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This program has been active since , and has been involved in programs to identify the cultural heritages of Mediterranean states, promote their preservation, and educate the peoples of partner countries about their cultural heritages. By some analysts, the process has been declared ineffective. The stalling of the Middle East Peace Process is having an impact on the Barcelona Process and is hindering progress especially in the first basket. The economic basket can be considered a success, and there have been more projects for the exchange on a cultural level and between the peoples in the riparian states.

Other criticism is mainly based on the predominant role the European Union is playing. Normally it is the EU that is assessing the state of affairs, which leads to the impression that the North is dictating the South what to do. The question of an enhanced co-ownership of the process has repeatedly been brought up over the last years.

Being a long-term process and much more complex than any other similar project, it may be many years before a final judgment can be made. Bishara Khader argues that this ambitious European project towards its Mediterranean neighbours has to be understood in a context of optimism. On the one hand, the European Community was undergoing important changes due to the reunification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall in and the beginning of the adhesion negotiations of Eastern and Central European countries.

On the other, the Arab—Israeli conflict appeared to be getting closer to achieving peace after the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Accords As well, Khader states that the Gulf War of , the Algerian crisis from onwards and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism throughout the Arab world are also important factors in Europe's new relations with the Mediterranean countries based on security concerns.

Criticism of the Barcelona Process escalated after the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean Summit in Barcelona in , which was broadly considered a failure. The Palestinian Authority , Syria and Algeria argued that resistance movements against foreign occupation should not be included in this definition. For many, the political context surrounding the summit — the stagnation of the Middle East Peace Process, the US-led war on Iraq , the lack of democratisation in Arab countries, and the war on terror 's negative effects on freedoms and human rights, among others—proved for many the inefficiency of the Barcelona Process for fulfilling its objectives of peace, stability and prosperity.

However, many European Union diplomats have defended the validity of the Barcelona Process' framework by arguing that the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership was the only forum that gathered Israelis and Arabs on equal footing [26] , and identifying as successes the Association Agreements , the Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism and the establishment of the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures.

In the first proposals for improving the Partnership's efficiency, visibility and co-ownership arouse, such as establishing a co-presidency system and a permanent secretariat or nominating a "Mr. As of [update] , on the initiative of France, States embark on a round negotiations to revive the process. A proposal to establish a "Mediterranean Union", which would consist principally of Mediterranean states, was part of the election campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy during the French presidential election campaign in During the campaign Mr.

Sarkozy said that the Mediterranean Union would be modelled on the European Union with a shared judicial area and common institutions. Once elected, President Sarkozy invited all heads of state and government of the Mediterranean region to a meeting in June in Paris, with a view to laying the basis of a Mediterranean Union. The Mediterranean Union was enthusiastically supported by Egypt and Israel. However the European Commission and Germany were more cautious about the project. The European Commission saying that while initiatives promoting regional co-operation were good, it would be better to build them upon existing structures, notable among them being the Barcelona process.

In particular she objected to the potential use of EU funds to fund a project which was only to include a small number of EU member states. Other criticisms of the proposal included concern about the relationship between the proposed UfM and the existing Euromediterranean Partnership Barcelona Process , which might reduce the effectiveness of EU policies in the region and allow the southern countries to play on the rivalries to escape unpopular EU policies. There were similar economic concerns in the loss of civil society and similar human rights based policies.

Duplication of policies from the EU's police and judicial area was a further worry.

New Mediterranean trade routes will be through the South and East of the region

At the start of Sarkozy began to modify his plans for the Mediterranean Union due to widespread opposition from other EU member states and the European Commission. At the end of February of that year, France's minister for European affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet , stated that "there is no Mediterranean Union" but rather a "Union for the Mediterranean" that would only be "completing and enriching" to existing EU structures and policy in the region.

Turkey also agreed to take part in the project following a guarantee from France that it was no longer intended as an alternative to EU membership. The proposed creation of common institutions, [39] and a Mediterranean Investment, which was to have been modelled on the European Investment Bank , was also dropped. In consequence the new Union for the Mediterranean would consist of regular meeting of the entire EU with the non-member partner states, and would be backed by two co-presidents and a secretariat.

