A delegation from the French Parliament was in Brussels for a meeting with Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Member of the EC in charge of External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy. They discussed the French proposal to create a union of Mediterranean countries, being pushed by Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic. The European Commissioner had already said that this should be no alternative to Turkey's bid to join the European Union, and should not overshadow a 12-year-old EU strategy to boost cooperation among Mediterranean countries and create a free trade area, in what is known as the Barcelona Process. The European Commission is working with France, which holds the rotating Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2008, to present the Mediterranean Union project at the right time.
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