Η ARLEM (Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly- Ευρωμεσογειακή Περιφερειακή και Τοπική Συνέλευση) συνιστά κοινό σχέδιο της Επιτροπής των Περιφερειών, των τοπικών και περιφερειακών αρχών των χωρών στις τρεις όχθες της Μεσογείου, καθώς και των διεθνών και ευρωπαϊκών οργανισμών που δραστηριοποιούνται σε σχέδια που αφορούν τη Μεσόγειο και έχει σκοπό να διευκολύνει τις επαφές και την ανταλλαγή ορθών πρακτικών και να συμβάλλει στην προώθηση της συνεργασίας μεταξύ τοπικών και περιφερειακών αρχών.
Intervention by Mrs. Eleni Loucaides at the Third plenary session of ARLEM– Bari 30 January 2012
“Thank you Mr. Co-president, I couldn’t agree more with the report presented today on ‘The preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage in the Mediterranean’.
I wish though that the Turkish Government shared and put into practice all that has been mentioned, because one of the causes of the destruction of cultural heritage is conflict.
Unfortunately this is the case in my country the republic of Cyprus, of which the cultural heritage of the occupied northern part has been and is being systematically destroyed in an attempt to erase what has been for thousands of years culture and tradition, for political reasons. All this destruction has been recorded and shown around the world.
I think it is high time to demand that European values such as human rights, the rule of law, democracy and the respect and preservation of cultural heritage are respected and enhanced by our partners in practice and not just in words.
Now regarding the report as such, there is an obvious imbalance of reference between conflicts and wars and other factors as causes for the destruction of cultural heritage.
Therefore I would like to suggest a sufficient inclusion of this dimension and a consequent mention for the protection of cultural heritage in areas of conflict without which this report would be incomplete.
In fact ARLEM has been created in order to promote cooperation, understanding and peace and this should be mentioned in the report as well in order to stress our strong commitment to our “raison d’etre” our reason for existing at all. Thank you.”
* ARLEM, a joint project of the Committee of the Regions, regional and local authorities around the three shores of the Mediterranean, and European and international associations representing regional and local authorities working on the ground was launched in January 2010 and facilitates the establishment of contacts, good practice sharing between cities and regions and the promotion of inter-municipal and inter-regional cooperation.
ARLEM is composed of 84 members from the European Union and its 16 Mediterranean partners: Members are representatives of regions and local bodies and hold a regional or local authority mandate. ARLEM is chaired by a co-presidency, equally representing the Mediterranean partners and the EU. The current co-president of the Mediterranean, Mohamed Boudra, president of the region of Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate (Morocco), is ending his mandate. The co-president from the EU is the president of the CoR, currently Mercedes Bresso.