Barcelona, 18 November 2015 – The High Representative of the EU and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, presented today the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
The text highlights that “regional cooperation in the Southern neighbourhood has seen progress through the Union for the Mediterranean. The organisation has proved to be a valuable forum for political and economic discussion, providing a framework for cooperation on issues of common interest and on operational projects in the region. Many in the public consultation recommended a deepening of cooperation between the EU and the Union for the Mediterranean”. “The European Union will further invigorate cooperation with the Union for the Mediterranean and give priority to the UfM” in its regional cooperation efforts.
The Secretariat General of the Union for the Mediterranean welcomes the result of the ENP review which undoubtedly opens new perspectives for the UfM. The Secretariat reaffirms its readiness to further contribute, through the constant development of its activities and their strong potential, to tackle the socio-economic root causes of the current security and migration challenges through regional cooperation and a common development agenda in the Mediterranean.
“As the serious challenges in the Mediterranean are all of regional dimension, regional cooperation is more important than ever”, stated Fathallah Sijilmassi, Secretary General of the UfM. “Thanks to the support of the European Union and Jordan, co-presidents of the UfM and the active involvement of all member States, our activities are rapidly expanding. We now need to amplify these efforts and their impact”. “The European Neighbourhood Policy is a fundamental and powerful tool to further strengthen our regional cooperation efforts. I am confident that the reviewed ENP will help us face the priority challenges of the region and promote a truly shared agenda between the North and the South. The Union for the Mediterranean which is based on the principle of co-ownership will continue to decisively seize positive opportunities and address the long term solutions to regional challenges”, he added.
“I also look forward to exploring ways to bridging operational activities with the broader sub-saharan Africa with a view to contributing to the holistic approach of the new neighbourhood policy” added Fathallah Sijilmassi.