A Mediterranean - EU Community for a New Era of Mankind
ARTICLE | November 4, 2011
And suddenly everything is different! With the Arab Spring we are entering into a new era while the European Union itself is facing huge challenges. This is the time to innovate! Diplomacy, economy and society have to be rethought to respond to the aspirations towards a new development model, the strengthening of the rule of law, and the establishment of a new framework for integrating regional economies. In addition to the differentiated approach the European Commission is proposing that the ‘Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity’ open to all Mediterranean Countries, and that a ‘Mediterranean-EU Community (MED-EU)’, limited to countries having embraced real democracy and a peace agenda, should be launched.
Indeed, the visionary response to the Arab Spring should be the building up of ‘Institutions’ to take initiatives leading to peace and prosperity at the regional level, secure the enforcement of the rule of law, and protect citizens. We call for a Mediterranean-EU Community which would have a High Authority (three men and three women), a Senate directly elected by the citizens and a Council of Ministers while the European Union would keep its European Council, its Commission and its European Parliament.
A specific Court of Justice of MED-EU would be established in Strasburg next to and working with the European Union and Council of Europe Courts of Justice. MED-EU would have mediators in the field of armed conflict, water management, human rights and association rights. Non-Mediterranean countries would be welcome as observers.
MED-EU would be a community of countries of the Mediterranean Region with the European Union acting on behalf of its members. Members of MED-EU would be committed to peace, democracy, human rights and sustainable development.
MED-EU would have four ‘baskets’ to address : (i) Peace and Human Rights, access to information, right to expression, participation and justice (ii) Green Economy, water, energy, food, green and connected cities (iii) Integrated Economic Region (iv) Youth.
MED-EU would have its headquarters in Istanbul (the High Authority), Tunis (the Senate) and Strasburg (the Court of Justice) while the EU would keep its headquarters in Brussels, Luxemburg and Strasburg. MED-EU isn’t an alternative to the EU accession process addressed to the Balkan countries and Turkey.
Observing that all the previous efforts to design initiatives at the Mediterranean level failed for the same reason, the MED-EU founding declaration would state that “Israel and Palestine have vocation to join the Mediterranean-EU Community and Jerusalem should become the Capital of the Community once both Israel and Palestine reach a peaceful agreement, secured democracy and security”.
A Diplomatic Conference of the Countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, the Arab League, the African Union and the EU with participation of Russia, the United States, China and Japan should design new institutions for the Community. This Conference should be prepared by:
- a Civil Society Congress to shape a roadmap for each basket
- a Financial Conference to get the public and private financial institutions, including Sovereign Funds, to agree on the financial support to a Marshall Plan in support of the implementation of the baskets.
The Mediterraneans, as well as the Europeans and Mankind as a whole, are in front of a ‘great transition’ and a ‘transformation agenda’ for several reasons from a political, economic and ecological point of view.
With a Euro-Mediterranean Community, Mediterraneans and Europeans have again the chance to lead the ‘great global transition’ by example, building a new ‘community of values and rights’ beyond cultural diversity, to secure prosperity for all and move gradually and peacefully to a new era of mankind.
Virgilio Dastoli, Secretary, Italian Council of the European Movement (C.I.M.E.)
Raymond Van Ermen, Director of European Partners for Environment