Today, the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament launched its policy paper on "Perspectives in Europe’s Southern Neighbourhood" focusing on the EU’s role in the months to come in assisting southern neighbours in coping with the economic consequences of COVID-19, while not losing sight of pre-existing priorities, which remain relevant.
Heavily affected by dramatic political changes in recent years, such as the Arab Spring, or by civil wars, the situation in the Southern Neighbourhood led to inhumane conditions for civilians in Syria and Libya and created serious security threats for their neighbours as well as for the European Union.
The support for Syrian refugees, the fight against human trafficking, governance and institutional reforms, the fight against terrorism, sustainable development, the fight against climate change, management of migration, promoting stability, respect for human rights are the main areas the European Union should concentrate its efforts on.
The Southern Mediterranean is in urgent need of a renewed European strategy designed for the mutual benefit of all concerned and in relation with other global partners, based on support and backing of democratic initiatives that favour a pluralistic political dialogue and engage civil society inside the Southern neighbouring countries.
Renew Europe MEP, José Ramón Bauzà (Ciudadanos, Spain), responsible for drafting our position paper on Southern Neighbourhood, said:
“This year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona process that launched Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, as well as the 10 year anniversary of the start of the Arab revolutions.
The region continues to face some of the same challenges it did 10 and 25 years ago, but new ones have emerged, like the COVID-19 pandemic or the intensified geopolitical competition from external powers.
Renew Europe has put forward a vision for a more strategic cooperation between the EU and our partners in the Southern Neighbourhood, addressing these shared challenges while recognising the region’s enormous potential.”
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