Make energy the first common Euro-Mediterranean Policy

Published : Sunday 02 May 2010


Energy is the domain in which the interdependence of Euro-Mediterranean countries is the most strategic: a third of the gas consumed in Europe and a quarter of the petrol come from North Africa, without counting the proportion transited through Turkey; 70% of North African oil exports and 90% of its gas exports go to Europe. This interdependence involves long-term commitments, such as multidecennial gas contracts to finance the infrastructures
involved; the imperative gradual move towards noncarbon energy sources; and the time it takes to plan profitable solar production or produce nuclear energy in the South.

It is also in energy that concrete cooperation has been the strongest, as seen by the decision to move towards Euro-Mediterranean electricity and gas markets, the creation of the Mediterranean electricity ring, and the launch of the Mediterranean Solar Plan. Yet for the time being, major commercial contracts are not extended into industrial agreements; significant distrust persists between producing countries and consuming countries, including those in the South; and we are still a long way from the ambitions declared at the start of the Barcelona process.

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