28-30 September 2011
39th CPMR General Assembly, Aarhus (DK)
13 - 15 September 2011
Conference on Adapting to Coastal Change: local perspectives, The Hague (NDL)
15 September 2011
Dynamisation of the local economies in the Mediterranean area, CoR, Brussels (BE)
15 September 2011
The CAP In The Context Of 2013: the Challenges Of Transition, IFRI, Brussels (BE)
12 - 15 September 2011
European Parliament Plenary Session, Strasbourg (FR)
5 October 2011
Energy from waste with fuel cells, Brussels (BE)
10 - 12 October 2011
CoR Plenary Session, Brussels, (BE)
10 - 12 October 2011
OPEN DAYS, Brussels, (BE)
12 October 2011
P.O.W.E.R.E.D: "Energy in European cohesion policy", DG REGIO, Brussels (BE)
13 - 14 October 2011
National Conference on Sustainable Development, Toulouse (FR)
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The European Newsletter of Regions is the CPMR Newsletter
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Pittella: Euro Mediterranean Policy cannot be based only on catch phrases
Vice-President of the European Parliament and MEP since 1999, Gianni Pittella (IT- S&D) during his three terms, has seen Europe change through enlargement, the introduction of the Euro and institutional reform. Today he is a Member of the “Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection”, of the “Delegation for Relations with Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo” and is also part of the “Delegation of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly”. Within the framework of the latter, Mr Pittella’s mission is to “bridge the gap” between the Southern and Northern shores of the Mediterranean.
Enrico Mayrhofer: Vice-President Pittella, which actions do the EU or the European Parliament need to undertake in order to further support Euro-Mediterranean Policy?
Gianni Pittella: The EP is one of the institutions that strongly believes in the need to bridge the gaps in the Mediterranean Region and this year’s events have vindicated our position. I am referring to the struggle for freedom we witnessed on the Southern shores of the Mediterranean that have led to regime changes that were unimaginable even just one year ago.
Parliament aside, I think the whole EU can play a relevant role in this process, also because Europe has always - historically, politically, economically and institutionally – strived for stabilisation and democracy.
This is exactly what happened in 1989 when, after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, all the former Socialist Republics underwent profound changes. At the time Brussels played an active political role introducing the concept of “great enlargement”.
That same template cannot, of course, be adapted to the Southern Mediterranean countries. We need to offer them a true “enhanced cooperation” with all 27 countries of the European Union, based on clear rules, a clear timeframe, and programmes and actions that are binding for both parties. It certainly will not be easy, because we have already witnessed how inefficient the Barcelona process and the Union for the Mediterranean are. Furthermore, the Foreign Policy of the EU is not in particularly good shape despite the Lisbon Treaty now providing for a High Representative. Maybe it is up to the European Parliament to exert pressure on the Commission and the Council in order to make sure the EU’s actions in the Mediterranean Region are as incisive and timely as necessary.
EM: What are our duties vis-à-vis the “Southern shore”?
GP: Europe has the honour and the burden of coming up with a proposal that can guarantee development and progress for these peoples. We must present ourselves as a “Global Partner”, which accompanies the Mediterranean towards prosperity, modernity, growth and democracy. The main focus must be on modern sectors with a high added value such as broadband, immaterial infrastructure, high-speed connections, and second-generation networks. These countries that have lagged behind for so long can seize this opportunity and truly turn the tide becoming modern and innovative economies and a hub for the whole of the Mediterranean Basin.
EM: You have mentioned quite often the concept of a Mediterranean Trademark. What exactly do you mean?
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See you in Aarhus !
The 39th General Assembly of the CPMR will be held in Aarhus on 29 and 30 September 2011 at the invitation of the Danish Regions of Midtjylland, Bornholms Regionskommune, Nordjylland and Syddanmark.
The issues of the global and European economic and financial context for the EU 2014-2020 will be at the heart of the discussions after the very positive signal from President Barroso, in the month of June, to maintain the European budget at its current level until 2020.
Even in a period of crisis, Europe continues to play the solidarity card by refusing re-nationalisation of the policies and withdrawing into self-interest, as a weaker budget would signify a weakening of Europe, compromise its sustainable return on the road to prosperity and reduce its influence in the global arena even more.
Read the complete article on the General Assembly of the CPMR
Success for the Balkan & Black Sea Commission in Varna
The Bulgarian port city and seaside resort of Varna brought luck to the Balkan & Black Sea Commission. This CPMR Geographical Commission held its General Assembly on 8 July, which was attended for the first time by the CPMR President, in this instance Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Two concrete results were achieved, and the future of interregional cooperation in this part of Europe is now opening up to new prospects.
Pavlos Damianidis, Vice-Governor of the Greek Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace was elected President of the Commission for two years. Mr Damianidis, who is also very active within the CPMR’s Inter-Mediterranean Commission, proposes a multi-annual action plan that will enable the Regions to be present in all key areas in the upcoming period. He wishes in particular to strengthen the place of the Black Sea in the macroregional approaches under study or already in progress such as the Danube Strategy or the Eastern Partnership. In this context, a specific place needs to be given to the Black Sea on account of its geographic features (a common sea to be enhanced within a sustainable framework) and political characteristics: the status of countries in this area varies between EU members, accession countries and neighbouring states.
The Committee of the Regions has shown no delay in acknowledging the rising force of the Balkan & Black Sea Commission. It has already invited the newly elected President Damianidis to Poznan on 8 September to present his priorities at the inaugural session of CORLEAP, the interregional body of the Eastern Partnership.
Things are moving in the South Eastern corner of CPMR! We’ll be keeping a close eye on developments…
Read the article on the CPMR website