Summit of Economic and Social Councils at the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM): a closer union also for civil society
Barcelona, 13 November, 2013. `There can be no successful union between the North and South of the Mediterranean without the involvement of civil society, and in particular, of economic and social stakeholders such as employers’ organisations, trade unions, and other professional organisations, as well as relevant NGOs.´ This was the key message delivered by the representatives who called on the UfM to seek out structured partnerships with stakeholders and to involve them in the UfM projects.
Pedro Narro, from the European Economic and Social Committee, emphasised that “such involvement should start as an input to the UfM ministerial conferences but should also extend, in particular, to the conception, implementation and monitoring of UfM projects resulting from ministerial decisions.” Various participants also highlighted the need for more information on UfM activities.
The Secretariat of the UfM – its Secretary General, Fathallah Sijilmassi and Deputy Secretary General for Social and Civil Affairs, Delphine Borione – responded positively to civil society’s call and expressed their willingness to foster the structured involvement of civil society stakeholders in the UfM´s work, in line with the UfM’s mandate.
Besides questions relating to civil society´s involvement in the UfM´s work, the participants discussed several subjects of acute importance for the region, in particular youth unemployment and the economic challenge, the situation of women, the challenge of mobility and migration, and the need to improve the management of limited water resources.
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