Saturday 12 July 2008

Looking south with low expectations

Tomorrow, 44 heads of state and government will meet in Paris for the foundation of the Mediterranean Union, a club of EU-states and all the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

In fact, the expectations for this Sarkozyan project are low. For the Times, "Flop fears loom over Nicolas Sarkozy's grand plan for Mediterranean Union" and according to AFP, Amnesty International has expressed "serious concerns regarding the absence of any rights dimension" in the project.

Germany's national daily newspaper "Süddeutsche Zeitung" writes:
If you ask diplomats about the state of the preparations for the summit [...] you get two things: First of all the information, that they are mainly concerned with "protocolary questions". And second, the appraisal that one could be happy if on Sunday a new start-up for a Mediterranean cooperation could be "started" [at all; JF]
[own translation]

Whether this Union of friends and enemies can have any success at all is doubtable. Those sitting together around a table are having huge cultural and political differences, not least due to a history of conflict.

The only thing uniting them is this warm and salty sea that might disappear within the next 10-20 million years when the African continent has made its way below the Eurasian plate. Maybe they should try again around that time, and maybe there will also be a solution for global warming then...


Anonymous said...

Strange, at a time when the EU is experiencing a constitutional-pretend-treaty crisis, an enlargement fatigue, energy dependency issues, etc., Sarkozy is still bent on pursuing his pet project.