UFM: Govts inactive but small steps forward, Schultz

Marseilles conference held by Lindh Foundation soon

08 June, 15:21

(ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, JUNE 8 - The governments of the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) are currently ''not doing anything, and for this reason there is the need for someone to do something. We are putting forth the good will and are making small steps forward, but the means at our disposal are limited''. These were the words of Martin Schultz, European Parliament President and at the head of the Union for the Mediterranean Assembly, in summing up the current situation of the UfM today in Brussels, in reference to efforts by European institutions and parliaments as well as the lack of political determination on the part of the governments of the 43 countries involved. ''The UfM will not be solely something written on paper, but small steps will be made and small projects will be promoted,'' Schultz said, underscoring the support for the work of the UfM secretariat by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank as well, which already have a representative in Barcelona. Schultz then proposed that a European Parliament member also be sent to the Pedralbes Palace, in order to liaise between national parliaments. The EU Parliament President than announced the organisation of a ''large conference'' of the Union for the Mediterranean in Marseilles. ''It will take place in the second half of 2012,'' Shultz said, ''or in the first half of 2013. The Anna Lindh Foundation is looking after the preparations. It will be a large forum for dialogue, since the most important thing is to increase reciprocal awareness between the two shores of the Mediterranean. There is a great deal of lack of awareness.'' (ANSAmed).

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