It was presented as a new phase Euro-Mediterranean Partnership with new members and an improved institutional architecture which aimed to "enhance multilateral relations, increase co-ownership of the process, set governance on the basis of equal footing and translate it into concrete projects, more visible to citizens. Now is the time to inject a new and continuing momentum into the Barcelona Process. More engagement and new catalysts are now needed to translate the objectives of the Barcelona Declaration into tangible results.

The Paris summit was considered a diplomatic success for Nicolas Sarzoky. At the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Foreign Affairs held in Marseilles in November , the Ministers decided to shorten the initiative's name to simply the "Union for the Mediterranean". This meeting concluded with a new joint declaration, [43] which completed the Paris Declaration by defining the organisational structure and the principles on which the UfM would be run. A rotating co-presidency was set up, held jointly by one EUmember country and one Mediterranean partner.

France and Egypt were the first countries to hold this co-presidency. The presence of the Arab League at all meetings is written into the rules.

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A secretariat with a separate legal status and its own statutes was created. Its headquarters were established in Barcelona. The fact that the Union for the Mediterranean is launched as a new phase of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership means that the Union accepts and commits to maintain the acquis of Barcelona, the purpose of which is to promote "peace, stability and prosperity" throughout the region Barcelona, 2. Therefore, the four chapters of cooperation developed in the framework of the Barcelona Process during thirteen years remain valid: [22].

The objective to establish a Free Trade Area in the Euro-Mediterranean region by and beyond , first proposed at the Barcelona Conference, was also endorsed by the Paris Summit of In addition to these four chapters of cooperation, the 43 Ministers of Foreign Affairs gathered in Marseilles in November identified six concrete projects that target specific needs of the Euro-Mediterranean regions and that will enhance the visibility of the Partnership: [44].

A summit of heads of state and government is intended to be held every two years to foster political dialogue at the highest level. According to the Paris Declaration:. The first summit was held in Paris in July The second summit should have taken place in a non-EU country in July but the Euro-Mediterranean countries agreed to hold the summit in Barcelona on 7 June , under the Spanish presidency of the EU , instead. In contrast, the Spanish media blamed the postponement on the Arab threat to boycott the summit if Avigdor Lieberman , Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended the Foreign Affairs conference prior to the summit.

At the time of the Paris summit, France—which was in charge of the EU presidency—and Egypt held the co-presidency. Since then, France had been signing agreements with the different rotator presidencies of the EU the Czech Republic , Sweden and Spain in order to maintain the co-presidency for alongside Egypt. However, due to the two postponements of the summit, there has been no chance to decide which countries will take over the co-presidency.

The conflict between Turkey and Cyprus has been responsible for the delay in the endorsement of the statutes of the Secretariat, [52] which were only approved in March even though the Marseille declaration set May as the deadline for the Secretariat to start functioning. Turkey 's desire to have a Deputy Secretary General and Cyprus ' rejection of it, resulted in months of negotiation until Cyprus finally approved the creation of a sixth Deputy Secreaty General post assigned to a Turkish citizen.

Due to its seriousness, the Arab-Israeli conflict is the one that most deeply affects the Union for the Mediterranean. At the Euro-Mediterranean ministerial meeting on Water, held in Barcelona in April , the Water Strategy was not approved due to a terminological disagreement of whether to refer to territories claimed by Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese as "occupied territories" or "territories under occupation.

After the initial postponement, both France and Spain announced their intentions to hold peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as part of the postponed summit under the auspices of the US. In September, U. President Barack Obama was invited to the summit for this purpose. The summit which was then scheduled to take place in Barcelona on 21 November , [59] was according to Nicolas Sarkozy, the summit was "an occasion to support the negotiations.

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Nevertheless, at the beginning of November the peace talks stalled, and the Egyptian co-presidents conditioned the occurrence of the summit on a gesture from Israel that would allow the negotiations to resume. According to some experts Benjamin Netanyahu 's announcement of the construction of new housing units in East Jerusalem ended all the possibilities of celebrating the summit on 21 November.

Having been slowed down by the financial and political situation in , the UfM was given a decisive push in March with the conclusion of the negotiations on the set-up of its General Secretariat and the official inauguration of the same on 4 March in Barcelona, in the specially refurbished Palau de Pedralbes. According to him, the division among the Arabs "does not allow to implement a strong inter-regional policy", and calls to leave this ambitious project of 43 countries behind and focus on bilateral relations.

