Barcelona, 8 February 2016. UfM Secretary General and Mayor Colau agreed to continue advancing their collaboration in the different areas of common interest, mainly in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) and the Mediterranean Network for Urban Sustainable Development (Med Cities).
Sijilmassi expressed his gratitude for Barcelona’s continued support to the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. The Mayor of Barcelona, and president of the Barcelona metropolitan area, reiterated the will of the City to continue playing a central role in Mediterranean affairs.
Mayor Colau was interested in the role of the UfM in addressing pressing challenges such as migration and the refugee crisis. The Secretary General briefed the Mayor on UfM projects and initiatives and their positive impact on regional integration, stability and human development. The Secretariat is currently promoting a pipeline of 37 region-wide cooperation projects related to youth employability, inclusive growth, women’s socio-economic empowerment and sustainable development.
During the meeting, Mayor Colau stressed the important role of local institutions: “As a city, we think that all institutions must play a more active role in all issues of public concern”.
For his part, Sijilmassi declared: “Regional cooperation on development initiatives is paramount to stability in the Mediterranean”. He underlined the importance of “promoting a concerted approach in close collaboration with local entities to provide regional solutions that trigger sustainable economic growth, job perspectives for youth, a culture of inclusiveness, a strengthened role of women and productive investments in the region”.
Barcelona is the official headquarters of the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean.