TUSELOG Programme brings Mardin and Åmål together for a new cooperation

First steps were taken towards a new partnership between Mardin Municipality and Åmål Municipality, with an introductory meeting in Mardin on 10-12 October 2013. The cooperation aims to strengthen EU integration capacities at local level and increase access to EU funding opportunities to foster local economic development in socio-economically less developed regions. This is also in line with UMT’s increasingly active international representation concerning the EU approximation process, and Swedish cooperation efforts to promote closer links with European structures and common values.

Many decisions taken by the European Union affect local and regional governments in member states and candidate countries. Naturally, the EU approximation process has implications also for the municipalities of Turkey that should not be underestimated. This is why SALAR aims to play an active part in European politics, and UMT should be able to orient its members on certain policy issues of concern. UMT aims to provide a stronger base of support to its members in accessing EU funding opportunities. Therefore, efforts need to be made for the development of municipal capacities to access EU funds, for UMT to achieve its goal of enabling Turkish municipalities to access IPA, and eventually, EU structural funds.

Mardin-åmål

In the light of these common goals, TUSELOG Programme brought representatives of Mardin and Åmål municipalities together first time in Mardin. Mayors of both parties, Mr. Michael Karlsson and Mr. Mehmet Beşir Ayanoğlu participated in the meetings, showing political support and willingness to enhance relations. The municipalities made presentations about their cities, municipal services and structures, and on-going projects. Experts from diffent departments provided information about their service areas and discussed mutual project areas.

Initial ideas will be concretized in the second meeting in Åmål in December this year.