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News EU General Report: fresh impetus to relations with Mediterranean Partners

Some €1.735 billion was allocated in 2008 to projects and assistance programmes under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI,) including some €1.160 billion for southern Mediterranean countries, according to the General Report on the EU’s activities in 2008.

The report said proximity ties with the Union's neighbours were a key element in the strategy to "avoid new dividing lines emerging and promote prosperity, stability and security for all".  

The 250-page report devotes a section to the ENPI, outlining developments in the past year. It says that during 2008, programmes were launched at regional level to address challenges of common interest such as justice and migration flows, investment promotion, cultural heritage and gender equality.

Four new projects were also adopted to support the launch of the new Union for the Mediterranean initiative: de-pollution of the Mediterranean, maritime and land highways, civil protection and a Mediterranean solar plan. 

Institutional twinning activities continued to develop rapidly in all the ENP countries and were introduced in Israel for the first time. Overall 11 ENP countries are currently implementing 85 twinning operations. More than 100 events were also organised in 2008 under TAIEX, the technical assistance and information exchange programme, while the ENP countries became eligible in July for the instrument of support for the improvement of public institutions and management systems (SIGMA).  

Southern Mediterranean   The report says "relations between the European Union and its Mediterranean partners were given fresh impetus this year" with moves towards establishing a Union for the Mediterranean including the Member States of the EU and the non-EU Mediterranean coastal states. This culminated in a meeting in November 2008 in Marseille, where the foreign ministers of the 43 Euro-Mediterranean partner countries adopted the mandate, structure and institutional arrangements of the Union for the Mediterranean. In order to advance the regional integration process, they also agreed on priorities for the 2009 working programme.  

On the bilateral front, a number of association council meetings took place over the year: with Algeria (10 March), Egypt (28 April), Israel (16 June), Morocco (13 October), Jordan (10 November) and Tunisia (11 November).  

The report outlines progress in the relationship with Morocco, which was granted advanced status in the European Neighbourhood Policy, as well as moves towards a framework agreement with Libya, and an Association Agreement with Syria.  

The General Report on the EU's activities covers the work of all the EU institutions and bodies and seeks to provide an overview of the notable events and key trends of EU life in 2008. Totalling some 250 pages, it sets out developments in the different fields of activity according to the four strategic objectives adopted by the Commission at the beginning of its term of office: prosperity, solidarity, security, and Europe's role as a world partner.  

The General Report can be consulted on the EU's Europa website:  

General Report - Section on the ENP  

General Report - EC press release  

ENP website   


Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information EuroMed Info Centre
Keyword(s) ENPI
Geographical coverage EU
News date 10/03/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH