EU ties with Mediterranean partners will follow new agenda

The long-term socio-economic recovery in the region will be supported by up to €7bn for the period 2021-2027

Photo: EU Olivér Várhelyi.

The EC and the High Representative adopted on Tuesday a joint communication proposing an ambitious and innovative new Agenda for the Mediterranean. Its aim is to relaunch and strengthen the strategic partnership between the EU and its Southern Neighbourhood partners. 

The renewed agenda includes a dedicated Economic and Investment Plan to spur the long-term socio-economic recovery in the Southern Neighbourhood. Under the new EU's Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), up to €7bn for the period 2021-2027 would be allocated to its implementation, which could mobilise up to €30bn in private and public investment in the region in the next decade.

According to High Representative/ EC Vice-President Josep Borrell this Communication sends “a crucial message about the importance we attach to our Southern Neighbourhood”. In his view, a strengthened Mediterranean partnership remains a strategic imperative for the European Union.

HR Borrell underlined that 25 years after the Barcelona Declaration and 10 years after the Arab Spring, challenges in the Mediterranean – many of which resulting from global trends – remain daunting.

“To address these challenges, we need to renew our mutual efforts and act closely together as partners, in the interest of all of us. This is what this new Agenda is all about,” the HR/VP stated.

He restated that the EU is determined to work together with the Southern Partners on a new Agenda that will focus on people, especially women and youth, and help them meet their hopes for the future, enjoy their rights and build a peaceful, secure, more democratic, greener, prosperous and inclusive Southern Neighbourhood.

Saying that with the Renewed Partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood the EU is presenting “a new beginning in our relations”, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi explained that it is based on common interests and common challenges, developed together with our Southern partners.

The Commissioner accented that it shows that Europe wants to contribute directly to a long-term vision of prosperity and stability of the region, especially in the social and economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

In close dialogue with our partners, we have identified a number of priority sectors, from creating growth and jobs, investing in human capital or good governance, he added.

We consider migration to be a common challenge, where we are ready to work together to fight irregular migration and smugglers together with our partners as it is a risk for all of us, Commissioner Várhelyi pointed out.

The full EU toolbox will be used to join forces in fighting climate change and speeding up the twin green and digital transition and harness their potential, to jointly address forced displacement and migration.  The EU, its Member States and Southern neighbourhood partners will promote peace and security in the Mediterranean region.

The five policy areas focus on human development, good governance and the rule of law, resilience, prosperity and digital transition, peace and security, migration and mobility and green transition.

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