Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly meetings in Agadir


Members of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) met for a plenary session in Agadir (Morocco) on 29 January where the local and regional leaders of the Mediterranean adopted three major reports on local management on water, urban development and the territorial dimension of the Union for the Mediterranean. These reports will be presented to the General Secretariat of the UfM. ARLEM also agreed to enlarge its policy areas to four other issues: energy, climate change, small and medium enterprises and cultural heritage and youth.


UCLG was represented during the meeting by the City of Barcelona. UCLG suggested that, in the final text, access to water and sanitation should be considered as a human right, referring to the UN Resolution on Water as a Human Right (adopted by the General Assembly of the UN on 28 July 2010).


UCLG, the Mediterranean Interregional Committee of UCLG, the Committee of the Regions and other Mediterranean active networks fostered the creation of ARLEM in January 2010 in order to facilitate the establishment of contacts, good practice sharing between cities and regions and the promotion of inter-municipal and inter-regional cooperation.


ARLEM is composed of 84 members from the European Union and its 16 Mediterranean partners: Members are representatives of regions and local bodies and hold a regional or local authority mandate. ARLEM is chaired by a co-presidency, equally representing the Mediterranean partners and the EU. The co-president of the Mediterranean partners, currently Mohamed Boudra, president of the region of Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate (Morocco), is confirmed by consensus of that group for a period of two and a half years. The co-president from the EU is the president of the CoR, currently Mercedes Bresso.


ARLEM is a response to the request to put the role of regional and local authorities in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership on an institutional footing. It therefore gives the partnership a territorial dimension and seeks to involve local and regional authorities more closely in the specific projects of the Union for the Mediterranean.


The Barcelona Declaration, adopted by the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in November 1995, stated: “Municipalities and regional authorities need to be closely involved in the operation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. City and regional representatives will be encouraged to meet each year to take stock of their common challenges and exchange experiences.”