Mediterranean Cooperation Days (10-11-12 November 2014):



 

 

Jointly organized by the Lazio Regionthe CPMR Inter-Mediterranean Commission andPLATFORMA, with key collaboration and contribution of the EU Med programme projects COASTGAP and COM&CAP MarInA-Med, the Mediterranean Cooperation Days were held from 10 to 12 November 2014 in Rome. Aim was the development of specific political and technical debates on different aspects concerning the future of the basin. The Mediterranean Cooperation Days brought together representatives of EU and EuroMed Institutions and Assemblies (Directorate Generals of the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, EU Council, European Economic and Social Committee, EU Committee of the Regions, Union for the Mediterranean, Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM), local and regional authorities and their networks (Inter-Mediterranean Commission-CPMR, Arco Latino, Med Commission of United Cities and Local Govenrments UCLG, PLATFORMA), EU ETC Programmes and Med Maritime Projects, as well as civil society, into a Multi-Level Forum.

After the welcome presentation session with Nicola Zingaretti, President of Lazio Region, COASTGAP Leadpartner and IMC CPMR member, Michel Vauzelle, President of the Region Provence-Alps-Cotes-d’Azur (PACA), President of the intermediterranean Commission (IMC) of the CPMR, and Massimo Toschi, Special adviser on cooperation of Enrico Rossi, President of Toscana Region, Spoke person of PLATFORMA and IMC CPMR member, the PLATFROMA-CPMR round tables entitled “The Med beyond 2015 – how to achieve sustainable development” took place. They focused on Development Agenda post 2015, Development and decentralized cooperation, Sustainable Development goals, and climate challenges. President Zingaretti stressed the need to return to an ownership and get a more central stage for the Mediterranean in a very complicated moment. He also stressed the need to tackle more strongly migration issues. Mr Toschi highlighted the delicate moment with the Israeli-Palestinian crisis and the conflict in Syria, which sometimes hide the situation in Lebanon or Egypt. Tunis is becoming an interesting laboratory for the Mediterranean.

AEBR Secretary General Martín Guillermo Ramírez moderated the first discussion group “Towards a Transformation Agenda of Universal Values” at 10h15 on Monday, 10 November. Guest speakers in this session were Grammenos Mastrojeni, Coordinator for Environmental Issues, Academic Cooperation, and Territorial Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Davor Stier, Member of the European Parliament, Rapporteur Post-2015 agenda, and Carlo Rossi, Regio Lazio, Head of the area in charge of decentralised cooperation.

 

The discussion concentrated on three main points:

1. The key political vectors for Sustainable Development for the Med area (economic, social and environmental dimensions) in the horizon of 2030 from the perspective of the EU, the regional governments and the local governments.

2. The roles LRAs are having in enhancing these political vectors.

3. Key obstacles LRAs are facing in these roles and how the EU can help remove these obstacles and empower and facilitate such roles.

 

Mr Mastrojeni proposed some hypotheses for the near future to be taken into account regarding tackle climate change and the conflicts in the Mediterranean. Mr Stier explained the development in the European Parliament on the Agenda Post 2015 plus the Conference in September 2015. The role of LRAs (also in the South shore of the Mediterranean) is not only to serve as vehicles of the decisions taken at other levels, but to take active part in decision-making. Mr Rossi asked if the purpose is helping “poor countries” or “helping the poor”. Keywords are rights, mutual benefit, productive economy projects, technical assistance, complementarity, sustainable development, social cooperatives, etc.

A debate was established with the public, with contributions regarding climate change and extreme poverty, the vulnerability of some territories and local autonomy. A representative from Tunis explained that decentralized cooperation in Europe is still quite modest, but is the best example of a win-win relationship, and the guarantee to reach more people. Mr Rossi asked to revert trends and face real priorities in target countries.

Martín Guillermo Ramírez concluded the session thanking all contributions and outlining how the European Union can support a global agenda which will meet all these expectations. The European Union has always been at the forefront of the recognition of local and regional governments in driving changes and sustainable development, be it in its governing architecture, or in its external policies. The EU has also been one of the pioneers in supporting the strengthening of local/regional governments. In its communication “Empowering local authorities in partner countries”, the Commission recalls LRAs, as a catalyst for change, have the responsibility to provide "solutions to urgent challenges faced by local communities. Such challenges include social exclusion, migration, food security, limited infrastructures, rapid urbanisation, depletion of resources, public safety and violence, environmental and social impact of extractive activities, climate adaptation and mitigation, rule of law and access to justice[1]”; (...) "working through local authorities and supporting decentralisation processes of power, decision making and resources [...] helps bring about sustainable development and pro-poor results".

We do not expect any less from the European Union, than to promote one of the fundamental principles of the Union – the principle of subsidiarity, and to uphold the commitments taken last year, to support the empowerment of local and regional governments in partner countries. Local and regional governments, through PLATFORMA, have partnered with the European Union in forging a forward-looking policy to better development processes in partner countries. We now want to partner with the European Union to promote an ambitious and well-designed post-2015 development framework and climate agreement.

On the website http://www.medmaritimeprojects.eu/article/rome-presentation-event you kind find the full programme of the Mediterranean Cooperation Days 2014 as well as further information the numerous sessions, round tables and working groups that took place during these three days, and most presentations.



[1] Empowering Local Authorities in partner countries for enhanced governance and more effective development outcomes

 

<< back