Barcelona, 19th September, 2012. During his working visit to Barcelona, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, visited the premises of the Union for the Mediterranean and held talks with Secretary General Sijilmassi. Both parties exchanged views in light of the current transformations in the Mediterranean Region and discussed the major challenges that the UfM is confronting. Secretary General Sijilmassi briefed the minister on the development of important projects promoted by the UfM, namely, the Euro-Mediterranean University (Euromed-UM) in Fez; the Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4jobs); the Trans Maghreb Motorway; and the desalination facility for the Gaza Strip.
Foreign Affairs Minister García-Margallo reiterated the Spanish Government’s full commitment and support to the UfM and to Secretary General Sijilmassi stressing that: “The current operational structure based on concrete projects of the Union for the Mediterranean is of utmost importance to boost job creation and socio-economic development in the region”. He also welcomed the assumption of the south co-presidency by Jordan and added that: “together with the north co-presidency held by the European institutions there is a unique opportunity to give a new impetus to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”.
During the meeting, Secretary General Sijilmassi highlighted that: “The UfM is more than ever a regional cooperation platform for the development and activation of concrete projects. Our aim is to continue working close with Spain to move forward in implementing concrete programs that have a meaningful and significant impact in the field of civil society, and especially in supporting young entrepreneurs and youth employability in the southern Mediterranean area”.
The UfM Secretary General also expressed his gratitude to the Spanish Minister for the active support that the organization continually receives from Spain.