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ARLEM calls for a new momentum in the European Neighbourhood Policy vis-à-vis the Mediterranean

The Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) co-chaired by Michel Lebrun, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), and Ali Abdel-Rahman, Governor of Giza (Egypt) is gathering for its 6th plenary session on 14-15 December 2014 in the Turkish city of Antalya, at the invitation of Mr Menderes Türel, Mayor of Antalya Metropolitan Municipality.

The European Commission recently launched a review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and in this context ARLEM is calling for strengthening the tools for territorial cooperation, such as macro-regional strategies, which offer opportunities for cross-border cooperation between regions in- and outside the EU. The annual report on "The state of the territorial dimension of the Union for the Mediterranean", which sets out political recommendations for ARLEM's work, stresses that the EU must continue to be the primary strategic partner for the countries to the south and east of the Mediterranean. In addition to that, ARLEM wants a clear commitment from the European and Mediterranean partners, members of UfM and European institutions to support the decentralisation process and the development of multi-level governance in the region. ARLEM is also calling for macro regional strategies and a cohesion policy which promote south-south cooperation and are supported by funding from the EU's neighbourhood policy.

The ARLEM plenary session is to adopt a report drafted by António Costa (PT/PES), Mayor of Lisbon, on the role of local and regional authorities in managing migration in the Mediterranean. As a consequence of recent developments in the Euro-Mediterranean area and its surroundings, migration has gained greater importance on the political agenda. The report points out that many cities and regions are particularly affected by growing flows of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, as it is these authorities that have the obligation to receive and integrate them. The report emphasized the need for a comprehensive, consistent and common approach to migration for the Euromed region.

Environmental issues will also be subject of discussion. The report on waste management at the local and regional level in the Mediterranean region has been drafted by Mohamed Boudra, President of the Regional Council of Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate (Morocco). An ARLEM initiative for an urban agenda for the Mediterranean will also be presented in Antalya, with a view to strengthen the institutional and administrative capacities of cities and regions in urban governance.

More information: Meeting agenda

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