Borrell said the war had “aborted the growth that was beginning to take place and is laying the groundwork for a financial crisis, more inflation and less growth.”
Delegations from the 27 EU Member States and 16 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, West Asia and Southern Europe gathered for the forum in Barcelona, north-eastern Spain .
Borrell said it “should be of concern to all of us” that the economic divide is widening not only between north and south, but between southern countries themselves “who are widening their differences and not resolving their conflicts”.
He said that the countries of the South constitute one of the least economically integrated regions in the world, with half of the region’s population being under the age of 24.
“It’s a very young population looking for opportunities,” he said, adding that more development and regulated migration were needed. “We have to provide opportunities”
The Union for the Mediterranean aims to promote dialogue and cooperation between its member countries despite their economic and political differences.
The meeting announced North Macedonia as its newest member.
The forum signed an agreement to launch the Medusa submarine communication cable project between the southern European countries of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus and the countries of North Africa which are Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt.