Barcelona, 6 February, 2013. With the aim to continue strengthening their partnership, the European Commission and the UfM Secretariat held a two-day working seminar with the presence of the Heads of Cooperation of EU Delegations in Southern Mediterranean countries. The meeting took place at the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean, in Barcelona, and helped identify areas for synergy and cooperation between EU bilateral and regional programmes and UfM projects.
Both parties exchanged ideas on how the network of Delegations could play a stronger role in UfM activities to better accomplish the common objective of reinforcing regional cooperation in the Mediterranean.
Secretary General Sijilmassi stressed the positive outcome of the two-day meeting: “The European Commission and the UfM Secretariat share the same conviction that regional challenges reinforce the call for regional responses and initiatives. We have looked at practical ways to seek a win-win partnership between our institutions in advancing the agenda of regional integration: by working on joint or complementary programmes and projects, by feeding into each institution’s sector dialogue with administrations and civil society, by building on existing coordination processes in Mediterranean countries and finally, by highlighting the potential of the UfM label for Mediterranean flagship projects, which is emblematic of the North-South co-ownership principle”.
All the participants agreed that regional conceived solutions are essential to face regional challenges, and that the current context of political and social transition, as well as the economic situation, reinforce the need for the EU and the UfM Secretariat to work in a mutually reinforcing partnership.