The UfM Platforms gather governmental institutions, international orgs, civil society and private sector experts to exchange on the ministerial mandates, better understand the needs, share experiences, identify best practices and promote concrete projects of cooperation.
UfM Regional Platform on Transport Connectivity
Context and Objectives
Ongoing changes in global trends, geopolitics and geoeconomics, climate, digital technologies and infrastructure, as well as disruption caused by COVID-19 are creating significant uncertainties with regard to future transport demand. However, they also offer important opportunities and have highlighted the essential role of transport. Better regional transport infrastructure will enable economies in the region to play a more important role in regional and global value chains and economy. Higher levels of transport connectivity can also lead to better access to employment, education, health, and other public services, as well as tourism activities. Moreover, enhanced connectivity for all countries in the region continues to be of strategic importance for improving regional integration.
70% of cargo trade in the Mediterranean is between European ports, 15% between Europe and North Africa, and only 5% between MENA countries
In this context, the aim of the UfM in the field of transport in general and of the UfM Regional Platform on Transport Connectivity and its thematic Working Groups on Land (road, rail and urban transport), Air and Maritime Transport and Logistics in particular, is gradual but solid progress towards developing an integrated, multimodal, efficient, interoperable, sustainable and resilient -as well as a cleaner and more inclusive- transport infrastructure network in the Euro-Mediterranean region, with the ultimate goal of achieving deeper regional integration, socio-economic development and contributing to achieving the SDGs.
The UfM Regional Platform on Transport Connectivity and its thematic Working Groups bring together UfM government representatives, key regional and international partner organisations and international financial institutions (IFIs), as well as key experts and stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. Back-to-back with the UfM Regional Platform, the UfM Secretariat organises:
- The UfM-IFIs Transport Finance Committee, which is aimed at exchanging views with the IFIs and key partners of the UfM region on the funding of the labelled and potential projects for future labelling
- Ad hoc SOMs to prepare, discuss, and provisionally approve the draft Ministerial Declaration and other deliverables, before conveying them to UfM Senior Officials (regular SOM) for adoption, prior to the next UfM Ministerial Conference.
The 1st UfM Ministerial Conference on Transport held in Brussels in November 2013, built on the significant progress achieved within the Euro-Med process since the first Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Transport, held in Marrakech in 2005. In Brussels, the Ministers declared the objectives for the coming years and reaffirmed its 2 complementary pillars: regulatory reform and convergence in all relevant different transport subsectors, and the establishment of the future Trans-Mediterranean Transport Network (TMN-T), to be connected with the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). Those objectives were incorporated into the UfM Roadmap for Action in 2017.
On the occasion of the 2nd UfM Ministerial Conference on Transport held online in February 2023, the Ministers reaffirmed their continued collective political support to developing a safe, secure, sustainable, efficient and connected transport system based on harmonized transport rules and standards, as well as an integrated multimodal trans-Mediterranean transport network. Ministers also reaffirmed the importance of the connectivity among the Southern Mediterranean countries, between these countries and the EU and towards inner Africa and Asia.
The Ministerial Declaration on Transport, the Evaluation Report of Regional Transport Action Plan 2014-2020 and the new Regional Transport Action Plan 2021-2027 adopted at the Ministerial Conference, will provide collective political momentum to these key goals.
The new Regional Transport Action Plan 2021-2027 provides a comprehensive guidance and comprises a set of actions targeting regulatory reform and infrastructure network planning. The UfM Regional Platform on Transport Connectivity, as well as the EU-funded projects in this field, will continue to serve as an efficient framework of dialogue and exchange of expertise. They will also provide technical assistance to support the implementation of the RTAP 2021-2027.
Global and Regional Policy Frameworks
Several key global and regional reference policy frameworks for both policy transfer and regulatory convergence were taken into account in drafting the new RTAP. These include the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015), the Paris Agreement (2015), the European Green Deal (2019), whose objectives for the transport sector are developed in the EU’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy (2020), the European Neighbourhood Policy and the UfM Roadmap for Action (2017).
- Regional Transport Action Plan (RTAP) 2014-2020 (EN, FR, AR)
- Evaluation Report of the Regional Transport Action Plan (RTAP) 2014-2020 (EN)
- Priority Guidelines for the RTAP 2014-2020 (EN, FR, AR)
- UfM Roadmap for Action 2017 (EN)
- Ministerial Declaration 2023 (EN, FR, AR)
- Regional Transport Action Plan (RTAP) 2021-2027 (EN, FR, AR)
- First Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Transport (Marrakech, December 2005)
- Regional Transport Action Plan (RTAP) 2007-2013
- First UfM Ministerial Conference on Transport (Brussels, November 2013)
- Regional Transport Action Plan (RTAP) 2014-2020
- UfM Roadmap for Action (2017)
- Launch of the UfM Regional Platform on Transport Connectivity and its thematic Working Groups (Brussels, December 2018)
- Meeting of the UfM Regional Platform on Transport Connectivity (Barcelona, June 2019)
- Meetings of the UfM Working Groups on Land, Air and Maritime Transport and Logistics (Barcelona, June 2019)
- Meeting of the UfM-IFIs Transport Finance Committee (Barcelona, June 2019)
- Meetings of the UfM Working Groups on Land, Air and Maritime Transport and Logistics (Brussels, November 2019)
- Meetings of the UfM Working Groups on Land, Air and Maritime Transport and Logistics (online, December 2020)
- Launch of the multi-stakeholder consultative process on the new Regional Transport Action Plan (RTAP) 2021-2027 (June 2021)
- Meetings of the UfM Working Groups on Land, Air and Maritime Transport and Logistics (online, December 2021)
- Meeting of the UfM Regional Platform on Transport Connectivity (online, March 2022)
- Meetings of the UfM Working Groups on Land, Air and Maritime Transport and Logistics (online, March 2022)
- Second Ministerial Conference on Transport (Online, February 2023) – Ministerial Declaration (EN, FR, AR)
Key partners and stakeholders
European Commission Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE)
European Commission Directorate-General for Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
Ministry of Transport of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan