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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 27th, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

During a one-hour debate organised by Brussels-based think-tank The Centre on Tuesday, 26 February 26 2008, Mr Jouyet, French EU affairs minister, indicated a certain change in France’s plans to create a Mediterranean Union.

“There is no Mediterranean Union”, the minister said, specifying that one should now speak of a “Union for the Mediterranean” which is a “semantic shift that is not neutral.”

The French idea of a Mediterranean Union involving a union of EU and non-EU Mediterranean states, has been particularly criticised in Germany, which fears it will be detrimental to the already existing EU policies in the area.

Earlier this week, a postponement of a Franco-German meeting initially planned for 3 March prompted speculation that disagreement over this specific project was the cause.

Mr Jouyet tried to reassure opponents of the project during Tuesday’s debate.

The proposed Union for the Mediterranean is only about “completing and enriching” the already existing policies, as the Mediterranean is an important EU border, he said.

“For my part, I am optimistic that we will find together with our partners, in particular with our German friends, an agreement on the modalities [of the project],” he added.

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