Brussels, 14 November 2013
Transport: Euro-Mediterranean ministers to boost regional economic integration
Today transport ministers from 43 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area1 met in Brussels and confirmed their commitment to boost cooperation. The aim is to establish a well-connected area for aviation, rail, maritime and road transport. Regional integration in transport will strengthen economic exchanges and create business opportunities in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "Cooperation in the transport sector is key for the social and economic integration of the Mediterranean area. It will facilitate trade, connect people, and bring prosperity on all sides of the Mediterranean."
In the Joint Declaration released after the Conference Ministers have agreed on:
The achievements of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the transport sector so far are:
Background information on the Euro-Mediterranean transport cooperation
Relations in the field of transport between the European Union and its southern Partners were formally established in 1995 in Barcelona. The key priority of this cooperation is achievement of a safe, sustainable and efficient transport system in the Euro-Mediterranean area.
The Euro-Mediterranean Transport Ministers met for the first time in December 2005 in Marrakech, where they announced the plan to build a Euro-Mediterranean Transport Network (TMN-T). Regional Transport Action Plan was adopted in 2007 to guide the regulatory reforms in all modes of transport (maritime, road, railways and civil aviation) and the infrastructure network planning. In 2008, in Paris, a new political impulse was given to the Barcelona Process, with the launch of the Union for the Mediterranean, which gives now the name to the Ministerial conference.
In 2011, the European Commission presented a plan to build better transport connections with the EU's neighbours. Since then, the cooperation focuses on removing the barriers to smooth transport and promotes regulatory convergence in areas like safety, security, social affairs and environmental protection. Responding to the 2011 events in the region, the EU also promoted a specific partnership for democracy and shared prosperity for the Southern Mediterranean.
The Ministerial Declaration and Priority Guidelines are to be found at the following links:
DG Move website:
Euromed website: http://www.euromedtransport.eu/Fr/accueil_4_46
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The EU Member States and the following 15 Mediterranean partners that are members of the UfM participated to the UfM Transport Conference: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya (observer), Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey. Cooperation with Syria is currently suspended.