A flashback to the setting up of AFCCRE’s “Euromed” Commission in Barcelona
The installation meeting of AFCCRE’s “Euromed” Commission took place on 23 and 24 November in Barcelona, under the chairmanship of François COMMEINHES, Mayor of Sète, President of Sète agglopôle méditerranée, Vice-President of AFCCRE.
The meeting was hosted at the headquarters of the world organisation United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) by Emilia SAIZ, Secretary General, who welcomed AFCCRE’s initiative and stressed the need to strengthen dialogue with local partners from around the Mediterranean in a particularly complex geopolitical and diplomatic context, as demonstrated by recent debates within UCLG.
The conference was attended by representatives of local authorities and partners involved in Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and networks, including Agnès RAMPAL, Deputy Mayor of Nice with responsibility for Euro-Mediterranean affairs and Vice-President of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Authority with responsibility for Euro-Mediterranean affairs, Bruno GENZANA, Regional Councillor of the Sud Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Region, Karim HAMMOUMRAOUI, Director of International and European Relations, City of Marseille, Andreas KORB, Head of the European and International Action Department of the Centre National de la Fonction Publique Territoriale (CNFPT).
François COMMEINHES recalled the challenges and crises affecting the Euro-Mediterranean area and the desire to provide a forum for exchange and dialogue between local and regional authorities on the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean, with the aim of strengthening the sharing of common solutions and building our mutual capacities in the face of common challenges, in conjunction with the many existing networks.
Cyril DEWALEYNE, Policy Coordinator – Southern Neighbourhood at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG Near), presented the main thrusts of European policy towards the countries of the Mediterranean. Alejandro LAFARGA MARTINEZ, Programme Officer for the Western Med branch of the Next MED programme and Curzio CERVELLI, Head of Department, Managing Authority Directorate, Interreg MED Service, Région Sud Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur presented the prospects for support for territorial projects under the European Interreg Euromed and Next med programmes for 2021-2027.
The participants were able to outline the activities that could be carried out as part of the work of this new committee, which aims to bring together national and European networks of local and regional authorities, within the framework of CEMR, but also of UCLG: exchanges of good practice on local policies linked to the shared challenges of climate, energy and social cohesion in the Euromed area, training, mobility of staff and elected representatives, capacity building on European measures, dialogue with associations of local and regional authorities in the southern Mediterranean.
The next working meeting should be held in the first half of 2024.
This meeting took place against a backdrop of numerous initiatives on Euro-Mediterranean issues, such as the discussions on a European macro-regional strategy, and the 8th Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
At the end of the meeting, Jean-Paul GUIHAUME, Delegate for the External Action of Local Authorities, emphasised the importance of this initiative and the important work to be done to support, popularise and educate local authorities on Euro-Mediterranean issues, as well as on existing European support mechanisms and those of the Ministry.
The AFCCRE secretariat took the opportunity to prepare a note on European policy and European cooperation programmes for the Euromed zone.