CoR: Mediterranean citizens need special attention from EU

July 1, 2021
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The European Union should make improving the health of the Mediterranean Sea one of the priorities of its cooperation with countries in its southern neighbourhood, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has said in recommendations that also praise the EU for making support for youth entrepreneurship central to its new strategy for the region.

Vincenzo Bianco (IT/PES), member of Catania Municipal Council and the rapporteur on the ‘Renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood: A new Agenda for the Mediterranean‘, said: “On many important issues, from the environment to security, from youth policies to the protection of rights, from migration to mobility, the EU-Mediterranean relationship is central to the economic, social, humanitarian and security balance of our countries. The renewed attention paid by the Union to its southern neighbourhood is a positive factor, but it is not enough. We ask the EU to be more determined and courageous in guaranteeing a greater role for local and regional authorities, so as to allow the creation of a real form of multi-level governance. Our future, which is largely and on many issues truly a common future, depends on these decisions.”

The Committee’s recommendations describe local and regional authorities in the southern neighbourhood as “key” to sustainable development, as potential partners in programming and part of the “ecosystem for Mediterranean SMEs”, as well as being providers of education and basic services to a young population. 

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Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Palestine *
  • Syria *
  • Tunisia