Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean : Introduction

DMED: Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean 

The European Parliament's Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (DMED) is the group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who participate in the parliamentary arm of the Union for the Mediterranean, an intergovernmental assembly established to promote peace and stability around the Mediterranean.

The Union for the Mediterranean and its parliamentary arm

The Union for the Mediterranean was created in July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean. The Union represented an expansion of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, which had been instituted more than a decade previously.

The final declaration of the 2008 Paris Summit also spelled out the creation of the Union's Parliamentary Assembly, a forum for parliamentarians to convene. This Assembly also represented an expansion of an existing structure: the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly.

The delegation's composition


The European Parliament's delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean counts 49 full members, backed up by a substantial corps of substitute members.

The Delegation's president is Antonio Tajani, an Italian member of the Group of the European People's Party. Mr Tajani is also currently President of the European Parliament.

The president and the members of the delegation normally remain in place until the end of the European Parliament's term. The Parliament's current, eighth term will conclude with the European elections in mid- 2019.

Meetings


All members of the delegation may participate in the annual plenary session of the Union for the Mediterranean's Parliamentary Assembly. These take place in different cities in the countries composing the Assembly. Several recent plenary sessions have been held in Brussels - in 2006, 2009 and 2013. Plenary meetings have also convened in Rome (May 2017), Tangiers (2016), Lisbon (2015) and Jordan (2014).

Additionally, some members of the European Parliament's delegation may travel to join the Assembly's committee and working group meetings. As with the plenary sessions, these gatherings are frequently held in Brussels, complemented by sittings in other cities.

Aside from these meetings with other members of the Assembly, the Parliament's delegation meets on its own, approximately every two months, in Strasburg. These meetings serve to
  • contribute to the Assembly's activities,
  • prepare the Assembly's committee and plenary meetings,
  • host debates on the latest developments in the region with stakeholders and partner institutions, such as the European Investment Bank, the European Commission, the European External Action service or the Union for the Mediterranean.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM) 

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean institution provides a forum for the elected representatives of the EU and its southern neighbours around the Mediterranean to cooperate.

The Assembly describes three principal aims for its work:

  • Fostering dialogue amongst elected representatives from both shores of the Mediterranean
  • Enhancing the visibility and transparency of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and bringing its work closer to the interests and expectations of the citizens
  • Adding democratic legitimacy and political support to regional cooperation.

Distribution of members

As a north- south forum, the Assembly brings together 44 parliaments -- the 43 parliaments of the countries in the Union for the Mediterranean, and the European Parliament.

The Assembly consists of 280 members:

  • 140 Members come from the northern shore of the Mediterranean, made up of
  • 49 members from the European Parliament (the delegation described above),
  • 83 members from the EU's 28 national parliaments (three members per country, except for the UK, which has only two members) and
  • 8 members from the four European Mediterranean partner countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Monaco and Montenegro, with two members each).
  • 140 members represent the southern shore:
    - 130 members from the ten founding Mediterranean partners (13 members per parliament) and
    - 10 members from the Mauritanian parliament.

Bureau and president

The Assembly is directed by a "bureau", made up of four members, who coordinate the work of the Assembly and draft its budget. The bureau remains in place for four years before new members are appointed.

Two bureau members are named by the parliaments of the southern Mediterranean countries, one by the European Parliament, and one by the EU national parliaments.

The president of the Assembly is one of the members of the bureau. He or she serves for one year, then the position is transferred to another Bureau member.

The other three members of the bureau are considered the Assembly's vice-presidents.

Committees

The Assembly has five standing committees

  • Political committee,
  • Economic committee,
  • Environment and Energy Committee,
  • Culture Committee,
  • Women's Committee.

Through these, the Assembly contributes to the Union for Mediterranean's activities.

This contribution is reinforced through non-binding recommendations and declarations the Assembly adopts during its annual plenary session.

Secretariat

The Parliamentary Assembly's activities are coordinated by a small secretariat, established in 2013 when the European Parliament was acting as President of the Assembly.

The secretariat operates out of Brussels and from the parliaments that currently compose the bureau.