The Secretariat of the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) hosted the Fifth Coordination Meeting of the Regional Organizations held in Stockholm on 17 June 2011. Representatives from a number of Regional Organizations attended the meeting, including Ms. Cecilia Attard-Pirotta, Deputy Secretary General for Social and Civil Affairs, and Mr. Alaa Youssef, Advisor to the Secretary General.
During the workshop participants exchanged information about their respective regional organization, gave details about their projects orientation and fundraising measures, as well as identified potential areas of cooperation.
After introducing the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean to the attendees, Ms. Attard-Pirotta stated that “the Union for the Mediterranean emerges as a new paradigm to strengthen Euro-Mediterranean relations, with a practical and institutional dimension”. She stressed the importance of the UfMS to operate as a catalyst to bring states, the European Investment Bank, the International Financial Institutions and the private sector together, around concrete economic projects of strategic importance, in addition to generate jobs, innovation, and growth throughout the region. This statement referred to the recent Joint Communication of the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the UfMS.
The Deputy Secretary General informed participants that the first 12 projects, recently submitted to Member States, will constitute the bulk of the work of the Secretariat in the upcoming months. She highlighted projects from the six UfMS divisions: projects funding and business development, social and civil affairs, transport and urban development, water, energy and higher education and research.
The deliberations of the meeting showed that Regional Organizations in Europe had very similar objectives and activities – all operating in their own respective areas. The participants agreed to strengthen their already existing relations in order to ensure better synergy, share information, as well as identify areas of possible cooperation. “The UfM Secretariat is ready to explore with other respective regional organizations the possibilities of implementing common projects with the objective of meeting our peoples’ vital interests”, said Ms. Attard-Pirotta.