Barcelona, 16 April 2014. With the aim to discuss relevant EU policies and Southern Neighbourhood issues, Foreign Affairs Ministers of Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain met today in Alicante, Spain, in an informal ministerial meeting of the Mediterranean Group. Upon the invitation of the Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister García-Margallo, Secretary General Sijilmassi participated as special guest at the working lunch, during which he briefed the ministers on the recent achievements of the UfM Secretariat and its way forward as an operational platform fostering regional integration in the Mediterranean region.
Expressing his gratitude for the continued political support that the UfM Secretariat receives from these countries, Secretary General Sijilmassi made reference to the recent developments of the Secretariat’s activities and projects in areas such as urban development, climate change, renewable energies and gender equality. He also highlighted the renewed political dynamism of the Union for the Mediterranean, with a stronger involvement of ministers who have convened ministerial meetings on the role of women in society, transport energy and industrial cooperation since September 2013. The ministers reaffirmed their support to the UfM Secretariat and underlined the importance of the Southern Neighbourhood.
The Secretary General underlined the need to implement projects and initiatives fostering regional integration as a means to ensure political stability and economic growth in the Euro-Med region. Following a renewed institutional dynamism and a consolidation of a strong network of partnerships with the main financial institutions and key cooperation frameworks in the region, the UfM Secretariat is today a reference tool in the development of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.