The fifth Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Regional Forum was held on 27 November virtually under the title ‘25years: Building a Stronger Mediterranean’. Consolidated as the annual gathering of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the UfM Member States, the Regional Forum provided the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to the principles of the Barcelona Process and reiterate their engagement in Euro-Mediterranean dialogue and cooperation, as well as to highlight where the UfM needs to redouble its efforts in order to meet current and future challenges.
Ministers agreed to particularly direct efforts in the coming year towards further integrating economies through the promotion of trade and investment, encouraging climate action and sustainable models for growth, and supporting digital transformation whilst maintaining the UfM’s longstanding focus on both women’s empowerment and employment, especially amongst young people.
The Regional Forum was preceded by the EU-Southern Neighbourhood Ministerial Meeting to discuss how best to move forward together when renewing their partnership as set out under the European Neighbourhood Policy. A virtual Civil Society Forum was also held to discuss the future of civil society cooperation in the region as well as showcase 25 successful programmes from relevant actors that are working on the ground to promote Euro-Mediterranean cooperation on a daily basis.