REMESA Context

REMESA is in line within the overall context of the Barcelona Process initiatives for a Mediterranean partnership, and more recently, within the creation project of the Union for the Mediterranean launched in Paris on 13 July 2008. This initiative is also linked to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) developed in 2004 in order to enhance prosperity, stability and security. The ENP, which goes beyond the existing relationships to offer a political connection and economic integration, is applied to immediate EU neighbours. In addition, North African countries (except Egypt) are grouped under the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), whose main objective is to prepare the right conditions for a gradual economic integration at the scale of the Maghreb region.

The concept of regional animal health network is based on grouping several countries; moreover was focused on harmonization of surveillance and control methods as well as strengthening the national devices without replacing their functions. The priority diseases that appear in Northern African countries are: rabies, peste des petits ruminants (PPR), brucellosis, bluetongue (BT), sheep pox, tuberculosis, foot and mouth disease, avian influenza (AI), leishmaniasis, Rift Valley fever (RVF) and African horse sickness (AHS). In Southern European countries, animal health concerns are the spread risk of these diseases from the South (FMD, PPR, rabies, etc...), and shared surveillance and control issues (vector-borne diseases such as BT or West Nile Disease WND). 

The Mediterranean Animal Health Network is based on the veterinary services of each country that adhered to its objectives and should be considered as a structure in which regional programs and projects may find their anchorage. This regional context does not replace the essential baseline work that must be done in each country which will be always sovereign on its decisions in regards to epidemiological surveillance, diseases control or animal health information exchanges outside of its borders.

In the framework of the Mediterranean Animal Health Network, four other technical sub-networks have been established as part of the same initiative to harmonize, energize and facilitate the operation and activities of REMESA: the Animal Health Laboratories Network (RELABSA), the Veterinary Epidemiosurveillance Network (REPIVET), the Animal Health Communication Network (RECOMSA) and the Animal Health Socio-Economics and Production Systems Network (RESEPSA).