Euro-Mediterranean partnership

Since the days of the Islamic caliphate in the eighth century, Spain has always seemed to have one foot in North Africa. The country's accession to the European Economic Community (now the EU) in 1987, after years of stagnation under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, is seen as an illustration of how an economically-backward country can be gathered successfully to Europe's bosom. That, in essence, is the guiding principle of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EuroMed). The organisation is a union of EU member states and 16 southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, including: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, Palestine, Turkey, and a number of the Balkan states, some of whom are waiting for accession to the EU. Its aim is to promote economic integration and foster democratic reform in countries neighbouring the EU across the Mediterranean Sea in North Africa and the Middle East. The regional relationship initiative was launched in 1995 with a series of projects covering areas including economy, environment, energy, health, migration and culture. The drive for closer ties over the intervening 25 years has come mainly from the EU, which sees a role for itself in transforming economic globalisation into social, political and cultural globalisation – in other words, it's not just about trade. Josep Maria Jordan, of Valencia University, cites the Spanish experience as a positive example of the benefits of integration, economically, socially and culturally, which could be experienced by non-EU states fringing the Mediterranean. He says that when Spain joined the EEC, it emerged from backwardness and managed to drive modernisation and social progress to become a contemporary democratic state. While progress with the EuroMed project has been slow, he says, it is clearly driving in the right direction. There are many obstacles to confront, however, including the vexed question of economic migration from the poorer south and east. And while some see the project as one aimed at bringing peace and harmony to a troubled region, there are others, notably Russia, who condemn continued EU “imperial expansion”.


What trade deals are there with other countries and economic unions?

None

Member Countries


Country
Population (2018)
GDP Growth (2021, %)
Date Joined
42,008,054
3.8478
28/11/1995
99,375,741
3.3267
28/11/1995
8,452,841
8.1880
28/11/1995
9,903,802
2.2098
28/11/1995
6,093,509
-10.5194
28/11/1995
6,470,956
31.3724
28/11/1995
36,191,805
7.3727
28/11/1995
5,052,776
7.0505
28/11/1995
18,284,407
0.0000
28/11/1995
81,916,871
10.9862
28/11/1995
11,659,174
3.3428
28/11/1995