03:53 GMT24 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has told the Union for the Mediterranean's (UFM) Fifth Regional Forum on Friday that a "new dynamic" must be introduced for the region, amid ongoing conflicts and rising inequality.

    As Borrell pointed at the opening session of the event, today the Mediterranean region is fragmented, torn apart by conflicts and by growing inequalities within and between countries while inequalities are not being reduced, they have increased, he underlined, that a new dynamicto has to be launched to overcome these gaps as it would "not happen by itself".

    In particular, Borrell said that a number of free trade agreements signed by the European Union and countries in North Africa had failed to have the required effect, and may have contributed to the rising inequality in the Mediterranean region.

    "Free trade proposed by Europe to the southern partners has not produced the anticipated results. Trade balances are too often negative for the southern countries, and the already significant wealth gap across the Mediterranean is widening, not reducing, but widening at a worrying pace. In the southern Mediterranean, the wealth generated by each member of the population is today 13 times lower than in Europe," he stated.

    Borrell spoke at the UFM event which is marking the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Barcelona Process, which was launched in 1995 with the aim of strengthening relations between Europe and Southern Mediterranean countries.



    Josep Borrell, south africa, Mediterranean Sea, Trade, European Union
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