Barcelona, 15 March, 2013. The Union for the Mediterranean held the meeting of the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (AP-UfM) at its headquarters, in Barcelona. The Bureau was chaired by the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, in his capacity as rotating President of the PA of the UfM; the President of the Assembly of Representatives of Morocco, Karim Ghellab; the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Jordan, Saed Hayel Srour; and the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Fathallah Sijilmassi, as well as high representatives from Parliaments of Mediterranean countries, especially Portugal, Tunisia and Turkey.
Discussions focused on the advanced state of play of the preparations for the Summit of Presidents of the UfM Parliaments, which will be held in Marseille on 6 and 7 April 2013. According to the PA-UfM, around 40 Speakers have already confirmed their presence in the meeting, which will focus on the role of Parliaments and Civil society. This will be the first High-level political meeting since the Summit of Paris in 2008, and the first after the uprisings of the Arab Spring. French President Hollande will also participate in the conclusions of the Summit.
The meeting was followed by a press conference with the members of the Bureau of the PA-UfM and the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean. ‘We fully support the great progress made by the Secretariat of the UfM in the implementation of concrete projects. We also want to highlight the importance of increasing investments and giving a new economic momentum to the UfM, which will benefit all the countries of the two shores of the Mediterranean’, Mr. Schulz said.
From his side, Secretary General Sijilmassi underlined the close collaboration between the Secretariat of the UfM and the PA-UfM, and paid tribute to the ‘operational and continued support of the President of the European Parliament to the activities and initiatives of the UfM Secretariat’. He announced the launching of three projects during the first semester of 2013: Young Women for Job Creation;Mediterranean Water Governance; and Training Activities for the Regional Logistics Network (LOGSIMEDTA). Other projects will be finalised and launched by the end of this year.