Union for the Mediterranean
The Union for the Mediterranean (French: Union pour la Méditerranée; Arabic:
الاتحاد من أجل المتوسط ) is a community of European Union member states and non-EU countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea established on 13 July 2008 in Paris by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The proposal was originally made as part of Sarkozy's election campaign. Following his victory the idea was reiterated, with plans being drawn up. Despite the potential division it could cause with the Muslim world, President Sarkozy sees the initiative as a way of promoting peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours. It is hoped that an institutional core will be established by the end of the French presidency of the European Union in 2008. On 23 October 2007 Sarkozy invited all Mediterranean leaders to a summit in France to take place in June 2008 where they would "lay the foundations of a political, economic and cultural union founded on the principles of strict equality." 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" which would only be "completing and enriching" to existing EU structures and policy in the region. Following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel it was agreed that the project would include all EU member states, not just those bordering the Mediterranean, and built upon the existing Barcelona process. The MU was launched on the 13 July-14 July 2008.
The Union consists of all the EU states and those countries on the Mediterranean rim or those which are participating in the Euromediterranean Partnership. The idea is to form a connection between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
European Union (27 Nations)
Sarkozy called on the Mediterranean people to "do the same thing, with the same goal and the same method" as the European Union, though he stated it would not be based on the EU model. Under the original plans, members would form a regular council under a rotating presidency dealing with energy, security, counter-terrorism, immigration and trade. French nuclear expertise would be exchanged for North African gas reserves. The Mediterranean and European Unions would work together and share some institutions, including a common judicial area to fight corruption, terrorism, organised crime and people smuggling.
people Presidency is entrusted to Prime Ministers of two member States. For the first two years southern nations can elect a president; the option ends in 2010.
For 2008 the two presidents are the French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and the Egyptian Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak.
The flag chosen to represent the Union for the Mediterranean is composed of two horizontal lines: the upper one is white, symbolizing the sky, the lower is blue, symbolizing the sea.