The Transport Ministers of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) reaffirmed the shared objectives of regional cooperation by adopting the UfM Ministerial Declaration and a new Regional Transport Action Plan (RTAP) when they met on 9 February.
Ten years ago, the 2013 UfM Ministerial Conference highlighted the need for a safe, secure, sustainable and efficient transport system in the Mediterranean region, built upon the harmonisation of transport standards and on a multimodal and integrated regional transport network. The new Declaration provides the political mandate to pursue ongoing concrete work on the joint activities until 2027, based on the new RTAP.
As recalled by Commissioner Vălean, “Today’s adoption of the Ministerial Declaration and the new Regional Transport Action Plan represents a major step forward for transport cooperation in the Mediterranean region. The joint actions agreed today within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean are extremely important. They provide essential milestones until 2027, along our path towards a safe, secure, sustainable, efficient, and connected Mediterranean transport system. The European Union will continue to support its Mediterranean partners’ national transport strategies and regional transport cooperation. Today, all Mediterranean partners confirmed their political commitment to a regional vision, dialogue, and partnership. Actions speak louder than words and now it is time to implement for the benefit of our Mediterranean region!”
The importance of enhancing sustainable, efficient and resilient transport as a key component of regional cooperation in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood was confirmed in the joint Communications of February 2021 on the EU’s ‘New Agenda for the Mediterranean’, and of December 2021 on the EU’s ‘Global Gateway’.
The European Union has taken significant steps towards making its transport sector more sustainable, and its cities more liveable. Developed in line with the European Green Deal, the Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy is the EU’s roadmap to building an integrated and sustainable European transport system.
The UfM is a forum for dialogue among 43 EuroMed partners (27 EU Member States and 17 southern neighbours). The Southern Mediterranean countries are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria (cooperation suspended) and Tunisia. The UfM members also include Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Türkiye.
The UfM Transport Ministerial Conference was co-chaired by the EU and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Commissioner Vălean and Minister of Transport of Jordan Maher Hamdi Abuelsamen).
Following the mandate given at the 2013 UfM Transport Ministerial Conference, the UfM established the Regional Transport Action Plan (RTAP) 2014-2020 to guide regulatory reform and convergence in all transport sectors in the Euro-Mediterranean area, and to launch work towards a Trans-Mediterranean Transport Network (TMN-T). This would extend the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) to the region.
Cooperation in all transport modes has delivered concrete and impactful results over the past decade. For instance, the SAFEMED project has helped Southern Neighbourhood countries to take significant steps in maritime security, while the EU-Med Rail Project has delivered important results for the countries along the Mediterranean shores. On aviation, all involved parties have taken steps towards a Euro-Mediterranean Common Aviation Area (EMCAA).
After extending the TEN-T network to the Western Balkans, Türkiye, and the Eastern Partnership region, strengthening connections with the Southern Neighbourhood, is the first step towards connectivity with the adjacent strategic corridors in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Central Asia. This is particularly important in the current geopolitical context (including strengthening the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes).
- Publication date
- 9 February 2023
- Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport