Barcelona, 3rd October, 2012. The Secretariat of the UfM brought together representatives from the main Euro-Mediterranean Think Tanks to participate in the Seminar “The Multilateral Track of the Euro-Mediterranean Relations: The role of the UfM”. Sessions focused on the prospects for the multilateral framework of Euro-Mediterranean relations within the new political context in the Southern shore, and the economic crisis in the North. They also analysed the sectorial areas of cooperation in the framework of the UfM mandate.
During the opening speech, UfM Secretary General Sijilmassi referred to the Euro-Mediterranean Think Tanks as “key actors in building joint efforts and permanent dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region”. He also added that “the best way for the Secretariat to face the current political and economic transformations is by enhancing regional cooperation through the delivery of concrete projects with a meaningful impact in the region”. The meeting was also attended by Senén Florensa, Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Generalitat de Catalunya and President of the Executive Committee of the IEMed, who pointed out that this participative forum and multilateral dialogue “will help to build our common mission and explore new approaches”.
The experts and representatives from the different Think Tanks analysed the roles of the public and private sector, and called for the development of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation initiatives in important areas such as youth employability, job creation or higher education and research. They also acknowledged the importance of fostering regional cooperation through a balanced combination of multilateral dialogue with tangible short-term actions and achievements. Moreover, they agreed on the fact that, given the new context in the Euro-Mediterranean region, “if the UfM did not exist, we would have to invent it now”.Discussions also remarked the need for the Union for the Mediterranean to increase its visibility and deliver concrete results.
This seminar is a fundamental step in a series of consultations that the UfM is developing to enhance dialogue and cooperation with important Euro-Mediterranean stakeholders.
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