Online public debate. Can citizens shape a free and united Mediterranean?20.01.2021

“Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality”, an EU-funded programme aimed at supporting civil society working beyond borders in the Mediterranean region, launches a series of online public debates on civil society’s challenges in the region. “Can citizens shape a free and united Mediterranean?” is the topic of the first debate. This session will take place online on January 13th, 2021 at 5.00 pm (CET) and will gather Mediterranean scholars and practitioners discussing about the possibilities of shaping a common future: Prof. David Abulafia, historian and author of ” The Great Sea: a human history of the Mediterranean”, Mr. Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo, Ms. Nayla Tabbara, vice-chair of Adyan foundation and Mr. Tarek ben Hiba, founder of “Citoyenneté, développement, cultures et migrations des deux rives”. Two debaters, Ms Hajar Maiach (Young Mediterranean Voices 2019 debate champion) and Mr Igor Štiks (member of Maydan association and scholar) will as well animate the exchange with specific questions.

This first public debate will aim at discussing peoples’ common heritage in the region and its potential for understanding and cooperation, on the one hand, and opportunities and challenges for envisioning a common destiny in the region, on the other hand. Besides that, it will be an occasion for civil society practitioners as well as journalists from both shores to exchange with the speakers, about the challenges ahead of us for building a common future through citizens’ engagement. 

It is recalled that this series of online debates is held within the framework of the Med Dialogue’s research on “Mediterranean CSO networks active at the regional level”, whose findings will be published in February 2021, and which identified over 150 Mediterranean civil society networks and entities, working in the region on different topics (migration, human rights, cultural understanding, environment, etc.). The debates’ topics will be the following: 

  • 1st Public debate on “A Mediterranean common vision” (January 13, 2021)
  • 2nd Public debate on “Environmental engagement in the Mediterranean” (January 29, 2021)
  • 3rd Public debate on “Civil society in action: lessons from the Mapping survey” (February, 2021)
  • 4th Public debate on “CSO mission, democracy and accountability” (March, 2021)
  • 5th Public debate on “Successes and failures of regional advocacy action” (April, 2021)
  • 6th Public debate on “Achieving sustainability in civil society work” (April, 2021)

“Twenty-five years ago, in Barcelona, the nations of Europe and the Mediterranean neighbourhood launched an ambitious process of cooperation and integration through political and cultural dialogue, and social and economic development. Today, many civil society groups and citizens – through their work across borders – are showing that we share a common destiny: they come to the aid of migrants in distress, strive for equality and rights, practice cooperative enterprising, or challenge identity-driven policies. This public debate aims at sharing views on how to build a vision for the Mediterranean to come”– notes Gianluca Solera, Team Leader of Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality Programme.

Practical information:

The debate will last 90 minutes, and would be held in English, with Arabic and French translation for the registered organizations/ persons. The debate will be hosted on Zoom and also broadcasted live on Facebook.

Only registered participants before January 12, 2021, at 12.00 pm (CET) will have access to Zoom platform and take advantage of the translation service provided, except for media actors who will have an unlimited access. Meanwhile, the rest of the participants may follow the debate on Facebook live and interact directly with speakers by writing comments and questions. 

Registration form for participants

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 influencing policy-making in the South end Neighborhood and the Euro-Mediterranean region.For more information, please contact, Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality team leader.


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