The European Union (EU)  Wednesday adopted a report setting out proposals to support the five countries of the Maghreb; Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia in their efforts towards closer cooperation and deeper regional integration, saying that their integration will also benefit the EU.
"We have proposed a wide range of measures to support efforts in this field while recognising that it is for Maghreb partners themselves to determine the extent and pace of integration," said EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule in a statement.
"Integration within the Maghreb would not only bring real benefits to the people of the region but also ultimately to the EU itself. We look forward to discussing these proposals with the Governments of the countries concerned, as well as with representatives of business and civil society," he added.
On her part, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said "the Maghreb is a region with enormous human, economic and cultural potential. We welcome the calls from partners in the region for closer cooperation and deeper integration between them." One of the areas for closer integration of the Maghreb countries is energy.
"Energy plays an important role in the development of the region. With our Mediterranean Solar Plan, we are aiming to help our partners," said EU Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger.