The headquarters of the EU delegation in Cairo is the starting-out point of many development projects aimed at strengthening Europe-Egypt partnerships. Economic and social cooperation has increased recently but at political levels it is still modest. Attempts to hold the second Union for the Mediterranean summit in Cairo have yet to bear fruit.
Head of the EU Delegation in Egypt, Marc Franco, said: “I think it’s a process that is interactive. Bringing peace to the region will promote the Euro Mediterranean dialogue. The Euro Mediterranean dialogue also can contribute to bring peace in the Middle East. The problem of the Union for the Mediterranean is indeed to get this organisation at the political level, at the highest level, to meet and to give new impulses.”
EU political activity in the Middle East is seen in Cairo as limited. Two visits from the bloc’s High
Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, have done something to enhance this, but, for instance, the EU role in Israeli-Palestinian talks is dimmed by that of the US.
euronews correspondent Mohamed Elhamy said: “Although the institutions and positions developed by the EU are supposed to help it extend its political role in the Middle East, one year after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty it still is not happening.”