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The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) constitutes the new institutional framework of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. Created at the Paris Summit (13.7.2008), the UfM aims at strengthening the participation of Mediterranean partners and lays emphasis on the implementation of regional development and environmental programs with direct and practical benefits for the peoples of the Mediterranean. It is essentially the evolution of the Barcelona Process into a new scheme, which involves the 28 EU member states, the European Commission, the European External Action Service, Egypt, Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Montenegro, Monaco, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia and the Palestinian Authority. Libya participates as an observer. As an EU policy, it belongs to the Southern Dimension of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and it is the only cooperation framework which brings together all the countries of the region with the principal objective of implementing a series of programs of diverse nature.
One of the most innovative elements of this scheme is its Secretariat, whose main responsibility is to promote regional programs with the participation and mobilization of the private sector, which plays a central role in the context of the UfM.
Greece supported, from the outset, the creation of the Union for the Mediterranean and sought to participate in its Secretariat. In this context, until 13.5.2013, Greece held the portfolio of the Secretary General for Energy.
Our country hosted the Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change in Athens, on May 13th 2014.
The Co-Presidency of the UfM convened the 1st Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Partner Countries (Regional Forum), on November 26th 2015, in Barcelona. The second Regional Forum was held on 23 and 24 January 2017, in Barcelona, with the theme “Mediterranean in Action: Youth for Stability and Development”.
Following this, another Ministerial Meeting, on Regional Cooperation and Planning, was held (Jordan 2.6.2016). This Meeting adopted a Declaration on the strengthening of regional cooperation in the Mediterranean area, in line with the principles of the revised European Neighborhood Policy (ENP).
Other Ministerial Meetings were held on topics such as blue economy, energy, employment, urban development, water, trade and the role of women in society.
Greece supports the political dialogue within the UfM, as well as the emphasis given to priority areas with clear added value, such as youth and employment.
Besides political cooperation, one of the most important aspects of the UfM is the implementation of joint regional projects (UfM “labelled” projects), under the auspices of the Organization, thus facilitating access to funding sources.
Anna Lindh Foundation
The Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) is an intergovernmental institution bringing together people from across the Mediterranean, in order to improve mutual respect between cultures and support civil society.
ALF and the Municipality of Thessaloniki signed, on February 11th 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of a city program, designed to enhance youth opportunities through the development of social entrepreneurship. As part of the MED Forum of the Anna Lindh Foundation, held on November 25th 2016, in Valletta, a long-term coherence and connectivity strategy was designed for the period 2017-2025, focusing on youth, north-south dialogue and the protection of the environment, as well as on seeking solutions and common approaches to the problems of the Mediterranean. The results of the MED Forum are expected to have a positive effect on 13 Mediterranean countries, on issues related to culture, science, education, youth, migration, economic growth and the fight against radicalization.