On 22 June , the UfM labelled its first project, the creation of a seawater desalination plant in Gaza. In , the Union for the Mediterranean launches its first projects: [66]. Between and , thirteen sectorial ministerial meetings took place, in presence of the ministers of the UfM Member States:. In , the UfM had a total of 37 labelled projects [84] 19 of which were in the implementation phase.

On 26 November , on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Barcelona Declaration, at the initiative of the co-presidents of the UfM, Ms. Nasser Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Jordan, held an informal meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the countries of the UfM in Barcelona to renew their political commitment to the development of regional cooperation in the framework of the UfM.

In February , the UfM-labelled project "Skills for Success" successfully ended its training activities in Jordan and Morocco with high percentages of job placements. Fakhoury, Jordanian Minister of Cooperation and Planning. Ministers recognised the need to boost economic integration among the countries in the region as one of the means to create opportunities for the necessary inclusive growth and job creation. They highlighted the crucial role of the Union for the Mediterranean to that effect, welcoming the work of the UfM Secretariat to help facilitate progress in regional cooperation and integration, including by promoting region-wide projects.

MedCOP Climate provided a forum to present various initiatives and projects supported by the UfM that are helping to formulate a Mediterranean climate agenda, such as the creation of a Mediterranean network of young people working on climate issues; the Regional Committee for Cooperation on Climate Finance, to make funding for climate projects in the region more efficient; and the launch of the UfM Energy University by Schneider Electric.

The Conference provided a regional dialogue forum where the participants from more than 30 countries stressed the need to invest in the essential contribution of women as a response to the current Mediterranean challenges. The request was "to establish an effective follow-up mechanism as a Euro-Mediterranean forum and to ensure an effective dialogue on women-related policies, legislation and implementation.

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The project is supported by International financing institutions, such as the European Investment Bank and the European Commission, as well as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. On 23 January , the Union for the Mediterranean's Member States gave a strong political commitment to strengthen regional cooperation in the Mediterranean by endorsing the UfM roadmap for action at the second Regional Forum of the UfM, which took place in Barcelona on 23—24 January under the theme of "Mediterranean in Action: Youth for Stability and Development".

On 10 April , the Heads of State or Government of Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain convened in Madrid at the 3rd Summit of Southern European Union Countries, where they reaffirmed their support to the Union for the Mediterranean and stressed its " central role in the consolidation of Euro-Mediterranean regional cooperation, as an expression of co-ownership in the management of our common regional agenda in order to effectively and collectively address our current challenges ".

Implementation of the projects is accelerating and is producing positive results on the ground. On 29 November , the UfM Regional Stakeholder Conference on the Blue Economy, [] brought together over key stakeholders dealing with marine and maritime issues from the entire region, including government representatives, regional and local authorities, international organisations, academia, the private sector and civil society. Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product.

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In The Spotlight. Shop Our Brands. All Rights Reserved. Cancel Submit. How was your experience with this page? Needs Improvement Love it! The UfM is also presented as transforming the understanding of the Mediterranean region by, in contrast to the EMP, giving a high priority to addressing the environmental dimension of economic development. The conference organizers presented it as building on previous meetings on Mediterranean environmental issues, utilizing a model of participatory environmental assessment that the EU had previously employed in the Balkans Cherterian Based on the background document prepared for the conference, additional input from Moroccan, Egyptian, Jordanian, Lebanese, Tunisian and Algerian experts, and conference discussions, the sponsoring organizations presented the subsequent publication as the results of the workshop.

The website hosting the publication www. It uses this language to signal the shift away from a narrowly state-centered conception of security.

Space for Med finds great potential for space tech in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region

The publication is built around a series of Mediterranean maps, which are also reproduced on the website. Thematic maps show agriculture and fisheries, desertification, migration, population, energy and mineral resources, climate change and water. These transnational environmental NGOs support the legitimacy of regional cooperation and offer experience at building environmental civil society organizations. While they have taken a Mediterranean regional perspective, they appear to lack the support base in the region or the financial resources to make a major impact on Mediterranean environmental cooperation.

