The area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea is an ancient land. Some of the world's oldest cultures—Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Arab—are rooted in this land, as are three of the world's great religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Three continents meet in the region (Europe, Asia, and Africa). In the 21st century, the region is often divided into the northern countries: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovenia, and Spain; and the eastern countries: Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Libya, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.

It is a place of cultural, religious, and economic diversity, and divisions. According to the World Bank, the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of the European Union (EU) countries is 10 times that of the North ...

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