PhotoCIMDespite the complex situation that Greece is experiencing and the latest geopolitical developments at Mediterranean level, several CPMR Med Regions gathered in Nafplio – Greece on 2nd and 3rd July for the General Assembly (GA) of the Intermediterranean Commission (IMC).

The debates focused on migration, citizenship, cultural and interreligious dialogue, entrepreneurship, social and solidarity economy and diaspora, but also employment training and mobility for youth, and the emerging Macro-Regional and Sea-Basin Strategies in the Mediterranean.

The President of the Intermediterranean Commission and of the Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Michel Vauzelle expressed his deep solidarity with the citizens of Tunisia and France, further to the recent alarming terrorist attacks, recalling the slogan and the spirit of the IMC campaign “We are all Mediterranean” dealing also with migration issues, which he asked to be widely supported. He also affirmed “We are absolutely associated with Greece within the framework of the EU” and sent a message of hope and solidarity to the people of Greece: “as Europeans and Mediterraneans, we share common challenges and a common destiny”. In these circumstances, “We are all Greeks”.

The Governor of Peloponnese, Petros Tatoulis said that the EU should be a community based on shared values, common beliefs and human societies. For the governor “there is the need to create a new Europe as a federation of peoples and not as a simple set of states. In this regard we must work to help Greece stand on its feet”. Mr Tatoulis also stressed that “The Intercultural debate and tolerance is at the core of the feeling of solidarity and common values” and that “migration issues shall be dealt with using a global approach and not conceived as a burden”.

The regions together with several key external stakeholders including the Presidents of Plan Bleu and iesMed SCEL, the Directors of the CMI and the Anna Lindh Foundation, and the Union for the Mediterranean enriched the debates of the meeting.

A Final Declaration was approved on the core themes debated during the GA with a strong emphasis on the need for pace, dialogue and development, and for more solidarity on both migration issues and the situation of Greece. The declaration focused also on the review of the Neighborhood Policy South, on the future of Cohesion Policy and on Maritime Affairs & Transport.

Furthermore, the CPMR IMC also signed a Memorandum of Understandings with the Center for Mediterranean Integration of the World Bank. The agreement will promote a multilevel governance and multi-stakeholder coordination in the Mediterranean basin, as well as a more effective dialogue in areas such as the exchange of experiences, the transfer of best practices, and the creation of a Mediterranean knowledge based community.

Finally, the meeting was also the occasion for endorsing the Final Policy Paper of MarInA-Med COM&CAP on a Maritime Integrated approach, approving the Action Plans of the 4 new Working Groups of the CPMR IMC and for the first pilot meeting of the Group on “Social and Economic Cohesion”.