Egypt plays an active and pivotal role as one of the most prominent participants in the various activities of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) since its establishment in 2008. Egypt has contributed positively and powerfully, in partnership with the French side, in establishing the Union. The two countries assumed the presidency during the period from 2008 to 2012 within the framework of a joint presidency formula.
The cooperation and development partnership between Egypt and the Union for the Mediterranean includes the implementation of more than 20 projects in the fields of business development and employment, higher education, scientific research, transport and urban development.
These projects as regional projects aim at making a positive impact on a wide range of beneficiaries, with a focus on young people and women, such as projects of the Agadir Small and Medium Enterprises Program, Empowerment of Women and the Imbaba Urban Development Project.
Egypt is always ready for regional and international cooperation, enhancing the Union's active role through cooperation between the South-South countries and also through the tripartite cooperation formula. The Union is a distinctive route for regional cooperation within the MENA region.
As a founding country of the Union for the Mediterranean, Egypt affirms its continued efforts and serious commitment to activating its role as a primary partner in all areas of cooperation within the Union, whether in terms of hosting ministerial events for urban development, energy, women, water, and the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, or through implementing the "Sustainable Development Strategy - Egypt vision 2030" with its economic, social and environmental dimensions. Egypt has also made efforts on a number of regional issues such as combating terrorism and illegal immigration.
Egypt has exerted tremendous efforts to control its borders. Since September 2016 till now, almost no boat was registered leaving the Egyptian shores on the central Mediterranean route. This is due to the extensive work undertaken by the Egyptian border and coastal guards, that bear a huge burden to fight all forms of organized crimes and terrorism. This remarkable achievement was planned and implemented solely relying on national resources and capacities.
Egypt also believes that the migration issue should be tackled in a balanced and comprehensive manner. Adequate focus needs to be placed not only on short term solutions aiming at stemming the flow of migrants and refugee seekers, but also on medium- and long-term strategies tackling the socio-economic root causes of migration. This is best achieved by supporting sustainable development and boosting inclusive growth in countries of origin and transit, particularly by creating employment opportunities and revenue-generating activities for youth, as well as opening safe and orderly channels of legal migration.
History of the Union for the Mediterranean
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an intergovernmental organization of 43 member states from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 27 EU member states, the United Kingdom and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, Western Asia and Southern Europe. It was founded on 13 July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, with an aim of reinforcing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) that was set up in 1995 as the Barcelona Process. Its general secretariat is located in Barcelona, Spain.
This meeting concluded with a new joint declaration, which completed the Paris Declaration by defining the organisational structure and the principles on which the UfM would be run. A rotating co-presidency was set up, held jointly by one EU member country and one Mediterranean partner. France and Egypt were the first countries to hold this co-presidency.
A summit of heads of state and government is intended to be held every two years to foster political dialogue at the highest level.
The Union has the aim of promoting stability and integration throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a forum for discussing regional strategic issues, based on the principles of shared ownership, shared decision-making and shared responsibility between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its main goal is to increase both North-South and South-South integration in the Mediterranean region, in order to support the countries' socioeconomic development and ensure stability in the region. The institution, through its course of actions, focuses on two main pillars: fostering human development and promoting sustainable development. To this end, it identifies and supports regional projects and initiatives of different sizes, to which it gives its label, following a consensual decision among the forty-three countries.
These projects and initiatives focus on 6 sectors of activity, as mandated by the UfM Member States:
- - Business Development & Employment
- - Higher Education & Research
- - Social & Civil Affairs
- - Energy & Climate Action
- - Transport & Urban Development
- - Water, Environment & Blue Economy