4th Forum of Local and Regional Authorities of the Mediterranean in Tangiers: territorial diplomacy for concrete cooperation actions in the Mediterranean.

The 4th Forum of Local and Regional Authorities of the Mediterranean was held in Tangiers on Nov 30th. Political representatives from several Mediterranean countries joined the political round table in order to discuss the role of local and regional governments in the construction of Mediterranean diplomacy. The event was hosted by UCLG’s Mediterranean Commission.

The Mediterranean region currently finds itself in a complex geopolitical situation. In this context, territorial diplomacy plays a crucial role in building lasting peace and stability and dealing with the region’s most pressing challenges. The Forum saw local and regional political representatives discuss the importance of territorial diplomacy based on their cooperation experiences.

Participants to the Forum also noted that territorial diplomacy initiatives called for strong commitment and clear outcome-oriented targets. In this vein, the Forum’s discussion board took up the recommendations on territorial development and local youth inclusion in public life made in the Workshops of the Mediterranean Commission of UCLG held in Sousse (Tunisia) on 22-23 September 2016.

Jesús Jurado Seguí – Vice-President of the Mallorca Island Council and spokesperson on behalf of the Latin Arc network – took part in the political round table “What type of territorial diplomacy and for what specific purposes?”. In his speech, Mr. Seguí deemed it necessary for local administrations to articulate a common approach to the challenges set by the 2030 Agenda based on territorial diplomacy and cooperation actions. The Mallorcan representative highlighted the importance of outcome-oriented cooperation initiatives and shared the conclusions of the Mallorca Solidarity and Cooperation Fund cooperation experiences in the management of the migration crisis in the Greek Islands.

The role of local governments in the management of migration flows in the Mediterranean was one of the central issues in the Forum. Participants also discussed the proposals for the improvement of immigration reception services set in the framework of the City to City (MC2CM) EU project.

This Forum was also a good occasion to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mediterranean Commission of UCLG, which is main federation of regional and local networks in the Mediterranean. In recent years, the Commission has promoted decentralisation and local autonomy. It has become a platform for discussion in the creation of devices for territorial development. In this vein, the role of the Med Commission is essential to capitalize cooperation initiatives and structure territorial diplomacy actions.

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