Over 40 parliamentary presidents signed the declaration to relaunch Union for the Mediterranean

Presidents of Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) parliaments approved a declaration which calls for more democratic legitimacy and participation by UfM citizens. They highlighted that projects common to both sides of the Mediterranean in the fields of infrastructure, education and training and female entrepreneurship need renewed financial support and strong parliaments.

Over 40 presidents of Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) parliaments met in Marseille in order to relaunch Union for the Mediterranean. They called for efforts to combat all forms of exclusion, sexism, racism, xenophobia and radicalism and to eradicate terrorism. The presidents underlined the scale of the challenges of democratic transformation in the southern countries and combating the economic crisis in the northern ones. In December 2012, €29 million for supporting media, culture and private sector development in the Southern Mediterranean were allocated by the EU.

Moreover, the declaration text underlines that co-development instruments are also needed to eradicate terrorism and its connections with cross-frontier organised crime. Presidents also voiced concern about the risks of insecurity and instability in the Sahel-Sahara region. They reiterated that human dignity, respect for fundamental rights and gender equality must guide regional cooperation, in the interests of bringing peoples together.

Parliament presidents also agreed that mobility partnerships envisaged to ease the free movement of people must be put in place quickly, and called for a common area of professional training, higher education, science and research.