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UfM welcomes EU pledge to new partnership with southern neighbours

The Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) has welcomed last week’s statement by EU foreign ministers underlining their commitment towards a new partnership with the EU’s Southern neighbours.
 
In a statement, Youssef Amrani welcomed the Conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council on the EU response to the developments in the Southern neighborhood, which, he said, “reaffirms the strategic importance of the EU neighborhood”.
 
Amrani said the last two meetings of the European Council (11 March and 20 June), as well as the two Communications of the European Commission (18 March and 25 May) were important steps towards a new and revised contract between the EU and its neighbours.
 
“In this regard, I would like to emphasise that this new relation is also based on more support to partners (‘More for More’) who make greater commitments, and greater progress towards democratic reform: closer political association, assistance to economic and social reforms, progressive economic integration with the EU internal market, improved mobility of people, and financial support.”
 
The UfM Secretary General specifically welcomed the promotion of the EU SPRING package of €350 million which was adopted in September 2011, and provides additional funding for Southern neighbours to strengthen democratic institutions, to promote deep and sustainable democracy, and to improve inclusive growth and job creation.
 
“As a regional institution, the UfM stresses on the importance of building a new relation between the EU and its neighbors, based on fundamental principles of joint ownership and mutual accountability,” he said.
 
Amrani added it was important to continue to support the operational activity of the UfM Secretariat, particularly by looking for effective ways and instruments to provide greater regional cooperation, “implementing concrete regional projects in order to meet the needs of the citizens of the region”.
 
“I believe that this exceptional time needs exceptional response,” Amrani concluded. “With the commitment of all the institutions and the members of the Union of the Mediterranean, we will be able to achieve the objective of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, in terms of peace, stability and shared prosperity.” (ENPI Info Centre)
 
Read more
 
Press release
 
ENPI Info Centre – EU response to the Arab Spring: ministers pledge continued support for democracy and prosperity (02-12-11)
 
Council conclusions on the EU response to the developments in the Southern neighbourhood
 
ENPI Info Centre – EU response to the Arab Spring: new package of support for North Africa and Middle East (27-09-10)
 
ENPI Info Centre – €22 million for new Civil Society Facility as EU steps up Neighbourhood response
 
ENPI Info Centre – EU response to the Arab Spring: €350 million to face socio-economic challenge and democratic transition
 
ENP Communication "A new response to a changing Neighbourhood"
 

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