Fabian Demicoli

A macro-regional strategy in the Mediterranean


GRTU Director General and EESC Employers
Representative Vincent Farrugia has this week attended the Section for Economic
and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion. A major opinion was
discussed in this week's meeting on a macro-regional strategy in the
Mediterranean.

The paper for which Mr Dimitriadis is rapporteur explains that
despite the very fragile and still indeterminate situation prevailing in the
Mediterranean, the conditions are in place for multilevel dialogue to begin
between the Commission, the Member States, the countries involved in
Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, local and regional authorities and civil
society to establish a Mediterranean macro-regional strategy that will meet the
needs of the region by strengthening its international competitiveness.

The EESC believes that funding sources in the form of
the considerable resources that have already been committed by the EU for
measures and programmes through the structural funds and the financing
instruments of the EIB represent adequate means that must be used transparently
as well as flexibly. It also advocates the setting up of a Euro-Mediterranean
investment bank through the EIB, as well as an open policy on funding from
various financial.

The report particularly makes mention that Cyprus and
Malta will play a particularly important role in any new strategy framed by the
EU, as will all the islands of the Mediterranean, which face a very difficult
situation owing to their poor connections and communications with the
continental EU countries. The EESC believes it is necessary to generally
improve maritime and air links between the countries of the Mediterranean and,
more broadly, with the rest of the EU.

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