Union for the Mediterranean energy ministers met in Brussels on 11th December 2013
On the 11th December 2013, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger and the Jordanian Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Prof. Mohammad Hamed co-hosted a meeting of the Energy Ministers of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Brussels.
The discussions focused on strengthening regional energy cooperation in order to ensure secure, affordable and sustainable energy supply and enhanced energy efficiency in the Mediterranean basin. The underlying aim of this cooperation is to foster socio-economic development and contribute to the transition to low carbon and energy efficient economies of the region.
The ministerial meeting took stock of the work done on the Mediterranean Solar Plan which should exploit the huge potential of the region. Ministers discussed and supported the development of a regional electricity market, underlining the need for investments in cross-border electricity connections and transmission infrastructure as well as for the reform of the regulatory framework. The meeting highlighted the importance of private sector investments in renewable energy, including through public-private partnerships. Overall, the meeting expressed a strong interest to deepen policy dialogue and enhance energy partnership among Union for the Mediterranean members.
In September 2010, the EC launched a comprehensive technical assistance project "Paving the Way for the Mediterranean Solar Plan" as a support tool on the implementation of the Mediterranean Solar Plan. The Mediterranean Solar Plan aims at two complementary targets: developing 20 GW of new renewable energy production capacities and achieving significant energy savings around the Mediterranean by 2020, thus addressing both supply and demand. The EC cooperates with the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean.
In July 2008, the Heads of states and governments of the European and Mediterranean countries launched the Union for the Mediterranean which provided a new impetus for regional cooperation. Creating a more integrated Mediterranean energy market is of primary importance for coping with the fast growing energy demand in the Southern Mediterranean Countries, while favouring low-carbon and renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. In the energy field, the flagship project of the Union for the Mediterranean is the Mediterranean Solar Plan. The Ministerial Declaration and its 2008-2013 Priority Action Plan for the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the field of energy was endorsed at the 5th Euro-Mediterranean Energy Ministerial Conference.