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A union with non-democratic countries

French president Nicolas Sarkozy bows to Algerian flag.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The European Union isn't quite enough for French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He wants to create a Mediterranean Union. Any country with a Mediterranean coastline could join. But would anyone want to? Here's Megan Williams.


Megan Williams: Israel and Syria, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. These countries may not share peaceful relations, but they do share the Mediterranean Sea.

French President Sarkozy says that may be enough to eventually bring together the region's 20 countries to tackle problems such as sustainable energy, trade, illegal immigration, and terrorism.

Rome correspondent for the French daily Liberation, Eric Josef, says the plan's main hurdle is that many Mediterranean countries aren't democratic.

Eric Josef: The idea is to see a great Mediterranean Union as the European Union, but it was after the Second World War.

A summit has been set for June. In the meantime, though, Germany has express its concern that the proposed union might be in conflict with the E.U. Also, non-E.U. Mediterranean countries say they'd want a plan that would also open trade doors for them.

In Rome, I'm Megan Williams for Marketplace.

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