Following the latest boat disaster that caused more than 800 deaths in the Mediterranean Sea and the poor outcome of the extraordinary EU Council on immigration, the CPMR Inter-Mediterranean Commission is organising different events aimed at exchanging views and experiences on challenges related to migration.

Firstly, on 18th May 2015 a Seminar on Migration Management in the Mediterranean will be organised in Palermo at the invitation of Rosario Crocetta, President of Sicily Region and of COPPEM (Standing Committee for the EuroMediterranean Partnership of Local and Regional Authorities), and Leader of the CPMR Task Force on Migration. Linked to this Seminar, a visit to the migrant reception centre of Caltanisetta is scheduled for 19th May. Then, on 20th May, a delegation of Mediterranean presidents will meet Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, during the plenary session week. Michel Vauzelle, President of the CPMR Inter-Mediterranean Commission and of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur Region will lead this delegation.

During these three days, regional representatives will also launch a campaign to raise awareness entitled “WE ARE ALL MEDITERRANEAN.” This campaign will highlight the values of solidarity, cooperation, integration, and dialogue, as well as the fight against racism, xenophobia and terrorism.

Different political representatives will participate in the Palermo event, including the 1st Vice-President of the Inter-Mediterranean Commission, Joana Ortega, Vice-President of the Catalan Government, and Apostolos Katsifaras, President of Western Greece Region, as well as Anton Refalo, Maltese Minister in charge of Gozo, and Jean-Claude Gayssot, Vice President of Languedoc-Roussillon. Several other regions such as Andalusia, Tuscany and the Balearic Islands will also offer their contribution to the conference.

During the discussions, politicians will raise different questions particularly on the sharing of responsibility between the Member States, the EU and international organisations to manage emergencies and humanitarian aid more effectively.

Regional and local authorities are in the frontline of the migration crisis. Therefore their role, know-how and experiences will be highlighted by the participants, together with the potential advantages that migrants can bring to the various sectors of the territory’s economy.

The outcomes of these discussions will be sent to the EU and international institutions, especially with regard to actions and policies that could improve the prevention of irregular migration, such as the integration of migrants in the medium and in the long term and development in the countries of origin.