UfM highlights the involvement of civil society and economic and social actors as crucial factor to strengthen the cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean region
Barcelona, 30 November 2015 – Delphine Borione, UfM Deputy Secretary General for Social and Civil Affairs, participated in Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions, which took place in Brussels. One week after the Union for the Mediterranean high level meeting held in Barcelona on November 26, she presented the challenges and opportunities of the region and expressed the commitment for a closer cooperation between the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and his President, M. George Dassis.
More than 120 presidents and members of economic and social councils and a large number of other civil society organisations such as trade unions, representatives of employers and NGOs from the Euro Mediterranean Region, gathered in Brussels together with representatives of EU and other high level personalities in this 2015 edition of the Summit. The discussions notably focused on the situation in the region twenty years after the Barcelona Process, the new European Neighbourhood Policy, the role of the social partners in the consolidation of political democracy and migration. All participants in the EESC Summit emphasised the need to collective actions involving all the Euro-Mediterranean actors to meet the major challenges faced by the region.
The EESC and the UfM signed a Memorandum of Understanding on January 2015 for a mutual reflexion and joint work on areas of common concern, including job creation, women’s socio-economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, social economy, food security and climate change, areas where the UfM is developing a consistent number of cooperation projects, especially in the eastern and southern parts of the Mediterranean.
Ambassador Borione praised the role of the different economic and social Councils in the region, and applauded the smooth cooperation between the EESC and the UfMS. “There cannot be any successful cooperation between the north and the south of the Mediterranean without the involvement of civil society, in particular of economic and social stakeholders”, stated Borione. She also recalled the efforts and achievements of the UfM to promote inclusive growth and youth employability, sustainable development and women empowerment. She also encouraged the organisations present in the meeting to promote and propose regional, sub-regional and transnational projects to be labelled by the UfM with the objective to advance regional cooperation and impact directly on the livelihoods of citizens of the region.