European Union External Action

Mogherini urges greater cooperation and integration in the Mediterranean

23/01/2017 - 17:51

Only greater regional integration can reduce the instability of the Mediterranean region and solve conflicts, High Representative Federica Mogherini said today, underlining the importance of giving a positive future to young people in the region.

Federica Mogherini

“It is more and more evident in our region that the way to solve conflicts, manage crises, prevent tensions is more regional integration and more regional cooperation,” Mogherini said following today’s ministerial meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean, which brings together 43 countries from across the region with a total population of some 800 million people. Mogherini co-chaired the meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

Since 2012, the UfM has worked on 47 regional projects on education, job creation and sustainable economic development, worth a total of 5.5 billion euros. This has brought direct benefits especially to young people, women and entrepreneurs. Today’s meeting in Barcelona, with the theme of “Mediterranean in action", adopted a Road Map for further work.

“Today we have committed together to break this circle of lack of integration and tensions and conflictuality and invest in a coherent manner on more political dialogue and more regional integrational cooperation on very concrete fields of actions through our Union for the Mediterranean,” the High Representative said.

“This is going to have an impact on our citizens' lives and the special focus of our deliberations today has been the focus on youth because we know well, not only the demographic trends of our region indicate that this is the smart thing to do for our present and not only for our future; but also tackling the issue of giving adequate space to our youth, both in Europe and in the rest of the Mediterranean region, is also key to a certain number of top priorities that we share: economic development, guaranteeing that our societies are open societies with a space for each and every citizen, the management of migration flows but also the prevention of radicalisation and the management of our security concerns that we also share.”

In her Global Strategy on EU foreign and security policy, Mogherini identified the UfM as a major player in bringing stability and peace to the Mediterranean region.

While in Barcelona, the High Representative also help bilateral meetings with Tzachi Hanegbi, Israeli Minister for National Security and Foreign Affairs, and Riyad al-Maliki, Palestian Foreign Minister, as well Ditmir Bushati, Albanian Foreign Minister.