfM: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Syria (suspended), Tunisia and Turkey.
Currently meetings are co-presided over by one Mediterranean and one EU country. As of September 2010, the UfM also has a functional secretariat, based in Barcelona, a Secretary General and six deputy secretary generals.
Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, governance from the EU side will be rearranged once the EEAS has been established.
The UfM has a number of key initiatives on its agenda: