The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organisation bringing together the 28 European Union Member States and 15 countries from the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean. It provides a unique forum to enhance regional cooperation and dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, based in Barcelona and the first permanent structure dedicated to the intergovernmental Mediterranean partnership, is the operational institution that empowers this regional dialogue between the UfM Member States and stakeholders, fostering synergies among them and promoting cooperation projects and initiatives with a direct impact on the lives of people.
PLATFORM FOR REGIONAL AND POLICY DIALOGUE
The UfM gathers the 43 Member States’ representatives together on a regular basis. It serves as a framework for policy dialogue and exchange of project ideas, experiences and best practices among governments, key international institutions and cooperation structures. The UfM provides a unique platform to formulate regional priorities and decide on specific cooperation initiatives to be put in place.
STRATEGIC PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES FOR THE REGION
The UfM Secretariat ensures operational follow-up of the regional priorities identified and in partnership with key international actors promotes region-wide cooperation projects and initiatives that address the root causes of the current regional security and socio-economic challenges to foster enhanced regional integration and sustainable development.
Projects and initiatives are implemented within the framework of the UfM in six strategic priority areas which are business development, social and civil affairs, higher education and research, transport and urban development, water and environment, and energy and climate action.
The aforementioned priority areas fall within three main thematic strategies which allow the UfM to address in a crosscutting way the main concerns facing the region today and provide lasting developmental solutions intended to touch thousands of lives directly and provide tangible results on the ground.
- Women’s socio-economic empowerment
- Youth employability & inclusive growth
- Sustainable development
During 2015 the Secretariat has developed and accelerated the implementation of 33 regional labelled projects which are worth around €5 billion in all the key areas.
The work of the UfM is carried out in close collaboration with a network of key partner institutions in the field of Euro-Mediterranean affairs, the 43 UfM governments, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), the private sector and civil society.
A PRAGMATIC APPROACH BASED ON THREE PRINCIPLES
- CO-OWNERSHIP: The governance of the UfM is based on equitable functioning and shared responsibility. A co-presidency shared between the North and South ensures that countries from both shores are placed on an equal footing.
- VARIABLE GEOMETRY: It provides a degree of flexibility by which a smaller number of countries may decide, with the approval of all UfM Member States, to cooperate and participate in projects of common interest.
- REGIONAL COOPERATION SUPPORTING SPECIFIC PROJECTS