Brussels, 14 October 2016. At the fourth Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of 2016, the Senior Officials of the 43 Member States met in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the challenges facing the Euro-Mediterranean region and to adopt several initiatives to address three key, interrelated priorities for the region: stability, human development and integration.
A substantial Ministerial agenda
Senior Officials discussed the preparations for the UfM Ministerial Conference on Energy, which is to be held in Rome; the UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development, to be held in Cairo; and the UfM Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society.
New labelled projects
During their meeting, the Senior Officials approved two new projects promoting urban development and economic integration. The labelling of these two projects brings the total number of UfM-labelled regional cooperation projects to 47 projects.
The new labelled projects target the three interrelated regional priorities of the UfM’s work; namely, human development, integration and stability. The two projects are the Izmir Urban Integrated Waste Management Project and the Agadir SME Programme – Fostering SME competitiveness and trade in the Agadir Agreement member countries.
Izmir Urban Integrated Waste Management Project
Waste management is one of the main environment-related problems in Turkey’s cities, including Izmir, and it is also a key strategic issue with particular relevance at the regional level. Izmir’s current solid waste landfill facility is nearing full capacity. The new facility will provide high-quality integrated solid waste management for Izmir at a critical time, and will adopt an exemplary, innovative and environmentally friendly urban infrastructure approach.
The Project, promoted by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), will bring significant environmental benefits for the city of Izmir by minimising the effects associated with solid waste management and will improve the living standards of the population. The Project is part of the UfM’s Urban Project Finance Initiative (UPFI).
Agadir SME Programme – Fostering SME competitiveness and trade in the Agadir Agreement member countries
The objective of this project promoted by the Agadir Technical Unit (ATU) is to reinforce economic integration and contribute to economic development and income generation through SME-led growth. Specifically, the project aims to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs and improve their supply capacity and ability to ensure wider use of the cumulation of origin concept, in view of increasing intra-trade among the four Agadir Agreement member countries and their exports to the EU, and creating synergies and a new economic dynamism among the Agadir Agreement Member States (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan) to strengthen sub-regional economic integration.