(ANSAmed) - BARI, JANUARY 30 - "I think that there is a need for a real and strong answer to the Arab Spring through a greater political relationship between the two sides of the Mediterranean". This is according to the co-president of ARLEM, Mercedes Bresso, who has been speaking at a joint press conference in Bari today with her fellow co-president, Mohamed Boudra, and the president of the Puglia regional council, Nichi Vendola. The meeting of the group of 16 partners of the Mediterranean and the 84 partners of EU member states, featured the issues of renewable energy, cultural heritage and the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in the development of economies. "The regional dimension is essential if we want to give concrete answers and not stop at talking," Bresso said. "ARLEM represents the political voice demanding a strong process of regionalisation and decentralization of the Mediterranean, which supports the ongoing processes of democratisation. The atlas and the decentralised cooperation funds mean that we manage to operate independently of external financing, even though at the next round of European talks we believe that these should be in place. ARLEM also aims to intensify the use of resources in the neighbouring area to implement large-scale projects and our report includes a proposal that would see Euro-Mediterranean projects for bonds to potentially be issued through various banks to finance projects," Bresso continued. "We are also concentrating on training and are today signing two agreements: one with the Euro-Mediterranean university for the training of new executives for the Arab Spring, which is essential, and the other with the European Agency to train and instruct executives on local development policies," she added. (ANSAmed).