Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector
International portal

News EU and Mediterranean local representatives debate sustainable urban mobility and water management in Bethlehem

embers of the Commission for Sustainable Development (SUDEV) of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) met for the first time in Bethlehem on 15 June to debate sustainable urban mobility and the local and regional dimension of water management in the Mediterranean. The event gave the opportunity to mayors and regional representatives from the EU and the Mediterranean partner countries, including about 40 Palestinian representatives, to discuss issues of common interest. 

Opening the meeting, Hani Abdalmasih Al-Hayek, co-president of SUDEV, and Mayor of Beit Sahour (Palestine), stressed: "Today, representatives of local and regional authorities from partner countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) have come together to discuss issues that concern all citizens. Building cooperation from the local level upwards is the very essence of ARLEM and enables us to bring a territorial dimension to the Union for the Mediterranean." 

Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, President of the Committee of the Regions and ARLEM co-president, addressed the issue of local water management in the Mediterranean. The President referred to the report on local water management in the Mediterranean adopted by ARLEM in 2011 that settles a common position of local and regional authorities on the issue: "One of the main objectives of our report is to stress the need for a decentralised approach in the Strategy for Water in the Mediterranean… We believe that related actions should involve all sectorial policies, all affected stakeholders and all different levels of decision, and we are pleased to see that the UfM is following our recommendations." 

Participants also heard a presentation of the UfM labelled project on "Governance and Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector" by Dr Rafiq Husseini, Deputy Secretary-General responsible for water and environment at the UfM Secretariat, an initiative supported by ARLEM. 

Economic, social and environmental challenges associated with urban transport mobility were also discussed. Hani Abdalmasih Al-Hayek presented a strategy paper drafted by SUDEV rapporteur Karim Bennour (Algiers) in view of a draft report to be submitted at the next ARLEM plenary. The aim is to identify the fundamental characteristics and challenges of mobility in Mediterranean countries. The UfM plans to hold a ministerial meeting on transport later this year.
The Commission for Sustainable Development (SUDEV) is one of two commissions of ARLEM, which aims at giving a territorial dimension to the Union for the Mediterranean. It works specifically on the following issues: sustainable development, water management, waste management, energy, solar energy, transport, agriculture, tourism, etc.

 ARLEM was launched in 2010 to bring a territorial dimension to the UfM by involving local and regional authorities more closely in UfM projects. It is composed of 84 local and regional representatives from the EU and its Mediterranean partners and is chaired by a co-presidency, representing Mediterranean partners and the EU. 

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information ENPI Info Centre
Geographical coverage n/a
News date 03/07/2013
Working language(s) ENGLISH , FRENCH