In the Mediterranean region, a regular and intensive policy dialogue was established through the Euro-Mediterranean Transport Forum and its working groups under the umbrella of the Barcelona process launched in 1995.
The 2007-2013 Regional Transport Action Plan (RTAP) for the Mediterranean region was prepared by the Euro-Mediterranean Transport Forum (ETF) at the request of the first Summit of Ministers of Transport of the region to the ETF, held in Marrakesh in 2005, and in line with the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Foreign Affairs Ministers of Barcelona (1995) and the meeting of Senior Officials of the Mediterranean on Pan-European Transport Area (PETrA), in 1999. The 2007-2013 RTAP was unanimously endorsed by the Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Transport during the High-Level Conference held in Lisbon on 3 December 2007. To support the work of the EuroMed Transport Forum in the land transport sector, and assist the implementation of the RTAP, the European Union has launched the EuroMed Regional Transport Project “Road, Rail and Urban Transport” (EuroMed RRU), for an initial duration of 3 years (December 2011 to December 2014), and later extended for two years until the end of December 2016.
In their meeting in November 2013, the Ministers responsible for Transport of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), adopted a Declaration reaffirming the importance of Euro-Mediterranean transport cooperation founded on the two complementary pillars:
- Regulatory reform and convergence in all relevant different transport sectors (maritime, civil aviation, road, railway and urban transport);
- Establishment of the future Trans-Mediterranean Transport Network (TMN-T), to be connected with the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
They also, reaffirmed the complementarity between TMN-T and the regulatory reforms as basis for the future integrated multimodal Euro-Mediterranean transport network, and expressed their wish to pursue this approach given the guidelines which constituted the basis of the current RTAP 2014-2020 elaborated by ETF. Most relevant parts of the new RTAP are:
- Action 8: Efficient land transport systems
- Action 9: International land transport haulage
- Action 10: Road safety
- Action 11: Urban transport.
The ETF currently oversees four working groups, including on infrastructure and land transport; maritime affairs; aviation and GNSS. Each working group meets at least once a year. The EuroMed Transport National Coordinators meet on a regular basis. The European Commission is supporting the implementation of the RTAP. On the regulatory aspects, this is mainly done through its agencies (EMSA, EASA, and ERA).
The EuroMed Transport Support Project will complement the work of those agencies for the implementation of the RTAP by offering technical assistance on the RTAP actions not covered by the EU agencies.
Mediterranean countries which are covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the present project are: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria .