Terrorism, development, migration, the crises in Syria and Libya, peace in the Middle East; but most of all shared responsibilities and cooperation. These were the issues we discussed at the ministerial meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean, today in Barcelona. From Bosnia to Morocco, fromFrance to Israel, the 43 countries at the table are not simply united by geography, as we all share the same portion of the world, but also by a long history running up to the tough times we live.
For better or worse, our stories have always been intertwined. The same is true today. When we talk about the threat posed by Daesh, or radicalisation, or the many people who leave their homes to seek a better life abroad, we talk about common challenges. We can only face them together. This is true for the countries of the European Union, and it is true for our neighbours. It is not by chance if today’s meeting was chaired by the EU, represented by myself, and by Jordan, with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.
Beyond the challenges, there is something else that unites us: opportunities. Economic development, trade, energy, the protection of our environment, culture. And our strongest asset: our own societies, united by the energy of our youth, by common cultural roots, by the same desire to work together for the future of our region. Our strongest message – in the face of terrorists trying to convince us we are enemies – is indeed our unity.