The WWF Mediterranean office is one of three regional offices; the rest of its more than sixty offices are national. The regional office engages in capacity building for environmental NGOs in southern and eastern Mediterranean World Wildlife Fund a, b. While it has had a Mediterranean office in Malta since , its Mediterranean activists address their projects to their own national governments Greenpeace Environmental NGOs are well developed on the northern shore but are hardly present on the southern one, limiting the ability of civil society groups to speak as representatives of a region-wide perspective.

Mediterranean regional environmental governance is not well developed even though the extension of the frame of environmentalism to include sustainable development and human security has the potential to mobilize a supporting coalition on both shores. As an intergovernmental organization, CEDARE occupies a niche in the UN system as a structure for collaborative Arab action, funding its operations through grants from a range of development funds and international agencies.

CEDARE acts as a technical resource center and communications channel for governments and businesses. Its approach to motivating engagement with its regional environmental agenda consists of highlighting successful projects and technical possibilities through documents and projects. The report, The Environmental Outlook for the Arab Region , published in , highlights environmental stresses and examines sustainable development options. The interests of national regimes and business opportunities are aligned with this frame, and this framing accepts, at least rhetorically, that ways of life are changing and adaptation to new conditions is necessary.

In , when Saab received the United Nations Environment Award, UNEP wrote that the magazine had a circulation of 38, in 22 countries, sponsored more than environmental clubs in schools, was a main reference for environmental curricula in Arab schools, and sponsored environmental conferences and a related weekly television show United Nations Environment Programme The trustees are drawn from political life, business and universities.

AFED has only institutional members. Its thirty-three corporate members include multinationals active in the region GM, Ford, GE, Philips and major regional corporations, primarily from the gulf states and Saudi Arabia, in energy, oil and gas, waste management, construction, metals, fertilizer and finance. The fourteen media members reflect the public outreach agenda. The eight academic and research institute members are Lebanese, Jordanian, Egyptian, Kuwaiti, Bahraini and Palestinian. The national affiliations show the prominent role of the governments and businesses in the wealthy oil producing states.

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It is similar to many others in AFED reports. National borders do not appear or are minimal. The map, like the textual approach of AFED documents, conveys a shared challenge across a large, geographically contiguous region. Sea level rise scenario at 4 meters. Source: Tolba and Saab , It is particularly pointed on the latter, writing,. This AFED report has found that most public organizations in the Arab world, serving both irrigation and urban water needs, do not function properly and have not served their clients effectively.

Responsibility for managing water and water services is dispersed across multiple institutions which rarely coordinate among themselves. Moreover, decision making is top-down with no, or ineffective, stakeholder participation. El-Ashry , Saab, and Zeitoon viii. AFED considers public education particularly important.

Its transnational educational and organizational work builds on a shared Arab cultural identity, and on the latent pan-Arab ideology that Arabs can express agency collectively and not just through national governments. Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia has contributors from throughout the Arab world. AFED conferences are transnational events. Its reports are presented as collective efforts; each chapter has its individual author s and the editors supply an integrating voice. The reports have additional legitimacy from the participation of Mostafa Tolba, executive director of UNEP from to , as co-editor of the first two.

This critical assessment was followed by a AHDR on knowledge, a report on freedom, a report on women and a report on human security. The report paid particular attention to the environmental challenge facing Arab countries, addressing it in detail as the first of seven threats to Arab human security, and has considerable overlap with the AFED report on Arab environmental challenges. AFED has also worked to align its environmentalist critique with the interests of multinational and regional corporations. Multinationals and regional corporations have a long term interest in the AFED agenda because these businesses cannot sustain themselves if the failure to address environmental challenges in Arab countries leads to economic and political upheaval.

Their long term prosperity and stability depend on using wealth that comes from resource extraction to build sustainable economies. The two UN agencies draw on different Arab networks and frame Arab environmentalism in different ways. The review of Eastern Mediterranean environmental peacebuilding, Mediterranean environmental regionalism and Arab environmental regionalism has discussed how the frame of each defines the problem of regional environmental cooperation, understands its causes, makes moral judgments, suggests remedies and motivates engagement.

It has noted strategies of frame alignment used to reach out to supporters and resource providers. Their comparison of social actors as well as the conception of territory and thematic concerns in environmental governance projects focuses on those who are framing and the processes of developing and revising frames as well as on the content of the frames. The thematic concern of each has broadened, reflecting the broadening environmental agenda at the international level from the s to the present. Environmental peacebuilding continues to give high priority to water issues but in the context of a bridging broad peace and sustainability frames.

