PAM MPs have a role to play in the much needed process of integration and cooperation in the Mediterranean – PAM Secretary General at the MEDRO Final Conference in Brussels

PAM MPs have a role to play in the much needed process of integration and cooperation in the Mediterranean – PAM Secretary General at the MEDRO Final Conference in Brussels
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) was among the key guest organisations to address the final MEDPRO Meeting held in Brussels, on 26 February 2013. MEDPRO (Prospective Analysis for the Mediterranean Region), within the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) is an EU funded research network, whose aim is to produce a set of scenarios of political and socio-economic development in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

The aim of the meeting is to disseminate the final MEDPRO scenarios, final results, conclusions and policy recommendation to EU policy makers, the South Mediterranean Countries representations and civil society.

PAM was represented by Secretary General Amb. Sergio Piazzi, who took the floor at the opening ceremony of the Conference, together with senior officials of the European Commission and the Secretary General of the UfM.

Introducing the new scenario in the Southern Mediterranean, PAM Secretary General stressed that the last two years witnessed some of the greatest social and political transformations in recent history, including in the Middle East. The Arab Spring must be an opportunity for change. With regards to the Syrian crisis, PAM continues to work with national authorities, the UN and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance and in advocating the protection of innocent civilians, including Palestinian refugees.
PAM monitors all the initiatives in the region, aiming at supporting and stimulating the economic process at large. Dr. Piazzi underlined that Europe has been launching a number of projects to sustain growth and employment in the region, in terms of funds made available for investments in terms of training and education, and also in support of the process of the consolidation of democratic institutions. Unfortunately, he added, this process cannot count on an all inclusive Free Trade Area in the region, which was promised for 2010, but to date it remains a dream.

The complexity of the region is also due to the interests and policies of other players. For example, the United States are very active, and the Obama administration intends to further increase its ties with the Mediterranean. These initiatives are carried out both through bilateral relations with individual countries and in the framework of the Deauville Partnership, in cooperation with the G8 countries. This forum is frequently used by major EU southern countries to avoid German diverging priorities in EU institutions. It represents a good opportunity also for the Russian Federation and for China, and one must not forget that even the states of the Gulf and the EBRD, a privileged partner of PAM, are involved in the Mediterranean area with increasing interest.

“In this context, PAM MPs have a role to play in the much needed process of integration and cooperation, especially through the PAM Panel on Trade and Investments in the Mediterranean, a dedicated instrument to support regional economy” Dr Piazzi said when he introduced the upcoming high level intergovernmental conference of its Panel, organised in Geneva with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, on 30-31 May 2013. The event, “Harnessing trade for growth in the Mediterranean”, will tackle crucial aspects of the economic growth: the importance of trade, the need for more developed transport infrastructure, investments, productive capacity.

“PAM is fully aware that the current situation is extremely delicate and sensitive, and the Assembly is committed to contribute to the efforts of the international community. I sincerely believe that cooperation between our two institutions (CEPS/MEDPRO and PAM) is a key factor to achieve those concrete results needed to shape policies and practices”, Amb. Piazzi concluded. //

issued on: 26.02.2013
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