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The Mediterranean is one of the priorities of Spanish foreign policy and also a priority area of attention for the European Union. Its stability and prosperity have an impact on the stability and prosperity of Spain and other members of the European Union. Our relationship with the Mediterranean and with the countries on its eastern and southern shores is not one of mere neighbourliness but of partnership and interdependence.

In recent decades, the Mediterranean region has undergone profound changes that have made it a remarkably complex and diverse area. Moreover, in a period marked by global tensions and multifaceted crises, the Mediterranean has been the scene of the emergence of new players and challenges arising from political transition processes, armed conflicts, socio-economic disparities, migratory flows, energy market disruptions and the digital transition.

While promoting the launch and modernisation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in its southern dimension, Spain has participated and continues to participate actively in a number of regional initiatives and forums advocating the strengthening of the Mediterranean partnership and the coherence of agendas and action programmes.

At the multilateral level, Spain is a founding member and promoter of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), an intergovernmental organisation to which 43 countries belong, including the 27 Member States of the European Union and 16 countries of the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean. The UfM was created in 2008 as the heir and continuation of the Barcelona Process, with the aim of turning the Mediterranean region into a common space of peace, stability, prosperity and security. To this end, the organisation has been deploying its action in three main areas: political dialogue, regional cooperation and support for projects that directly affect citizens. The institutional organisation of the UfM is based on the principles of co-ownership of decisions - taken by consensus - and co-responsibility between members from the North and South of the Mediterranean. In defining and implementing its work programme, the UfM holds ministerial meetings - both of foreign ministers and sector portfolio holders - as well as technical meetings of senior officials and project managers in areas such as blue or digital economy, culture, employment and labour, energy, environment, higher education, industrial cooperation, regional planning, research and innovation, strengthening the role of women in society, urban development, trade, transportation or water management.  The UfM General Secretariat is based in Barcelona.

On the other hand, cooperation between the countries of the Western Mediterranean basin is the basis of the so-called "5+5 Dialogue", made up of Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Malta, on the European side, and the five Maghreb countries, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania and Tunisia. This forum was established in 1990 under that name or "Western Mediterranean Forum" for enhanced cooperation between the two shores of the Mediterranean and takes the form of a series of ministerial meetings that have proved to be of great practical value. As an example, in March 2015, at the first ministerial meeting on Water, the Water Strategy for the Western Mediterranean, a joint initiative of Spain and Algeria, was approved.

Since 1994, the countries of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have also invited the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation to participate in OSCE activities and to intensify dialogue. This initiative includes Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. The aim is to maintain security in the OSCE region and the Southern Mediterranean Basin through dialogue, the adoption of common standards and commitments, cooperation in the OSCE's fields of activity and the transfer of OSCE experience.

On the other hand, NATO's so-called Mediterranean Dialogue first came into being in 1994, at Spain's instigation. It brings together seven countries that are not members of the strategic alliance of the Mediterranean region - Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia - and its main objective is to consolidate security in Europe, closely linked to the security and stability of the Mediterranean.

Another framework for cooperation between these regions is the OECD's MENA (Middle East and North African Countries) Programme, which focuses on development and the creation of a favourable climate for entrepreneurship and two-way economic growth. Launched at the end of 2004, the MENA Programme is the first in which the OECD is actively engaged with Arab countries.​​

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