Youssef Amrani was named General Secretary of the Union for the Mediterranean, an institution kept in abeyance from the outset and without leadership for four months.

The Union for the Mediterranean was created on the initiative of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, on 13 July 2008. It comprises 43 member States. Officially, it was launched for the purpose of re-revitalizing relations within the region. But, since that objective is already covered by the Barcelona Process, it becomes readily obvious that the actual aim was to associate Israel to consensual projects involving Arab States. Besides, this unnatural alliance offers attractive economic opportunities.

However, the dream was dampened by the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza strip in December 2008.

On 26 January 2011, the Jordanian Secretary-General of the Union, Ahmad Massa’deh, tendered his resignation after one year of lusterless management style. The incongruity of having a Jordanian secretary general considering that the Hashemite Kingdom has no access to the sea is worthy of note.

Things went from bad to worse, in February, with the ouster and house arrest of Egyptian president Hosni Moubarak, who was co-chair of the UM.

Eventually, the Union for the Mediterranean was sunk by Nicolas Sarkozy himself when he promoted the war against Libya.

To this day the UM has yet to implement any of its ambitious projects, while having held a flurry of meetings to study their feasibility. The organization not only lavishly entertained high-level officials during these exotic meetings, but also squandered on posh offices, official cars and cushy allowances for an array of permanent staff. The founding meeting alone ran up a bill of 16.6 million euros, according to the French Court of Auditors. Inframed - the special fund set up to manage the UM projects - was initially endowed with 385 million euros. No financial report on what they were spent was ever released.

Three years after its inception the Union for the Mediterranean, having nothing to say, has still not dared to open a website.

The new MU Secretary General, Youssef Amrani, is also Secretary General of the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a position not easy to decipher at a time when the Sherifian monarchy is about to join the (Persian ....) Gulf Cooperation Council.