Throughout history, the East Mediterranean Region has played a prominent role helping shape our modern world today. Located at the crossroads of three continents -Africa, Asia and Europe– has made it essential for trade and key to culture for millennia.
Over the last decade, many significant gas discoveries have been made in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Recognizing the vast resource prospects, opportunities and challenges, it was clear that the full potential of the Eastern Mediterranean gas basin can only be unlocked if suppliers, buyers and transit countries in the East Med region cooperate on developing an infrastructure for gas trade within the region and with external markets.
This outline was the base underpinning the establishment of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum “EMGF” as a platform for Gas producer, consumer and transit countries.
In 2018, Egypt introduced an Initiative to establish the East Mediterranean Gas Forum as a platform for structured policy dialogue on natural gas, leading to the development of a sustainable regional gas market that could unlock the full gas resource potential in the East Mediterranean region.
During the tripartite summit held in October 2018 in Crete, Leaders of Egypt, Cyprus and Greece declared their intentions to establish the Forum, accordingly, further coordination with regional parties and international organizations took place.
The Egyptian initiative was welcomed and sincerely adopted by the rest of the Founding Members; Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestine (together with Egypt) as an initiative that sets the base for a structured policy dialogue leading to the development of a regional gas market to unlock the full gas resource potential and to set the stage for multilateral and full hub trade.
Just three months later, in January 2019, the Energy Ministers of Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Palestine and Jordan gathered in Cairo for the first time to discuss the structure of the EMGF and agree on its main objectives.
Throughout the year 2019, remarkable joint efforts from all EMGF member countries were witnessed. With a unified vision and significant founding principles, the Ministers of the EMGF Founding Member Countries and the EMGF Executive Board held several successful meetings working on the official establishment of the forum. This has lead to the agreement on a final document for the EMGF Statute in a worldwide record of 12 Months.
The EMGF Gas Industry Advisory Committee was also established in November 2019 as a vehicle to allow the pivotal participation of the private sector and strike the right balance between public and private interests.
This expeditious evolution of the EMGF and its strategic importance to the stability and economic development of the region has captured worldwide attention with many countries offering their support and expressing interest to join the Forum as Members or Observers.
The EMGF has progressively evolved into the most renowned Energy Forum in the Mediterranean region. In a very short period, it has become a diplomatic break-through and a transformational project in the region. The significance of the EMGF goes beyond energy; it is a pivotal enabler of regional peace, and a vital engine for economic growth and prosperity.