Extracts from the opening address at the ‘Forum de Paris’ by Jacques Attali, Friday 28 March 2008. Read more
This paper resumes the main issues considered before the Union Mediterranean project was developed in spring 2007 during the French Presidential campaign. It serves to explain the approach followed by GRUM to security aspects of the project.
The proposal for a Mediterranean Union is the opportunity to give the Barcelona process a long-awaited boost. The Mediterranean as a res omnium is a life force and also represents a common good well worth preserving. The Barcelona system, fleshed out and more practical, offers a potential basis for its good governance. By capitalising on what already exists and experience from other subregional initiatives, in particular from that of the 5+5 project, new cooperation on maritime surveillance will be possible.
This point of view, while purely personal, seems increasingly to be in tune with the thinking of the intellectual elites on the southern shores of the Mediterranean. They do not question the need to promote the Mediterranean space as part of the globalisation process. They even recommend that it be treated as a laboratory for a humanised version of international relations, through a harmonious and equitable codevelopment process which aims to head off a collision between the developed societies on the northern shores and the precarious societies of the south.
The first step in the fine ambition of making the Mediterranean a shared security space is providing maritime information without partitioning or individualism. Then comes action: to clean this sea, fight trafficking in drugs and people. The EU has embarked on an integrated maritime policy; a Mediterranean Union must help apply it.
This timely account of the importance of migratory flows in the Mediterranean challenges much accepted wisdom. The phenomenon, in which mafias play a leading role in what has become a lucrative travel business, is one of change.
Starting from the principle of the real potential of the Mediterranean region, the transmediterranean system, (and no longer the Euro-Mediterranean) that is proposed in the idea of a Mediterranean Union is undoubtedly an opportunity for transcending the inequalities in relationships between the partners, by concentrating on what brings them closer rather than what divides them.
This article looks at the problems of creating a Mediterranean Union and attempts to define the legal framework in which it could take shape—constraints which cannot be ignored.
This contribution is an attempt to pose in a new form the questions concerning the future of the Mediterranean, its relationship with Europe and the role that agriculture can play as a strategic linkage between these two geographic areas whose destinies are closely linked.
Various forms of international collaboration deal with civil protection against natural and man-made disasters in the Mediterranean basin. A Mediterranean Union could involve all riparian countries in a civil protection project, and this article identifies the difficulties and makes proposals.
The Mediterranean Union project emphasises cooperation, rather than integration, between the riparian countries of the Mediterranean; it underlines the pragmatic aspects of this French-inspired project. France has sought to mobilise energy around an objective of security and stability in the 2030 timeframe in a specifically Mediterranean agenda that will be subject to many sources of tension, but not entirely lacking in collective cohesion.
Preliminary conclusions from the seminar on security aspects of ‘The Barcelona process: a Mediterranean Union’, held on 16-18 April 2008 at the École Militaire, Paris.