|Mediterranean Countries/Wiki Commons image|
To understand why Western powers are pushing so hard to launch military operations against Libya, why now David Cameron is backing Sarkozy’d calls for Libya air strikes, and why the US now says “NATO is the ‘natural choice’ for Libya intervention, you have to look at the failed Mediterranean Union.
Wikipedia gives a good general overview:
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is a multilateral partnership that encompasses 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 27 member states of the European Union and 16 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. It was created in July 2008 as a relaunched Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (the Barcelona Process) in 2008, when a plan to create an autonomous Mediterranean Union was dropped. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region. Nevertheless, its 2009 and 2010 Summits could not be held due to the stalemate of the Arab-Israeli peace process after the Gaza war.
The Union for the Mediterranean introduced new institutions into the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership with the aim of increasing its visibility such as the creation of a Secretariat….
A proposal to establish a “Mediterranean Union” was part of the election campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy during the French presidential election campaign in 2007. During the campaign Mr. Sarkozy said that the Mediterranean Union would be modeled on the European Union with a shared judicial area and common institutions. Sarkozy saw Turkish membership of the Mediterranean Union as an alternative to membership of the European Union, which he opposes, and as a forum for dialog between Israel and its Arab Neighbors.
Sarkozy’s Mediterranean Union failed through diplomacy and other general setbacks, though institutions like the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership developed the framework for the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly and region.