Med: migration, waste management ARLEM's priorities in 2014

Regions and cities together for development and jobs

24 February, 19:40

    (ANSAmed) - TANGIERS, FEBRUARY 24 - The twin action plans for 2014 will focus on migration control and stemming pollution from faulty trash disposal, the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) said at its plenary session Monday.

    Representatives of local communities from throughout the Mediterranean Basin met in the Moroccan city of Tangiers, where they approved the year's program for the Assembly that is the regional operative arm of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).

    ARLEM charged Lisbon Mayor Antonio Costa with issuing a report on how local authorities can contribute to efficient management of migration between the two shores.

    ''Everyone must commit to managing migratory movements, beginning with the mayors and regional representatives who are on the front lines of the immigration problem, since they are in direct contact with citizens'', said ARLEM co-President Valcarcel Siso, who also presides the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR) . ''ARLEM can make an important contribution and offer migration-control solutions that would benefit all Mediterranean region countries'', added Egypt's Giza Governor Ali Abdel Rahman, who is the ARLEM co-president for the southern shore. Fighting pollution in the Mediterranean means the correct treatment of waste in southern shore countries, the Assembly also found.

    ''We must work with the aid of northern shore countries for the good of the entire region: pollution is increasing in the Mediterranean, due to incorrect waste disposal'', Rahman pointed out. There must be a ''change of mentality'', said Beit Sahour (Palestine) Mayor Hani al-Hayek.

    ''ARLEM can support us in solving concrete problems: no one in the Arab regions knows about trash recycling. The West can help us improve the quality of life in our cities'', Hayek stated. The Assembly also called on the European Union to come up with two macro-regional strategies by the end of the year, one for the Western Mediterranean Basin and one for the Eastern Basin. The strategies could potentially be integrated into the already existing Adriatic-Ionian macro-region strategy.

    The strategies should create jobs, promote the role of women and support small and medium businesses, the Assembly said.

    Also on Monday, ARLEM called on southern shore countries to come up with sustainable urban transportation plans as soon as possible.

    Lack of such infrastructure is costing those countries 5% of GDP, and the situation risks becoming ''unsustainable'' unless changes are made, ARLEM said.

    The Assembly said useful measures could involve giving more power to city authorities since they are the most in tune with local needs, and importing best practices through cooperation with northern shore countries. (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean