There are evidently problems at the Euromediterranean Summit still under way in Barcelona in Spain. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has a tendency to make itself known more or less everywhere.
Whether the Barcelona meeting now will go down in history as an important one or not remains to be seen, but the relationwship that it discusses is certainly one of the most important.
Once upon a time the Mediterranean united what was then the civilized European world. You could argue that it had the Eastern rather than the Western Mediterranean as its core, and it was certainly as present on its southern as on its northern shores.
But that was a long time ago.
Today, across the Mediterranean runs one of the greatest gaps in wealth to be found in the present world. And while its northern shores are in demographic decline, population along its southern shore is more or less exploding. Add to that the difference between the stable democracies on the one shore and the unstable and more or less authoritarian regimes on the other.
It's a relationship not without its challenges.
It was a decade ago that the European Union launched its so called Barcelona process. The aim was to further the economic and political development in the wider area. Later, it has to some extent been included in the new Neighbourhood Policy of the Union.
And the summit these days is supposed to take stock of the relationship.
Euromediterranean summit of Barcelona- THE MEDITERRANEAN, A POINT OF ENCOUNTER