Cologne Mayors’ Conference
"Euro - Middle East City-to-City-Cooperation" - Conclusions
On the occasion of the "Cologne Mayors' Conference Euro-Middle East City-to-City Cooperation", held from 29th November to 1st December 2011, mayors and leading representatives of Palestinian, Israeli and European municipalities, municipal associations and networks, experts and governmental officials convened in order to discuss and explore the potential and perspectives of Israeli-Palestinian as well as Euro-Middle East city-to-city cooperation with the objective to improve the living conditions of citizens and facilitate mutual understanding, respect and peace in the Middle East.
The Cologne Mayors' Conference "Euro - Middle East City-to-City-Cooperation" has been jointly organized by the City of Cologne, the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA), the Union of Local Authorities in Israel (ULAI), the German Association of Cities (Deutscher Städtetag) and the Municipal Alliance for Peace in the Middle East (MAP). The owners of the conference and follow-up initiatives are APLA and ULAI, the municipal associations in Palestine and Israel and also the stakeholders of MAP.
VNG International (Netherlands), the German and French sections of CEMR, Cités Unies France (CUF), and the Standing Committee for the Euro Mediterranean Partnership of Local and Regional Authorities (COPPEM) have been partners in preparing the conference.
The Cologne conference was divided into two parts:
- Round table between Israeli and Palestinian mayors which has been held from 29th to 30th November 2011. The round table developed and endorsed the "Cologne Memorandum of Agreement for Cooperation Activities".
- Forum "Euro - Middle East City-to-City-Cooperation", 30th November to 1st December 2011, to which European mayors and representatives of municipal associations, governments and donor organizations have also been invited.
The mayors' conference was preceded and accompanied by a Youth Forum, held from 26th November to 3rd December and organized by the City of Cologne, the Cologne Catholic University of Applied Sciences and the Peace Research Institute for the Middle East (PRIME). It brought together students from Bethlehem, Cologne and Tel Aviv-Yafo who developed ideas for the Middle East 2025.
The results of the round table and the youth forum (see appendix 3) served as inputs to the forum.