Sahara Wind project perspectives on sustainable development, education and renewable energy access inspires EU Commission Proposal (March 08, 2011).
The Southern Mediterranean is strategically important for the EU in terms of security of gas and oil supplies from some of the countries but also more broadly in terms of transit from the region and beyond. There is clear potential for building an EU-Mediterranean partnership in the production and management of renewables, in particular solar and wind energy, and in having a joined-up approach to ensuring energy security. Joint renewable energy investments in the Southern Mediterranean in line with the EU's 2050 decarbonisation scenario could offer the possibility of a new partnership provided that the right market perspective is created for electricity imports.
It is desirable to open a credible perspective for the integration of the Southern Mediterranean in the EU internal energy market based on a differentiated and gradual approach. In the mid to long term, this would mean establishing a form of 'EU-Southern Mediterranean Energy Community' starting with the Maghreb countries and possibly expanding progressively to the Mashreq. Extending the Energy Community Treaty with the Union's Eastern and South-Eastern neighbours, or building on its experience, this community should cover relevant parts of the EU's energy legislation with a view to promoting a real and reliable convergence of South Mediterranean partners' energy policies with EU policy.
Entitled "A PARTNERSHIP FOR DEMOCRACY AND SHARED PROSPERITY WITH THE SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN " this JOINT COMMUNICATION was issued by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on March 08th 2011.
Education should be a key focus of EU activities in the region. Tackling high levels of illiteracy is key to promoting democracy and ensuring a qualified workforce to help modernise the Southern Mediterranean economies. Exchanges at university level are valuable, and fuller use should be made of Erasmus Mundus, Euromed Youth and Tempus to increase substantially the number of persons from Southern Mediterranean partner countries participating in these programmes. Vocational Education and Training (VET) also has an important role to play in addressing disparities. This should include the identification of the key strategic components on an integrated VET policy by organising national debates with key stakeholders. Exchanges of best practices on programmes enhancing the skills of unemployed people should also be encouraged.