French and current EU president Nicolas Sarkozy has launched the European Union’s latest outreach project, the Mediterranean Union. It brings together the EU’s 27 members and 13 nations around the Mediterranean; the entire ancient European world minus Libya in fact.
It is hoped the Union will promote economic growth and social projects through an enhanced partnership with the EU for non-members.
While some suspect the Union’s a French plot to park Turkey outside the EU and deny it full membership, Sarkozy insists it is more than that: “We won’t find peace this afternoon, but what we are building we have to accomplish in full. We have to overcome disagreements and divisions to build a tool for peace, at the service of our common sea, the Mediterranean.”
However for those who criticise Europe for failing to exert a political influence commensurate with its economic strength, the Mediterranean union is also clearly an attempt to widen the EU’s scope.