Martin Schulz calls on the Union for the Mediterranean to support democratic process in Arab Spring countries 

EP president Martin Schulz at the 8th plenary session of the Union for the Mediterranean parliamentary assembly in Rabat  

Strengthening the democratic parliaments created in the wake of the Arab Spring should be a priority for the parliamentary assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), said EP President Martin Schulz . He made the statement in Rabat, Morocco, on Sunday, during a UfM meeting bringing together for the first time MEPs and the newly elected parliamentarians from countries that underwent major political change as a result of the Arab Spring.

At the end of the meeting, Mr Schulz took over the rotating presidency of the assembly, which he will preside over for a year. During the hand-over he said: "As its first priority I think that our assembly should get involved with supporting the new parliaments and the newly elected parliamentarians."  

Meeting for the 8th time, the delegation of 24 MEPs and their counterparts from 16 countries around the Mediterranean discussed the Middle East peace process and what economic and political support newly created democracies would need following the Arab Spring.

Delegates also discussed how to resolve the situation in Syria by diplomatic means and the possibility of creating a Euro-Mediterranean investment bank.

The plenary session voted on 10 resolutions ranging from the role of women in the democratisation process to imbalances in territorial development, waste management and the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean university.

In addition to all 27 EU member states, the following states are also a member of the Union for the Mediterranean: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.