The Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM
) was launched in Barcelona on 21 January 010.
ARLEM is a permanent, joint assembly, bringing together local and regional authorities from the three shores of the Mediterranean. At the inaugural session, mayors of major cities from the European Union and the Mediterranean partner countries underlined the need to go beyond existing traditional diplomatic relations by launching concrete cooperation programmes on issues such as de-pollution of the Mediterranean; maritime and land highways; civil protection; alternative energies ; higher education and research, Euro-Mediterranean university; the Mediterranean business development initiative.
Its structure is twofold, along the lines of what was done at the national parliamentary level with the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly. It is composed of 84 members:
The EU delegation is composed of members of the Committee of the Regions (30) and representatives of European and international associations engaged in Euro-Mediterranean cooperation (10), including the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).
From the partner countries, representatives of local and regional from the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean are appointed by the national governments.
The Assembly is chaired by two co-presidents: Luc Van den Brande, President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), and Mohamed Boudra, mayor of Al Hoceima (Morocco). The board is composed of the Wali (governor) of Algiers, Mohamed Kebir Addou ; Ivan Jakovcic, governor of the region of Istria (Croatia) ; Michel Delebarre, Mayor of Dunkerque (France) ; Michel Vauzelles, president of the French region of Provence -Alpes-Cote d'Azur ; the mayor of Uszaka (Hungary) and the Mayor of Greater Tafilah (Jordan).
At the inaugural session, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) was represented by its Vice President, Wolfgang Schuster.
The next meeting of ARLEM will be held in Morocco in January 2011.