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Commissioner Samecky : Involvement of local authorities key ingredient for UfM success

22 janvier 2010

The involvement of regional and local authorities in the Union for the Mediterranean “will constitute an enrichment and a decisive ingredient for success”, the European Commissioner responsible for Regional Policy Paweł Samecki has told the Inaugural Plenary Session of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) in Barcelona.   “ARLEM will, without any doubt, facilitate the creation of the link with the citizens which is not always visible enough,” he said, underlining the importance of local and regional authorities in implementing territorial cooperation programmes.

The Commissioner highlighted the work being undertaken by the Mediterranean sea Basin cross border cooperation programme, financed under the ENPI. “You are very well placed to understand that, due to the problems existing in the area, this programme is a challenge and its success will largely depend on the ambition, ability and goodwill of all participating bodies,” he told his audience.

“Thinking aloud” about what kind of ‘Strategy’ the EU could elaborate for the Mediterranean along the lines of its strategies for the Baltic and Danube regions, Samecki said whereas these involved candidate and potential candidate neighbours, the Mediterranean was a different case.   “I can imagine some elements for such a strategy – perhaps one idea would be that migration become a prominent target for joint efforts,” he said. “This phenomenon could be addressed from different angles, with cohesion policy being the focal channel for aligned socio-economic support and activities of the Mediterranean Member States. But to have a comprehensive strategy, one would need to define other elements and specific activities that may become incorporated into the strategy.”

ARLEM provides a new institutional framework within the UfM, with a permanent platform bringing together members of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), representatives of European institutions involved in Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation and their counterparts from the Mediterranean partner countries. (ENPI Info Centre)

Paweł Samecki speech

ARLEM frequently asked questions (FR only)

CoR Opinion: Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean – implications for regional and local authorities

Interview on ARLEM with CoR President Luc Van den Brande

CoR website

Mediterranean sea Basin cross border cooperation programme

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