UfM Secretariat in close collaboration with local entities for concerted regional cooperation and integration in the Mediterranean
Barcelona, 3 March 2016. UfM Secretariat was invited to participate at the annual General Assembly of Arc Latin, hosted by the Provincial Government – “Diputación”- of Barcelona, presided by Mercè Conesa, Mayor of Sant Cugat, part of the wider Barcelona metropolitan area and one of the 311 municipalities that make up the province.
Arc Latin is a network of intermediate local governments from France -“Départements”-, Italy -provinces and metropolitan areas- and Spain -“Diputaciones”- representing 10% of the territory and population of the European Union. One of the main objectives of the group is to reinforce the existing ties between the Northern and Southern Mediterranean by, for example, creating networks and partnerships on concrete projects to facilitate good governance and sustainable development. In partnership, we prepare workshops for urban managers.
During a round table discussion on the “Challenges of local governance in the Mediterranean”, elected officials, such as the President of the italian Mantova Province, Alessandro Pastacci, or the Vice-President of the french Provincial Council of Aude, stressed the important role of local and regional governments in addressing pressing issues such as illegal migration or youth unemployment, and were very keen on the role of the UfM and its institutional ecosystem towards enhancing a common development agenda in the region: We are more effective working together to promote common interests, said Pastacci.
UfM Spokesperson presented some of UfM’s 41 region-wide cooperation projects worth over 5 billion euros, focusing on the three main priorities of youth employability and inclusive growth, women’s socio-economic empowerment and sustainable development, highlighting their positive impact on regional integration, stability and human development, and identifying possible synergies with Arc Latin mainly in the area of urban development, such as the Urban Projects Finance Initiative (UPFI).
Farré underlined the importance of “promoting a concerted approach in close collaboration with local entities to provide regional solutions that trigger sustainable economic growth and job perspectives for our youth”, and highlighted the role of regional partners such as Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM), of which Arc Latin is a member, or the Mediterranean Network for Urban Sustainable Development (Med Cities).