Workshop on Migration in Sevilla, side event of the 10th Plenary of ARLEM, the Euro-Mediterranean Local and Regional Assembly:


The 10th plenary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM), of which AEBR is a member, took place on 26 and 27 February 2019 in Seville, Spain.

The plenary session brought together local and regional authorities from Europe and the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean to discuss governance and transparency, youth entrepreneurship and women empowerment in the Mediterranean region. Attention was dedicated also to the “Nicosia Initiative” to support local authorities in Lybia.

A workshop on migration phenomena in the Mediterranean has been co-organized by AEBR and the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions (CPMR) in the framework of this ARLEM Plenary Session. Focusing on the role of local and regional authorities in receiving and integrating migrants, participants from Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, Tunis and Turkey have been very active, and along regional and local authorities also several platforms and networks took part in the workshop.

More than forty representatives have discussed about their experiences in migration, whether as places of origin, transit or final destination. The participants have also reflected on how many places have changed their role from being simply transit areas into final destination ones, for example. Local and regional authorities have stressed in particular the need of a coordinated action to tackle migration phenomena in the Mediterranean. Above all, it has been strongly emphasised that migration should not be considered a negative issue or a problem, because it is inherent to human beings.

Amongst the actions proposed at the workshop, participants underlines the importance of the aspects such as the struggle against organized crime (in particular trafficking of persons); the enhancement of FRONTEX; the establishment of legal quotas for migration; the strengthening integration policies;  and the need to not underestimate the role of decentralized cooperation, combined with migration (co-development).

The Plenary of ARLEM was also the occasion to bestow the award “Young Local Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean”. The award was given to Zimni Jdeed, a fashion and textile company based in Tripoli that is re-fashioning traditional clothing with great success.  The prize exemplified the wish to enhance cooperation throughout the Mediterranean Sea and unlock the enormous potential of the region through decentralized cooperation.

On occasion of the Plenary, a report on governance and transparency in the Mediterranean calling for greater decentralization in the region has been adopted.

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