Brussels, 18 February, 2013. The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean and the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) signed a declaration to strengthen operational cooperation and further contribute to the development of the territorial dimension of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. The signature took place at the fourth plenary session of ARLEM, on 18 February 2013, in Brussels.
“UfM and ARLEM have agreed to give a new operational impulse to regional and sub-regional cooperation with the aim to implement concrete projects that address the urgent needs of local populations”, said Fathallah Sijilmassi, Secretary General of the UfM. “Regional challenges reinforce the call for regional responses and initiatives”, he said, recalling that employment is the heart of UfM priorities, and stressing the pressing need to support initiatives to create « productive and quality jobs » in the Mediterranean countries.
During the meeting, mayors and regional representatives from the EU discussed and assessed the state of decentralization, territorial organization and regional development with their counterparts from the Mediterranean partner. Technical education, vocational training and the promotion of sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean were also among the main topics for debate.