Five years after the launch of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, which includes the Balearics, the Commission has called for enhanced Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the transport and energy sectors. According to Loyola de Palacio, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of energy and transport: “The transport and energy sectors, which are of key importance to the success of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area scheduled to be in place by 2010, are also crucial in terms of cooperation between the Union and the countries on the southern fringes of the Med. on the security of energy supplies and environmental protection.” She added that “cooperation now needs to move up a gear: this is a vital challenge both for the European Union and for our Mediterranean partners.” The Communication “Enhancing Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation on Transport and Energy” is intended to reinvigorate the Euro-Mediterranean partnership in the transport sector and reinforce the measures already in place in the energy sector. The Commission makes a critical assessment of the last five years and proposes ways of stimulating this cooperation on the basis of the experience acquired. Studies carried out in recent years have highlighted the strong growth potential of the southern fringes of the Mediterranean which are still all too often hampered by an inappropriate institutional and regulatory framework and the lack of structural reform with regard to transport and energy systems and networks, with particularly glaring shortcomings in terms of infrastructures.

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