Birth of Mediterranean Union which includes ALL EU members *

EU OBSERVER
14.07.2008
ELITSA VUCHEVA

France officially announced the launch of the Union for the Mediterranean on Sunday (13 July)[…] president Nicolas Sarkozy, who did not hide his pride in seeing the project’s official birth.

“We had dreamt of it. The Union for the Mediterranean is now a reality,” a visibly content Mr Sarkozy told journalists in Paris[…]

Union for the Mediterranean – regroups 43 states, including all EU members, and will be co-presided over by one EU and one Mediterranean country – currently Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, and Mr Sarkozy himself.

But “north and south will be on an equal footing … We have exactly the same rights, exactly the same obligations,” said the French president during the opening of the summit.

Details of the Union for the Mediterranean’s institutional structure are still to be sorted out, but it will have a Joint Permanent Committee based in Brussels…

However, criticism has already been raised about some controversial issues – such as immigration – being left out of the Union’s scope at this stage.

“… the entire region will, hopefully, be changed over time by this particular approach,” he added [Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister].

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