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PLATFORMA discussed the root causes of migration at ARLEM Plenary session

1 March 2017

The key role local and regional governments play in addressing the root causes of migration and in ensuring good conditions in the reception of migrants was recognised by a wide representation of local and regional governments from the Southern and Northern rive of the Mediterranean on 22-23 February in Malta, in the frame of the 8th Plenary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM).

ARLEM’s co-presidents Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and member of Finland’s Espoo City Council, and Hani Abdelmasih Al Hayek representing the CoR Mediterranean group and Mayor of Beit Sahour, Palestine, opened the 8th Plenary session, followed by a thematic conference addressing the root causes of migration.

In line with PLATFORMA’s last position regarding the EU’s New Migration Partnership Framework with third countries, ARLEM members stressed the important role local and regional governments play in fostering local economic development, thus preventing major political and social crisis. For this, technical assistance targeting subnational authorities is essential!

City-to-city cooperation and decentralized cooperation, as well as cross-border cooperation, are considered proven successful tools to support local and reginal governments in the Mediterranean area. This is illustrated by the positive results of the ongoing Nicosia Initiative, which is developing concrete projects in support to Libyan municipalities in relevant technical areas.

Also worth mentioning, in line with PLATFORMA previous positions, is the need to support decentralization processes in the region in order to effectively empower local and regional governments to become full actors of the territorial development.

PLATFORMA will continue defending a holistic and integrated approach to the root causes of migration, arguing for the inclusion of the democratic and social dimension and of the recognition of the local and regional government’s role in strengthening local democracy and fostering inclusive and participatory citizenship.