The Mediterranean Action Plan was initiated around the single issue of pollution; current discussions of Mediterranean environmentalism extend the frame to sustainability and security themes. Recent Arab reports promoting an environmentalist outlook amplify the frame by invoking emotionally powerful pan-Arabism. The conception of territory has shifted from projects involving adjacent states to incorporate projects that use an ecoregional perspective.

The focus on the Jordan River valley in environmental peacebuilding shifts the focus from state interests to shared interests of those in a transboundary ecoregion. The Mediterranean project began with national coordination on pollution control and then expanded to more ecoregional concerns of coastal zone management and sustainable development.

Both the environmental peacebuilding and the Mediterranean frames are transformational. They each document increasingly severe environmental stress and argue for the much stronger ecoregional responses. A shift to an ecoregional perspective in Arab environmentalism, however, is constrained by the wide geographic extent of the League of Arab States. The role of state and non-state actors varies, and intergovernmental and civil society agendas differ in each project.

In environmental peacebuilding, civil society groups, with support from state and non-state actors from outside the region, maintain the project and advance sustainable development strategies while the intergovernmental project is almost paralysed. Mediterranean environmentalism is still largely a state-to-state project, with limited engagement, and environmental NGOs have not become major actors.

AFED and Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia , funded by regional states and corporations , have built a civil society base, with an environmental agenda that is much broader than that of Arab intergovernmental bodies. To what extent are these three initiatives independent or part of a process in which they positively reinforce each other? All three projects have much in common in the way in which they frame their messages. The rhetoric of sustainable development, diffused from UNDP into many settings, is found in each project. Similarly, each project includes climate change in its framing.

Occasional intertextual references in the documents produced by each project bridge their frames. The AFED report contains a chapter on the environmental impact of wars and conflicts that includes the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as one of several within the region, and supports cooperation on the environment as a tool of regional conflict resolution efforts Partow Reports of the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on Know-how in the Water sector, begun under EMP and continuing in the UfM, direct readers to studies that have been produced by all three projects.

The Arava Institute cultivates relationships with Arab environmentalists. European agencies that fund environmental peacebuilding and Mediterranean environmental activities are important settings for relating these two projects to each other. Professional networks bring together experts from all three projects.

As noted earlier, discussion of the Middle East as a region has focused on the role of this geographic area in the global political and economic system, and the area lags behind others in regional institutional development. A few publications from outside the area do use a Middle East geographic region as the context for studying the politics and economics of environmental issues.


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Allan , Waslekar and Futehally , Experts involved in all three regional environmental projects have been participated in these studies. Within this larger frame of Middle Eastern environmentalism, the Eastern Mediterranean, like the Gulf, the Nile or the Maghreb, can be conceptualized as a sub-region in interaction with the broader region.

There are obvious political barriers to cooperation and shared identity - the unresolved Palestinian-Israeli conflict, other regional conflicts, governance issues throughout the Middle East, national competition for regional influence, and the weak political influence of grassroots environmentalists. The economics of the Middle East may also be a barrier, despite the heavy economic costs of environmental degradation and climate change. Urgent issues of unemployment, poverty and coping with inflation in food and fuel costs can push environmentalism down the list of priorities, with long-term sustainable development projects overwhelmed by immediate needs.


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  7. In addition, oil producing countries have a mixed record on environmentalism, particularly on the response to climate change, and have different economic stakes in environmentalism than countries without oil. Cultural understandings can also act as a barrier to a larger Middle East environmental regionalism. Each project of regional environmentalism mobilizes supporters on a different cultural base, reinforcing — at least temporarily — differences within the Middle East rather than promoting a common outlook.

    As the organizational and professional networks within each project develop, as each project produces studies and policy recommendation on topics of shared interest, and as each project shares and contributes to the common stock of knowledge of global environmentalism, it is inevitable that those involved in each project will become better informed about the other projects.

    It is not inevitable that a common environmentalism will emerge from this dynamic. However, even if regional Middle Eastern environmental institutions are not formed, it is possible for this dynamic to produce better coordinated and more effective action around a shared agenda. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.