• English
  • Français

Boost to Euro-Mediterranean cooperation ( Source-Commitee of the regions' website)

Photo  : Pedro Antonio Sanchez, President of the Region of Murcia

On 3 May, the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) met in Murcia. Pedro Antonio Sánchez, President of the Murcia Region (ES/EPP) welcomed President Markku Markkula, Hani Abdelmasih Al-Hayek , co-president of ARLEM and Fathallah Sijilmassi, Secretary General of the Union for the Me diterranean.

In the framework of the 17 th   meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM), representatives of regions and cities from the three shores of the Mediterranean gathered in Murcia to discuss cross-border cooperation, the new EU Neighborhood Policy and energy and climate issues amongst other topics of common interest. The refugee crisis and global warming are pressing contexts.

In his opening speech,   Markku Markkula   said: “faced with current conflicts, enhancing Euro-Mediterranean cooperation is more essential than ever. Local and regional authorities are at the forefront of major issues such as the management of the refugee crisis, in addition to job creation and the implementation of sustainable energy policies. This is why they need more resources and financial support”.

Pedro Antonio Sánchez   declared, “Murcia wants to have an active role in ARLEM and the Mediterranean partnership. Cooperation in innovation and research in strategic areas such as food production, water management and the production of sustainable energy will bring competitiveness to our companies and jobs to our citizens”.

Last January, ARLEM launched in Nicosia (Cyprus) a   support initiative for Libyan local authorities , setting up working groups in areas that are crucial for its stabilisation and socio-economic development. Murcia region will be the first in organising a support action last week of May 2016 on the topic of water management, irrigation systems and agriculture. Other European cities have committed to contribute throughout the year organising working groups in public administration, management of health centres and waste management services.

Hani Abdelmasih Al-Hayek   ,   co-president of ARLEM said : “ fruitful discussions have come out of this meeting. ARLEM is a tool to bring our societies closer and build a better future for the people at both sides of the Mediterranean”.   Mohamed Kamal El Daly , Governor of Giza, a territory of 10 million inhabitants in Egypt stressed: “we wish to convince the EU to further invest in the economic development of our region. Growth and jobs are key tools to combat terrorism”. The EU is to provide approximately EUR 15 billion to its neighbouring countries through the European Neighbourhood Instrument over the period 2014-20.

The Euro-Mediterranean Assembly (ARLEM) is preparing this year a report on   cross-border cooperation drafted by Francesco Pigliaru, President of the Sardinia Region.

In the upcoming   climate summit to be held in Marrakesh   in November, the CoR will organise a conference together with the Union for the Mediterranean and Moroccan authorities to promote the roll out of the   Covenant of Mayors   internationally. Despite their potential, renewable energy sources account for a mere 1% of electricity produced in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. Nevertheless, “the sustainable energy transition has started”, declared   Mohamed Sadiki , mayor of Rabat and rapporteur of an   energy and climate change ARLEM   report due later this year. By 2030, 52% of energy production in Morocco will come from renewable energies, informed Sadiki. The city of Alger has recently started a major urban renewal project of 7000 ha with 4000 ha green areas and 300.000 dwellings. “We are committed to energy efficiency, the use of renewables and proficiency in waste management”, declared Alger mayor   Karim Bennour. 


ARLEM is the assembly of local and regional elected representatives from the European Union and its Mediterranean partners. It was set up in 2010 by the European Committee of the Regions - the European Union’s political assembly of regional and local representatives - and represents the territorial dimension within the Union for the Mediterranean, allowing elected representatives from the three shores of the Mediterranean Sea to represent their local and regional authorities politically, maintain political dialogue and promote interregional cooperation.

The Assembly has 80 members. Its membership is divided up equally between the 15 Mediterranean partners and the European Union. The Assembly thus comprises 40 members from the Mediterranean partners and 40 members from the European Union (32 members of the European Committee of the Regions and 8 members representing European associations of local and regional authorities active in the field of Euro Mediterranean cooperation).

More information  

The 2015-2017 mandate of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) started on 12 February 2015, with the election of the new President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Markku Markkula, Espoo City Council, Finland. 

 President Markkula, who will act as the co-president of ARLEM representing the EU group, joins the co-president representing the Mediterranean group, Hani Abdelmasih Al Hayek, Mayor of Beit Sahour, Palestine, who was nominated in December 2014. Mr Markkula and Mr Abdelmasih Al-Hayek will act as co-presidents of ARLEM for the next two and a half years.

Voir aussi