I söndags (den 25 mars) höll Unionen för Medelhavsområdet sin årliga rådsförsamling i Marockos huvudstad Rabat. Jag höll ett kort inlägg om behovet att komma till praktisk aktivitet. Inlägget bifogas nedan.
There is a saying that you should “talk the talk and walk the walk”, and this saying is, in my opinion, relevant to the present situation in the Union for the Mediterranean. After the uprisings in parts of northern Africa we certainly had reason to discuss and to analyse what had happened, and – in the case of some stakeholders – we also had to try to explain our own activities. Unfortunately a lot of effort was put into what we can call “blame -voiding”. Nevertheless, I believe it was important to have these discussions and to let the reality of the situation “sink in”.
However, for some countries we have now reached the point were we have to leave the talk behind us and continue the walk instead. Those who were first in the process have today taken some steps forward toward a new situation, and for them verbal declarations are just not enough, even if they are meant to provide courage for the future. There is a risk that we politicians think that our talk can change things and that we therefore miss the opportunity of doing things that really matter.
In PA-UfM we have a number of committees ranging from political matters and the economy to culture and women’s rights. In all these areas we can see a number of obstacles, for example if we would like to promote investments, we – or at least someone – needs to think about the requirements that come from the investors. Are they asking for independent accounting, do they require influence once the investment is finished, how high a risk will they accept, etc, etc?
Let’s take another example – in the area of culture. Since culture is closely linked to people meeting each other, some questions that could be asked are: how we can provide financing for those meetings, how can visa problems be solved, what about freedom for artists to express themselves in public and so on?
I therefore suggest that we include in all our working groups plans for the coming year to scrutinise their proposals and to compile a list of the obstacles that have to be overcome in order to go from the discussion stage to the action stage and tackle them one by one. When we have done that we can take steps, small or large forward and focus on things that really matter. Those steps are the walk.
Ulrik Nilsson (M)