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News UfM: Economy ministers meeting

The ministers of the economy of the 43 EU countries for the Mediterranean meet on July 7th and talks will focus on the crisis, right after the Ecofin Council. The meeting, which takes place some 10 days after the Paris meeting on environmental cooperation, represents a new positive signal for the reunification process of the two shores that started on 13 July 2008 and was then interrupted by the war in Gaza.

The draft of the conclusions of tomorrow's meeting states that ''The ministers emphasised the importance they attribute to moving on with cooperation, involving all of the region's partner States to promote economic growth and integration''. The draft states that the 43 countries agree on the uncertain economic perspective, with relative risks in terms of development, employment and financial stability.

In a context of great interdependency, the ministers of the economy of the Union for the Mediterranean believe that ''the various international forums, including the G20, play an important role in directing upcoming challenges for the Euromediterranean region'' and expressed their commitment ''to work with institutional partners and regional and international financial institutions''.

In effects the engine of the Union for the Mediterranean could be kick-started again on the basis of new investment programmes, such as the 5 billion euros programme announced in Paris on renewable sources by the European investment Bank (EIB), the French Development Agency (AFD) and German credit institute KfW. The 43 ministers encouraged a further strengthening of cooperation and in their draft they concluded that they ''share the belief that the Union for the Mediterranean plays an important role in guiding the socio-economic challenges that must be faced by the Euromediterranean region''.

They pointed out the launch of InfraMed, a long-term private investment fund that will ''contribute to complete existing instruments such as the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP), with resources mainly allocated to 'green' projects to build urban facilities, for energy and transport in the eastern and southern parts of the region''. And then there is also the EU's financial support to regional programmes in the context of the neighbourhood policy which addresses priority sectors of the Union for the Mediterranean. Some 90 million euros have reportedly been spent in one year.

In any case, the priority is now on the crisis, and countering it through common projects could also benefit a fresh start for the Union for the Mediterranean in political terms.

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Source of information ANSAMED
Keyword(s) Union for the Mediterranean, Mediterranean-Union
Geographical coverage Euromed
News date 07/07/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH