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A Vision for the Mediterranean of Tomorrow, Our Common Home26.11.2021

Within its Vision Med 2030 consultation process, Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality EU-Programme gathered around 50 regional civil society representatives from both shores of the Mediterranean from 15 to 17 November, 2021, in Brussels at the “North-South” Workshop.

This event aimed at envisioning the future of the Mediterranean region for the years to come, and at promoting a pilot advocacy campaign on the Mediterranean as our common destiny. It developed a coherent, shared set of conceptualizations, values, and operational recommendations on how to build an integrated, common space in the region.

It was the occasion for the participants to find out about good practices of cross-border action by regional organisations and “Our Mediterranean” advocacy campaign (a variety of activities including written and audiovisual stories, research, expertise exchanges and multi-stakeholder debate) on our collective heritage and the common issues of these current times. Furthermore, they had the opportunity to network with European CSOs working on rights and social change, as well as with decision-makers from the European parliament and other regional institutions.

In margin of this workshop, a public debate was also held under the topic: ” The Mediterranean as Our Common Destiny: a Historical Utopia or a Concrete Possibility” in presence of prominent Mediterranean figures like :Amb. John Paul Grech (Deputy Secretary-General responsible for Social and Civil Affairs, Union for the Mediterranean), Pedro Roque (Vice President, The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean), Salima Yenbou (MEP, Greens/EFA), Oumayma Jabnouni (Tunisian League of Human Rights), Maher Issa (Civitas Institute Gaza), Emel Kurma (Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly), Henrike Trautmann (Acting Director for Southern Neighbourhood and Turkey at the European Commission) and Josep Ferré (Anna Lindh Foundation’s Director).

The last day was dedicated to a MedTalks youth debate,  led by “Our Mediterranean” campaign partners which aimed at allowing Mediterranean youth to experience and exercise their fundamental democratic rights, to potentially initiate an enduring platform for political argument and debate, thereby enabling them to become active participants in society, particularly in the political arena.

It is recalled that this North South workshop is the third of a series of three regional Vision Med 2030 consultation workshops. The first was held in Tunis in July 2019 for Maghreb countries and the second one was held in Amman in March 2020 for Mashrek countries. Participating civil society entities will continue exchanging on the topic and reviewing the proposed set of operational recommendations to build the Mediterranean as Our Common House, and the proposals will be made public in the next weeks.

“Although the Mediterranean region is facing a number of socio-economic and security challenges, the European Union is ready to search for a common response to these challenges. We must explore the untapped potential of our shared region and join efforts with our partner countries in the South and the EU Member States. The EU’s New Agenda for the Mediterranean will play a key role in this respect.” Stated Henrike Trautmann, Acting Director for Southern neighbourhood and Turkey at the European Commission.

Salima Yenbou, Member of the European Parliament said: “Let us dare to dream of a Euro-Mediterranean policy that meets the current aspirations of our neighbours and the challenges of tomorrow. I dream of a great Mediterranean project for our two shores, co-created as equals, which would put forward the social fabric, the culture, the environment and common values; targeting young people, rather than worn-out and delegitimised elites; which would make our common Mediterranean a sea of exchange and hope, rather than a cemetery for migrants and their dreams. “

The vision med 2030 North South statement drafted by the civil society participants concluded with this commitment:

Our dream: a free, fair and united Mediterranean

And we shall strive for making the dream of “Mediterranean integration” a reality, by working together around the notion of a treaty for “A Free, Fair and United Mediterranean”, based on human rights and international law. Such a treaty should fulfill the aspirations of the peoples of the region, building upon what is common between them, and national laws and legislations should then be aligned with it.

Statement “A Vision for the Mediterranean of Tomorrow, Our Common Home” (English version)

Statement “A Vision for the Mediterranean of Tomorrow, Our Common Home” (Arabic version)

Operational Recommendations “Citizens’ initiative & institutional cooperation toward a Free, Fair, United Mediterranean” (English version)

Operational Recommendations “Citizens’ initiative & institutional cooperation toward a Free, Fair, United Mediterranean” (Arabic version)

Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality is a 3-year (2019 – 2022) EU-funded Technical Assistance regional Programme with the overall objective to strengthen the role of CSOs active at the regional scale, in building sustainable development, regional cohesion and social resilience, as well as in influencing policy-making in the Southern Neighborhood and the Euro-Mediterranean Space. It recalls the importance of the civil society as an agent for change, an essential component for democracy, whose participation in public processes and in policy dialogues would lead to more inclusive and effective policies, transparency and accountability.

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