The crises affecting the Mediterranean region require structural responses based on an operational approach, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, on Thursday in Barcelona.
”The crises affecting the Mediterranean are structural, not temporary. They require us to respond in the same vein: through a long-term vision and an immediate operational approach,” said Mr. Bourita, who was speaking at the 7th Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean. (UfM), which is held on the occasion of the second edition of Mediterranean Day.
”Reaffirming the commitment to the programmatic objective of an ‘area of shared stability and prosperity’ is necessary, but not sufficient”, noted the Minister, calling on the member countries of the UfM to ”mark out the path” to achieve this objective and to set ”common priorities and a commitment from everyone”.
In this sense, Mr. Bourita emphasized the need “to act on policies, anticipate more, create more overall coherence and vector actions over the long term” and to put in place ”common thematic policies, targeted, programmed and financed to really act on the issues”, deploring, for example, the fact that the EU has announced the end of the marketing of vehicles with internal combustion engines horizon 2035, while no Euro-Mediterranean plan has been adopted to absorb this paradigmatic adjustment of the EU.
Regarding the tools of the partnership, Mr. Bourita, who pointed out that the means are not commensurate with the challenges, pleaded for more ‘Mediterranean protagonism’, calling for improving the performance of the mechanisms of the UfM, provide answers where it has remained silent, broaden its agenda, accelerate the pace of its meetings and strengthen ownership of the partnership.
”We must see the UfM more and feel its action more,” he insisted, assuring that ”it is time to invest the General Secretariat with a forward-looking mission in order to no longer run behind crises , failing to anticipate them, to establish a renewed governance with greater coherence between the various institutions involved in the Mediterranean and to make room for the Mediterranean in our policies, at the policy-shaping stage, which is not still the case today.
Based on this observation and an analysis of the responses given by the UfM to several challenges related to political stability and the energy, food, integration, socio-economic, migratory and security crises, such as that of ”proselytism and Iranian ideological entryism”, Mr. Bourita described three situations.
First, he listed, “promising responses” exist in some sectors such as climate change and youth, and which need to be amplified, “responses that remain insufficient” on critical topics such as energy security and ”non-existent answers”, with regard to food safety and security.
”A Mediterranean of security is possible; a Mediterranean of maritime transport is possible; and of course a Mediterranean of free movement of people is possible”, concluded the Minister.
The 7th UfM Regional Forum, which brings together the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 42 Member States, is co-chaired by Josep Borrell, Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Politics of Security, and by Ayman Safadi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
José Manuel Albares, Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, and Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the UfM participate as hosts.
On the menu of the forum, exchanges on the next steps to be taken to improve cooperation, development and integration within the Euro-Mediterranean region.
This year, the Forum also hosts a meeting between young Euro-Mediterraneans, from civil societies across the Mediterranean, who presented their recommendations and proposals to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in order to develop concrete solutions for an inclusive, sustainable Mediterranean project. and prosper.