Plenary Session of the Congress
3 to 5 March 2009 - Strasbourg, France
Ways to better co-ordinate the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue at territorial level
were discussed at the Congress Plenary Session on Tuesday afternoon.
The President of the Committeee of the Regions of the European Union, Luc
Van den Brande, presented a new political instrument, the Euro-Mediterranean
Regional and Local Assembly (EMRLA) which should raise awareness among
regional authorities of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and involve them
The role of the Congress within this structure for the implementation of
decentralised cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean region will be
significant, stressed Van den Brande. Congress speakers underlined the
importance of this dialogue to achieve concrete results in the fight against
poverty and social exclusion as well as the management of immigration
problems. Congress President a.i. Ian Micallef pointed out that the
Mediterranean basin was crucial for stability and peace in Europe as a
whole. “The Congress has enough contacts, experience and motivation to plant
grassroots democracy in this area”, Micallef concluded.
Van den Brande, President of the EU Committee of the Regions
Mugliett (Malta), Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM)
Khaled Osaily: The towns and cities of Europe can help us restore peace in Palestine
Speaking at the Congress debate on the role of local and regional authorities
in the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue, the mayor of Hebron, the main city in
Palestine, called on the towns and cities of Europe to take action so that his
city and citizens can at last lead “a normal life as in the rest of the world”.
Ian Micallef: ''Congress know-how will sustain Euro-Mediterranean dialogue''
by major policy moves like the “Union for the Mediterranean” project
launched in 2008 by France, co-operation between the two shores of this sea
also operates via local elected representatives. Long active in this field,
the Congress means to have a still stronger presence there, explains Ian
Micallef, President of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress.