The Barcelona Process that formed the basis of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) was launched in November 1995 by the 15 European Union members and 12 Mediterranean partners as a framework for the creation of a Mediterranean region of peace, security and shared prosperity. In 2003, the EU launched the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) to advance cooperation with countries neighboring the EU including those flanking the Mediterranean. To reinvigorate the EMP by making the process more visible in the daily lives of the people of the Mediterranean region, and to create a more balanced partnership through co-ownership, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) was established in 2008 with six strategic priority, being business development, social and civil affairs, higher education and research, transport and urban development, water and environment and energy and climate action.
All was not smooth going though, as the Arab Spring and the developments that followed led to numerous changes in the Mediterranean Basin. The emergence of new actors and their competition in the post-Arab Spring era to become more influential in the region changed the status quo. The geostrategic significance of Mediterranean increased with the increasing presence of emerging powers, and a return to power politics was witnessed in the region, leaving the EU’s efforts to construct the Mediterranean in its own image out in the cold.