General Issues and Regional Groups
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Edited by Miroslav N. Jovanović
Chapter 14: From the Barcelona Process to the Union for the Mediterranean: Rhetoric versus the Record
14 From the Barcelona Process to the Union for the Mediterranean: rhetoric versus the record Yiannis Tirkides and Andreas Theophanous 1 INTRODUCTION The increasingly important issue of relations, economic and otherwise, between the European Union (EU) and the Mediterranean countries, has resurfaced recently in the proposal by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to create what he called initially, the Mediterranean Union, later renamed Union for the Mediterranean.1 The initial idea was to bring together the Southern Mediterranean countries to create a political and economic union.2 The debate that ensued showed both the controversies inside the EU and the fact that so little has been achieved in terms of extending and deepening the EU association with the Southern Mediterranean countries. In this chapter we evaluate the Euro-Mediterranean (EuroMed) nexus in terms of the Barcelona Process and also address the potential and the challenges for the newly formed extension of the Barcelona Process, Union for the Mediterranean. The new controversies inside the EU itself, which have surfaced in recent years, especially after the end of the cold war and the reunification of Germany, are indicative of internal changes that are likely to impact on the way the EU sees its partnership and a certain type of integration with the states bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This chapter is structured as follows. Section 2 considers a review and evaluation of the Barcelona Process. Section 3 discusses the proposal for a Mediterranean Union. Sections 4 and 5, respectively, consider the rifts inside the EU and the...
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