EU - Barroso calls for 'urgent delivery' of Mediterranean Union plans
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Friday called for "urgent delivery" of plans for a Mediterranean Union.ATHENS, March 28, 2008 - European Commission President Jose Manuel
Barroso on Friday called for "urgent delivery" of plans for a Mediterranean
Union aimed at strengthening cooperation with countries from Morocco to Turkey.
"The Mediterranean is an absolute priority for Europe, a priority on which
delivery has now become urgent," Barroso told an Athens meeting of parliament
presidents from the 37 member states of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.
"We need to move from intentions to delivery -- we need a Euro-Med of
results," he said.
France is hosting a summit on the issue in July, and Barroso said he wants
it "to be a success, so there is urgency."
The region faces "major challenges in achieving peace, security and
prosperity," the EU commission president said, with key issues including
migration, gender equality and energy co-operation.
On March 14, EU leaders approved a French plan for a Mediterranean Union
agreed on a need to boost ties with the region, but baulked at creating a new,
potentially costly, structure on which to base the partnership.
The plan is mainly promoted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who hopes
the six-month EU presidency starting on July 1 will bolster France's role
within Europe and is pushing proposals for tougher EU-wide immigration control.