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Interparliamentary co-operation in the Mediterranean and Black Sea basins

Resolution 1242 (2001)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 26 January 2001 (8th Sitting) (see Doc. 8921Doc. 8921, report of the Committee on the Environment, Regional Planning and Local Authorities, rapporteur: Mr Toshev). Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 January 2001 (8th Sitting).
1 The Mediterranean and Black Sea basins form a single ecosystem and the countries on their shores share many of the same problems, such as sea and coastal pollution, the management, in terms of quality and quantity, of water resources or the growth of tourism and spatial development, justifying an overall approach to the two basins.
2 With regard to the Mediterranean, the Assembly welcomes the European Union’s commitment to inject new life into the Barcelona Process so that this ambitious intergovernmental co-operation programme may achieve the objectives laid down, in particular the setting up of a free-trade area by 2010.
3 As for the Black Sea, the Assembly would like co-operation in the basin, in particular under the BSEC (Black Sea Economic Co-operation), to increase and produce satisfactory results.
4 Peace, democratic stability and sustainable development in these regions are priority objectives. They entail economic and social development, regional integration and local and regional democracy. The Council of Europe has a duty to make its own unique contribution in these areas.
5 The Assembly has noted with satisfaction the high quality of the work of the 6th Interparliamentary Conference of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Basins, held in Varna from 19 to 21 October 2000 at the invitation of the Bulgarian National Assembly. It was attended by representatives of committees which, in the national parliaments of the countries on the shores of both basins, deal with problems in the field of sustainable development.
6 The participants, particularly the representatives of the countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, were very receptive to the prospect of closer relations between the Assembly and national parliaments at committee level with the aim of establishing pragmatic co-operation, which could produce practical results.
7 The Assembly is particularly pleased that the Moroccan Parliament has invited it to hold the 7th Interparliamentary Conference of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Basins in Rabat, and welcomes this opportunity to strengthen its relations with the Kingdom of Morocco.
8 In this connection, it expresses its satisfaction at the fruitful co-operation between the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe and Morocco in the field of local and regional self-government.
9 Accordingly, the Parliamentary Assembly:
9.1 endorses the Final Declaration unanimously approved by the 6th Interparliamentary Conference of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Basins;
9.2 calls on the chairs of national delegations to the Assembly to arrange in their own parliaments meetings with the committees dealing with the same topics as the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Environment and Agriculture;
9.3 hopes that the proposals in the Varna Declaration for closer co-operation with national parliaments will be implemented as a matter of priority with the parliaments of the countries on the shores of both basins and in fields of relevance to sustainable development;
9.4 in this context, calls on the chairs of the relevant committees in national parliaments to organise regular discussions on projects of common interest in the fields of the environment, spatial development, democratic stability and decentralised co-operation;
9.5 is of the opinion that high priority should be given to developing the network of transport routes and in this connection it expresses its regret at the delays in the building of pan-European corridor No. 8 linking the Adriatic to the Black Sea, particularly on the territory of Albania and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”;
9.6 furthermore, believes that it is important for priority to be given to legislative and regulatory reforms, which the parliaments of the countries concerned should initiate so as to ratify and implement the conventions, which could contribute to sustainable development in the region;
9.7 resolves to study the possibilities of closer co-operation with the Interparliamentary Union’s Conference for Security and Co-operation in the Mediterranean (CSCM) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation (Pabsec) so as to make a greater contribution to peace, democratic stability and development in both basins;
9.8 hopes that co-operation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe will continue, with the aim of setting up national structures and legislation which, ultimately, could lead to genuine interregional co-operation based on the application of the principle of subsidiarity.