14/07/2008

“Barcelona Process: A Union for the Mediterranean”

The diplomatic success hide the lack of consistency of the project


Well done by Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday inside the Grand Palais in Paris. The Union for theMediterranean was launched in an imposing way and in an atmosphere of enthusiasm out of the ordinary. But let’s not give in to the temptation of a naive and little cautious optimism.

If no one can deny the success of the diplomatic reunion, no more details were provided to the « Barcelona Process: A Union for the Mediterranean ». The diplomatic steps forward have indeed followed each other yesterday at a breakneck pace, the most notable being the promise of opening respective embassies between Syria and Lebanon. The international press has placed great emphasis on the diplomatic success of the meeting, but did very little against the mentioned projects launched by Union for the Mediterranean. Some are wondering over the longevity of this Euro-Mediterranean new impetus, the summit yesterday was recalling on some aspects the euphoria experienced by the launch of the Barcelona Process in 1995.

It also seems that the leaders of the Arab States, particularly those from the Middle East, were sending signals to the European Union to push the latter to get into the regional peace process. The reasoning is logical. It is indeed difficult to imagine an Union for theMediterranean based on countries in conflict.

The Union for the Mediterranean has already some merits to its credit, even though it is more the work of a good French diplomacy. Let us see now what will remain of the current enthusiasm when touchy issues such as the funding or the location of the future secretariat will arise.

 

Nathalie Janne d’Othée