The Union for the Mediterranean launches a project to train logistic sector workers in Northern Africa
The €6.6 million project will last for 6 years and will start in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. It aims to strengthen the training of logistics sector workers in 10 countries in the Southern Mediterranean area. During the project’s presentation in Barcelona, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbouring Policy, Stefan Füle, asked for a greater financial commitment from the 43 countries that are members of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). He lamented that “it is not healthy” that the European Commission continues to be the main funding source for the UfM. Three years after unveiling its permanent Secretariat in the Catalan capital, the UfM is starting its first projects.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Union for the Mediterranean \u2013 whose headquarters are based in Barcelona \u2013 launched the Logismed project , on Monday, which aims to strengthen the training of logistics sector workers in 10 countries in the Southern Mediterranean area. The project will be developed over 6 years (2013-2018) and will start in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. The initiative has a budget of \u20AC6.6 million; \u20AC3 million of which have been brought in by the European Commission, \u20AC3.4 million by the G8\u2019s Deauville Partnership to support democratic transitions in Arabic countries and the remaining \u20AC200,000 have come from the three starting countries. During the presentation of the project in Barcelona, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbouring Policy, Stefan Füle, asked for a greater financial commitment from the 43 countries that are members of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). The UfM Member States are the 27 members of the European Union and 15 countries from the Mediterranean region, Northern Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean areas.
Three years after unveiling its permanent Secretariat in the Catalan capital, the Union for the Mediterranean is starting to implement its first projects. A month and a half ago, the UfM launched a project fostering entrepreneurship among women in Northern Africa and three weeks ago it did the same with an initiative improving transparency in water management in seven countries. Today the Barcelona-based international organisation launched its third project, Logismed. The initiative aims to create a more competitive and efficient network of logistic platforms throughout the Euro-Mediterranean region. These platforms should also operate with common criteria for quality. In fact, the lack of training among many staff members working on Southern Mediterranean logistic platforms is one of the main obstacles to international trade in the area.
Among the manifold actions, the project will set up a training unit within each of the existing logistic platforms, which have between 200 and 400 workers. The initiative will create a team made up of some 15 members in each platform that will be in charge of training the rest of the staff. In addition, associations grouping logistic platforms together will be created, as well as an education programme for public administration offices. It is expected that the project will increase the staff skills and will therefore contribute towards the creation of a free trade zone.
The UfM\u2019s Secretary General, Fatallah Sijilmassi, and the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbouring Policy, Stefan Füle, chaired the presentation of the project, which was organised on Monday in Barcelona\u2019s Pedralbes Palace. This building is hosting the Permanent Secretariat of the UfM. The event was also attended by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport for Morocco, Aziz Rabbah; the Transport Minister of Tunisia, Abdelkarim Harouni; the Transport Minister of Egypt, Walid Abdel Ghafar; the Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Philippe de Fontaine Vive; and, the Executive Secretary of the Deauville Transition Partnership Fund, Jonathan Walters.
Mediterranean countries should \u201Cwork together\u201D since they form a market of 800 million people
The UfM Secretary General emphasised that \u201Cit is not viable\u201D that Mediterranean countries \u201Cdo not work together\u201D in economic and logistic areas, since they form a market of 800 million people. In addition, Sijilmassi underlined that Barcelona, with its very strong logistic sector, is a model for other Southern Mediterranean countries to follow.
Besides, Stefan Füle emphasises the support of the European Commission to the Union for the Mediterranean and this organisation has \u201Ca strong\u201D Secretariat. In this vein, the European Commissioner asked the 43 UfM Member States \u2013 which included the EU-27 \u2013 for a greater engagement and financial contribution to the project. Füle lamented that \u201Cit is not healthy\u201D that the European Commission continues to be the main funding source for the Union for the Mediterranean.