westmed sttering committee meeting in Rome november 8. 2021

Malta, together with Libya, takes over the WestMED Initiative’s Co-Presidency

After two years of intensive work, Italian and Libyan Co-Presidency representatives hand over the WestMED Co-Presidency to Malta

The 14th WestMED Steering Committee (WMSC) meeting took place on November 8, 2021, in the premises of the Italian Villa Farnesina (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and online. The meeting provided the opportunity for the WMSC to evaluate the implementation of the initiative, as well as to reflect on the outcomes of the outgoing Italian-Libyan co-presidency, and on introducing the future Maltese-Libyan co-presidency.

As main outcomes, Daniele Bosio (Italian WestMED Co-Presidency) presented a stock-taking of the last two years of intensive work  – which concentrated on 3 thematic areas: green shipping, clusters and aquaculture -, and welcomed the new Maltese Co-Presidency with a message of encouragement.

The representative of the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Ebejer Shaun Patrick, lead coordinator in Malta when it comes to Integrated Maritime Policy, shared the approach to the work to be carried out in conjunction with Libyan partners during the incoming Maltese Co-Presidency.

The main message presented was that of continuation with the “excellent work carried out so far, through the development of concrete measures and mechanisms to help promote the Blue Economy vision and boost worldwide competitiveness of the Mediterranean”. According to the Maltese representatives, “this vision needs to be based on a framework which supports all the states involved, and takes into consideration the specificities of the whole region”.

The new Maltese-Libyan Co-Presidency outlined their priorities for the next two years, including:

  • Decarbonisation and greening of the maritime transport sector
  • Sustainable fishing and aquaculture development
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Maritime clusters
  • Ocean literacy and Blue Skills

The WMSC includes national coordinators from the relevant ministries from participating countries (France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia), the European Commission and the Union for the Mediterranean Secretariat, as well as observers from International Organizations and financial institutions. Their role is to ensure operational coordination, guidance and necessary support to ensure the initiative’s expected results are achieved.