Antonio Lopez-Isturiz, Popular Party MEP, presented Tuesday at the European Parliament plenary the report “Renewed Association With Neighboring Southern Countries – A New Agenda for the Mediterranean”, which was his lead as rapporteur.
Lopez-Isturiz spoke at the debate about the report and stressed the importance and urgency of establishing new relations with these countries. “We need renewed cooperation with the South countries to stop Russia and China exercising political hegemony within our borders.”
Influence of third countries
“I spent many years highlighting the strategic relevance of the Southern Neighborhood (and the territories that it comprises: Algeria, Egypt Egypt, Israel Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco Palestine, Syria, Syria, and Jordan. He explained that NATO recognizes the interference of strategic rivals in the region and this evidence is now evident.
Lopez-Isturiz is hoping to “take a leap forward to break this alarming tendency -of influence by third countries and the EU as the primary partner of each country in the southern neighbor”.
The MEP stated that it was essential to send “a strong and clear political message about the importance of a renewed cooperation model avec the southern neighbor, since stability, economic development, and prosperity of this southern neighborhood have always been crucial for Europe, and they are even more important now.”
MEP continued, “New threats that have arisen after the pandemic or the Russian invasion of Ukraine increase their relevance because in the EU we face an unprecedented energy crisis while the countries of southern neighbor are facing an aggravated crisis of food.”
It is a critical moment to establish coherent priorities and identify additional synergies. He stressed that we must now present solutions, not hinder them by encouraging hatred and division.
Lopez-Isturiz stressed the importance of cooperation and the rejection of paternalism. She wanted to stress “one-on-one treatment” and “the renunciation of all forms of paternalism”. Lopez-Isturiz also wanted to emphasize the need for cooperation as equals, recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each other, and taking advantage of the moment of the geopolitical change.
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