European Union External Action

Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)

08/02/2021 - 10:51
EU relations with Region

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an inter-governmental partnership that promotes cooperation and dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region through projects and initiatives addressing the three strategic objectives of regional stability, human development and economic regional integration.

The UfM was launched in 2008 as a continuation of the Barcelona Process. Along with the 27 EU member states, 15 Southern Mediterranean 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. Libya is an observer. Since 2012, the EU and Jordan hold the joint presidency of the UfM.

Foreign Ministers of the UfM countries meet since 2015 in an annual Regional Forum, under the co-chairmanship of the High Representative / Vice President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Fifth Regional Forum was held on 27 November 2020 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Declaration. UfM Sectorial ministerial conferences were organised over the last years in the fields of Energy, Transport, Women, Industry, Environment, Climate Change, Digital Economy, Trade, Employment, Water, and Sustainable Urban Development.

Senior Officials Meetings (SOMs), co-chaired by the EEAS and Jordan, oversee the activities of the UfM. The UfM Secretariat, based in Barcelona, ensures the operational follow-up of the regional priorities identified and promotes region-wide cooperation projects and initiatives that address the root causes of regional security and socio-economic challenges. The UfM Secretariat’s operational budget is financed up to 50% by the European Commission and, for the other half, by contributions from UfM member states.

UfM Regional Policy Platforms, involving a large network of stakeholders such as international organisations, civil society representatives, international financial institutions, development agencies, private sector entities and universities, share experiences, identify best practices and promote concrete projects of cooperation.

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