FOREWORD In Antiquity, the Mediterranean world was a common space of classical civili- tion. The Romans referred to the Mediterranean Sea as mare nostrum, or 'our sea'. In their minds, it did not so much geographically separate the northern and southern shores, but rather bound people and cultures together. It would not have struck them as remarkable that the greatest book inspired by the Sac of Rome in 410 was written by a bishop from the present-day Algeria, St. Augustine. Today, the gentle waves of the Mediterranean Sea no longer roll on the shores of one civilization. Centuries of divergent historic evolutions have resulted in a clearer conceptual demarcation of Europe on the northern shore and Africa on the southern one, with Asia starting at the eastern and northern shore. In the minds of some people, the Sea has even become a border – protection for some, an obstacle for others. However, the geographical proximity is obviously still there. That is why it is important to stress the special relationship which continues to exist between the countries on the northern shore – the large majority of which is now member of the European Union – with the countries on the southern and eastern shores, culturally, commercially and politically.