In July, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Most Europeans, however, are unlikely to have heard about the Union, let alone the anniversary. The media rarely reports on the UfM and its activities.
The participating countries in the UfM are the 28 European Union (EU) member states and the Southern Mediterranean countries, which include Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, “Palestine”, Syria (temporarily suspended), Tunisia and Turkey. Libya has observer status in the UfM. The UfM is chaired by a “co-presidency” shared between the European Union and Jordan. The UfM Secretariat maintains the daily operations of the UfM and is run by a Secretary General, presently Nasser Kamel (Egypt).
The UfM was launched by a decision of the UfM Heads of State and Government in Paris in July 2008, and constitutes an institutionalization of the Barcelona Process, which began in November 1995 with the signing of the Barcelona Declaration.