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Brussels, 14 November 2013
Transport: Union for the Mediterranean ministerial conference in Brussels
Transport ministers from 43 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area are meeting in Brussels on Thursday, 14 November 2013 to discuss how to strengthen cooperation on transport legislation and how to develop infrastructure to connect the two sides of the Mediterranean Sea. Transport is a key vector for achieving closer market integration and contributing to regional integration, economic growth, employment, tourism and increased regional trade. In the context of profound change in the Mediterranean region, transport cooperation between the EU and its neighbours is crucial and needs to be supported.
Who is participating?
The EU Member States and the following 15 Mediterranean partners that are members of the Union for the Mediterranean (or "UfM"): Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya (observer), Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey. Cooperation with Syria is currently suspended.
What is the Union for the Mediterranean?
Relations in the field of transport between the European Union and its southern partners were formally established in 1995 with the Barcelona Process. The key priority of this cooperation is the achievement of a safe, sustainable and efficient transport system in the Euro-Mediterranean area.
First meeting in Marrakech
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). A 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.
Paris – launch of the UfM
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. This cooperation, supported by the European Investment Bank, associates all the regional/international transport initiatives involved in the Mediterranean region (Group of Transport Ministers of the Western Mediterranean, United Nations-Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Arab League, and the Arab Maghreb Union).
What are the objectives of the UfM?
The transport ministerial meeting in Brussels should politically endorse the results obtained through the implementation of the regional transport action plan (RTAP 2007–2013).
The two complementary objectives of the Euro-Mediterranean transport cooperation are:
What was achieved so far?
Furthermore, the secretariat of the UfM considers the following projects as having significant impact:
How are the projects financed?
Projects, including infrastructure projects, are co-financed by the EU, the European Investment Bank, and the secretariat of the UfM.
Since 2010, the secretariat of the UfM has been given the task to promote projects and mobilise investors. The role of the UfM has become essential in this field, and the secretariat could gather the commitment of all donors and international financial institutions for the funding of infrastructure projects in the region. As regional cooperation among the UfM partners is the transport component of the European neighbourhood policy (ENP), the European Commission is also implementing several technical assistance programmes for a total amount of €23 million, involving in particular the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).
What's happening after the UfM Conference?
The Transport Ministers meeting in the Brussels Conference of 14 November should: