Euromed: EU ready to help decentralization in Maghreb

Diplomatic service chief, Morocco has already applied for aid

23 January, 14:18

(ANSAmed) - Brussels, January 23 - The European Union is ready to help Maghreb countries implement decentralization policies, a key issue in reducing domestic socio-economic differences, said Hungues Mingarelli, the head of the EU diplomatic service for the southern Mediterranean at the European Parliament.

'Decentralization can be catastrophic that is why we need to help' countries in the Maghreb region working on institutional reforms following the Arab spring, he said. 'In some EU countries like Italy, decentralization policies have gone far and this experience needs to be shared', noted Mingarelli. 'Morocco is decentralizing and has asked for our help and we have intervened and hope our assistance will give results,' said the chief of the EU diplomatic service. In practice, he explained, assistance includes policies like 'twinning agreements between local governments' on the two shores of the Mediterranean.

The most significant challenge where Maghreb is concerned is'the social economic with an increasing number of unemployed youths and growing frustration', Mingarelli said. 'If we don't assist the region's countries in re-launching an equal, sustainable growth this frustration will lead to a return to the past'. Bilateral cooperation programs should help develop agriculture, the private sector as well as local governments. In Maghreb 'there is great disparity among different regions while democracy needs social cohesion', he said. (ANSAmed).

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