Saturday, February 8, 2014

Update: Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean convenes meeting

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, on Saturday, convened a meeting on Dead Sea shores and tackled closer cooperation between the parliaments of members countries in various domains, especially in parliamentary spheres.

The meeting adopted a statement called " the call of Jordan" proposed by Morocco urging the international community to live up to its responsibilities and support Jordan and other countries hosting Syrian refugees. The meeting also looked into a report by an assembly fact-finding mission which was sent to Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to take a firsthand look at refugees conditions.

UfM meetings bringing all partners together, says Fule

A 'revitalized' Union for the Mediterranean is finally managing to bring all regional partners together, EU neighborhood chief Stefan Fule underscored on Friday during the presentation of the annual European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed)report at the European Parliament. ''Regional challenges require regional solutions,'' Fule said, noting that the European Union is putting forth a great deal of effort in this direction, benefiting from closer relations with the Arab Maghreb Union and as part of the 5+5 Dialogue (the Mediterranean forum including Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and Malta alongside Libya, Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia).

''Meetings of high-level Union for the Mediterranean officials,'' said the EU neighborhood policy chief, ''are held regularly and Palestinians, Israelis, Turks and Libyans take part, without even taking into account that the systematic involvement of the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank and the League of Arab States.'' ''Since September 2013, there have also been ministerial meetings on several issues, from women's roles to transport and energy, and there will soon be one on industry,'' Fule announced. Summing up, the European commissioner underscored that there are currently ''twenty-two small and large UfM projects'', while the aim now will be ''to ensure that the largest number of citizens possible benefit''. 


Morocco panel pushes for Maghreb integration

The need for Maghreb countries to step up economic co-operation has never been greater, an international forum in Casablanca concluded on Thursday (February 6th).
Maghreb countries must unite to deal with economic challenges and promote growth, attendees at the "Forum of Paris-Casablanca Round" event agreed.
Maghreb integration is no longer simply an option, according to Union for the Mediterranean chief Fathallah Sijilmassi. It has become an inescapable necessity in a globalised world.

Economic Forum of the Western Mediterranean 

From Wikipedia
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is a multilateral partnership of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Unionand 15 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. It was created in July 2008 as a relaunched Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (the Barcelona Process), when a plan to create an autonomous Mediterranean Union was dropped. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region.
The Union for the Mediterranean introduced new institutions into the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership with the aim of increasing its visibility such as the creation of a Secretariat.

The Union for the Mediterranean is the southern regional cooperation branch, which works in parallel to the European Neighbourhood Policy. Its eastern counterpart is the Eastern Partnership.

Union for the Mediterranean

Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EUROMED) 

The Western Mediterranean Forum, commonly referred to as 5+5 Dialogue, was officially launched in Rome in 1990 as an informal sub-regional forum of like-minded countries, geographically situated on the western rim of the Euro-Mediterranean littoral and comprising of Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia.  Malta became a member in 1991.

As a trans-Mediterranean security initiative, the rationale of the 5+5 Dialogue is to secure closer cooperation between the five EU member states and the five Arab Maghreb countries through political dialogue and economic cooperation and by encouraging more efficient management of resources as a means of enhancing regional interdependence and development.  Following the resilient re-launching of the Forum in Portugal in 2001, the 5+5 (Foreign Ministers’) Dialogue has been convening regularly.

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