It was set up in 2010 by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) together with territorial associations active in this context allowing elected representatives from the three shores of the Mediterranean Sea to:
- represent their local and regional authorities politically, including towards the EU and the Union for the Mediterranean (Uf M)
- maintain political dialogue and
- promote interregional cooperation
Which are the countries involved?
Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Syria (membership currently suspended), Tunisia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Palestine, Monaco, Montenegro. In addition, Libya participates as observer.
What's the aim of ARLEM?
ARLEM aims to:
- give a territorial dimension to the Union for the Mediterranean
- promote local democracy, multi-level governance and decentralised cooperation around the three shores of the Mediterranean
- encourage North-South and South-South dialogue between local and regional authorities
- promote the exchange of best practice, knowledge and technical experience in the areas for which local and regional authorities are responsible
- promote regional integration and cohesion
How does ARLEM operate?
Politically, ARLEM provides a forum for ongoing political dialogue. It contributes to the CoR's consultative works through thematic reports. It also represents the local and regional level at UfM summits.
In its work, ARLEM creates synergies with its partners, including the UfM (Declaration of Intent signed in 2013), the European LRA associations who are represented in ARLEM, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (observer status), the Parliamentary Assembly of the UfM (observer status), the European Training Foundation (Declaration of Intent signed in 2013) and the European Economic and Social Committee (observer status).
The Assembly brings together ARLEM members at its annual plenary session, in the course of which the thematic reports are adopted, and for Commission and Bureau meetings. In addition, specific workshops or conferences may be organised and specific aspects deepened through studies.
How is ARLEM composed?
ARLEM brings together 80 members and 2 observers from the EU and its Mediterranean partner countries. Members are representatives of regions and local bodies and hold a regional or local authority mandate.
ARLEM is chaired by a co-presidency representing equally the Mediterranean partners and the EU. The co-president from the Mediterranean partners' group is confirmed by consensus by that group for a period of two and a half years.
The ARLEM Bureau defines the Assembly's strategy and range of activities.
Within the Commission for Sustainable Territorial Development, ARLEM rapporteurs elaborate thematic reports on topics referring to the fields of:
- urban and territorial development
- cultural cooperation
- the information society
- migration and integration
- small and medium-sized enterprises
- sustainable development
- water management
- waste management
- energy, particularly solar energy
- agriculture and tourism