400 Mediterranean elected officials and policymakers gathered on 3 & 4 April 2013 in Marseille for the 3rd Forum of Local and Regional Authorities of the Mediterranean, organised by the Mediterranean Commission of UCLG. In a troubled and fragile Mediterranean context that at the same time brings new hopes, they placed the challenges of democratic governance for the future of their territories at the heart of their debates. About one hundred representatives of the Mediterranean youth were invited to share their visions and expectations in relation to participatory democracy and local governance and contributed to the debates.
In their joint political declaration, adopted at the end of the Forum, local and regional authorities declared they are deeply concerned with ongoing conflicts in the Mediterranean region and stressed the urgency of the situation, as well as the magnitude of the needs.
They reaffirmed their commitments to build together with the States, civil society, and international institutions and donors, a Mediterranean area based on a renewed form of governance in which citizens are directly involved in the emergence of new political and administrative tiers closer to their aspirations.
Finally, they seized the occasion to formalise their commitments and to pursue their mobilisation by creating a Political Council within the Mediterranean Commission of UCLG. The Political Council is presided by Mohamed BOUDRA, President of the Regional Council of Taza-Al Hoceima-Tanouate (Morocco) and its three vice-presidents are: Nader GHAZAL, Mayor of Tripoli (Lebanon), Ghassan SHAKAA, Mayor of Nablus (Palestine) and Lutfu SAVA, Mayor of Antioch (Turkey).
The elected officials gathered in Marseille decided to meet again in Rabat at UCLG’s World Congress that will draw particular attention to the dynamics of change in the Mediterranean and to its implications in terms of governance, thus echoing the work carried out during the Forum. They will also hold there the second meeting of the Political Council of the Mediterranean Commission of UCLG.