The EPP Group works with its Mediterranean partners to identify priorities in areas such as education, school-to-work transition, women empowerment, research and innovation and environmental protection. An EPP Group policy priority relates to tackling the root causes of migration. To this end, programmes such as Med4jobs can play an important role. This horizontal initiative helps to increase the employability of youth and women, close the gap between labour demand and supply and foster a culture of entrepreneurship. The programme currently assists over 100.000 young people.

An EPP Group Delegation composed of MEPs Andrey Kovatchev, EPP Group Vice-Chair responsible for Mediterranean Policy; Santiago Fisas, Vice-Chair of the FFAA Working Group; and Francis Zammit-Dimech, Member of the AP-UfM, visited the Headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Barcelona, sending a strong message of support to the countries of the Mediterranean region.

The EPP Group Delegation met with Secretary-General Nasser Kamel and other high-ranking representatives, and studied possible ways of strengthening relations. It additionally discussed and offered support regarding specific projects and initiatives in the European Parliament in order to foster stability, human development and regional integration in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

“Visits by EPP Group Members contribute to the consolidation of the UfM’s Euro-Mediterranean cooperation model as defined by the Paris Declaration of 2008. The European Parliament, in particular, can play a very important role in support of this comprehensive and integrated effort to promote dialogue and development in the Euro-Mediterranean region. We are very honoured to count on the EPP Group’s continuous engagement and support,” stated Nasser Kamel.

According to Andrey Kovatchev, EPP Group Vice-Chair responsible for Enlargement and Mediterranean Policy, “The work of the UfM is of paramount importance; therefore, in order to make it more visible and more tangible, we should work together to enhance the cooperation between the UfM and its Parliamentary Assembly.”

UfM representatives and the EPP Group Delegation discussed various projects and initiatives. The project Fostering Responsible Citizens, which was praised by the Delegation, aims to develop a new citizenship education curriculum in nine pilot schools in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt with 3.000 students. A follow up visit to the Euromed University of Fes in order to explore ways of European Parliament involvement was agreed for the coming months. It now educates more than 1.100 students in more than 30 accredited programmes.

The Delegation also had the opportunity to exchange views with UfM key stakeholders such as PRIMA, a foundation developing and investing in research and innovation in Southern Mediterranean countries, supported by 19 countries, and the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME).

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is the only Euro-Mediterranean intergovernmental organisation that brings together the 28 Member States of the EU and the 15 countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. The UfM provides a forum for strengthening regional cooperation, promoting dialogue and implementing projects that have a tangible impact, especially on our young people. The EPP Group strives to meet three strategic objectives: stability, human development and integration.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States

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