More focussed support for societies and parliaments in Arab Spring countries embracing democracy and ways of enhancing the role of women will top the agenda of Mediterranean parliamentarians meeting in Brussels on 11 and 12 April. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM) will also discuss renewable energy and water management projects. As the parliamentary institution of the Union for the Mediterranean, the Parliamentary Assembly (PA-UfM) provides a framework for multilateral cooperation among elected representatives of the EU and its Southern Mediterranean partner countries. It contributes to: - 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.
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||Exterior view of the European Parliament, Brussels
||Flags, Euromed participant countries
||Meeting documents, Energy, Environment and Water Committee (3 shots)
||Cuatways of meeting, delegates (5 shots)
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Antonyia PARVANOVA , (ALDE, BG), Co-chair of the Committee on Energy, Environment and Water of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean," We believe that by putting some more effort into the dialogue we will be able to find solutions for strategic interests for the European Union but also the development of North Africa and especially for finding a solution for the peace process in the Middle East countries and through development through investment and especially in the development of renewable energy sources such as solar project and desert project we believe that this will give an opportunity for Europe to diversify, to become less dependent on Russian, gas, Russian energy sources and also to cooperate in a better way within the Mediterranean Union so our dream, let's say as it was in the past the reason for establishing the coal and steel union agreement to have energy agreement for the Mediterranean."
||Committee on Women's Rights in Euromed countries: meeting documents.
||Delegate from Mauritania.
||Delegate from Algeria.
||Atmosphere (2 shots).
||SOUNDBITE (French) Samira MERAI-FRIAA (Tunisia) Chair of the Committee: "It is absolutely crucial to safeguard the universal human rights aquis and to remind to all UfM countries that real gender equality is a value, a principle and a fundamental universal right".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Samira MERAI-FRIAA (Tunisia) Chair of the Committee: "Women must no beg anymore for their rights, they have to seize them".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Sari ESSAYAH (EPP, FI): "We need women in these new governments now because we all saw those television pictures from the Tahrir square, where women were protesting and they wanted to have a chance in their societies. And now when the new governments are there we don't see many women in leading positions. So it's very important for those societies, for the sake of women and their role in the coming societies that they have the position in the governments and in all those decision making bodies that they are creating now there".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Sari ESSAYAH (EPP, FI): "I think that it is very important to have the female position in the constitutional principle. Maybe the quota system would help in some countries to make the change, but I hope that in the future the situation will be such that people would vote for women even without the quotas, and they would have an equal opportunity to be in leading positions".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Sari ESSAYAH (EPP, FI): "It's really a shame if the Sharia law would become the ground floor of a Constitution. I think that a Constitution should be made on juridical points and it should highlight the human rights and the equality of people, so there is no room for this kind of religious law inside the Constitution".