The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is an inter-governmental organisation that promotes cooperation and dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region through initiatives addressing the three strategic objectives of regional stability, human development and regional economic integration. The EU provides considerable funding and also holds the role of co-chair alongside Jordan.
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The UfM was launched in 2008, building on the Barcelona Process. Along with the 27 EU member states, 15 Mediterranean countries are members of the UfM: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Syria (suspended), Tunisia and Turkey. Libya is an observer. Since 2012, the EU and Jordan jointly hold the Presidency of the UfM. UfM Senior Officials Meetings (SOMs), co-chaired by the EEAS and Jordan, oversee the activities of the UfM.
The UfM Secretariat, based in Barcelona, ensures the operational follow-up of the regional priorities identified at the UfM Ministerial meetings. Its operational budget is financed up to 50% by the European Union and, for the other half, by contributions from UfM member states.
Priorities and main outcomes
Foreign Ministers of the UfM countries meet since 2015 in an annual Regional Forum, under the co-chairmanship of the EU High Representative / Vice President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. At the Sixth Regional Forum on 29 November 2021 in Barcelona, Foreign Ministers took stock of what has been achieved so far, and reaffirmed their common commitment to enhance dialogue and cooperation, in particular on the five priority areas of UfM action: Environmental and climate action, Sustainable and inclusive economic and human development, Social inclusiveness and equality, Digital transformation and Civil protection.
19 UfM Sectorial Ministerial Meetings have been organised up to now under the EU-Jordan co-presidency on important domains for the region such as Energy, Transport, Women Empowerment, Industrial Cooperation, Environment, Climate Action, Digital Economy, Trade, Employment and Labour, Water, or Sustainable Urban Development.
UfM Regional Policy Platforms exchange on ministerial mandates and coordinate their implementation by identifying best practices and promoting concrete projects for cooperation. They involve a large network of more than 30 000 stakeholders (international organisations, civil society representatives, international financial institutions, development agencies, private sector entities and universities, etc).
The UfM Secretariat promotes region-wide cooperation projects and initiatives that address the root causes of regional stability and socio-economic challenges. So far, the UfM has attributed its label to more than 60 projects.
The UfM coordinates the Day of the Mediterranean, celebrated every 28 November since 2021 with the aim to foster a common Mediterranean identity, embrace diversity and celebrate cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean region.