On 27th August 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a Mediterranean summit penciled for 23rd and 24th June 2019 in Marseille, France: the Summit of the Two Shores of the Western Mediterranean. This high-level meeting will bring together Heads of State/Governments from the 5+5 Western Mediterranean Dialogue countries, the European Union, Germany, Mediterranean organizations (Union for the Mediterranean and the Anna Lindh Foundation), international institutions (World Bank, European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) and one hundred civil society representatives from the two shores of the Mediterranean.
It heralds a new era in the Western Mediterranean and lays down the foundations of a different policy in the region, based on transversal dialogue between political leaderships and bottom-up civil society voices, paving the way towards a renewed regional cooperation and ultimately a more inclusive Mediterranean. The Summit aspires to achieve this goal through concrete projects and solutions favoring human, economic and sustainable development in the region. It builds upon the culmination of a far-reaching consultative process through five preparatory fora taking place between January and mid-June 2019. These fora address the main themes of the new Mediterranean agenda and as such the Summit: “Youth, Education and Mobility” (Malta); “Economy and Competitiveness” (Morocco); “Energies” (Algeria); “Environment and Sustainable Development” (Italy); and “Culture, Media and Tourism” (France). Following each forum, a set of recommendations will be formulated and voiced during a pre-Summit forum “The Call of the 100” in Tunis, Tunisia, involving nominated civil society representatives from each of the countries concerned. These reflections and proposals shall be shared at the Summit with the Western Mediterranean political leaders to identify the initiatives which require a high priority implementation.
The only prerequisite or mandatory condition for these Initiatives and proposals is to be of regional or multilateral nature. They can include collective actions, tangible projects, suggestions for the formulation of regional public policies. They can call for the establishment of new institutions, for the articulations of new regulations, etc.
The Malta Forum on Youth, Education and Mobility entitled “Investing in a #MediterraneanGeneration” is a key milestone for the Summit.
It will bring together around 150 practitioners from the host country and the Member States associated with the Summit, including young leaders, educators, civil society practitioners and intercultural experts.
It is organized by the Maltese Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion in collaboration with the Anna Lindh Foundation, l’Università della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano and, L’Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement in Geneva; supported by the European Commission, and in association with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the Mediterranean Academy for Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC), and the World Bank (WB) Group, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Maltese National Youth Agency (Aġenzija Żgħażagħ) and the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI).
The Mediterranean Generation is a generation which aims to make dialogue effective, and to collaborate with one another constructively across cultures and lines of difference; a generation on the move. What will it take to invest effectively in a generation across the two shores of the Mediterranean? How can we prioritize regional partnerships and multilateral actions in which youth are viewed as equal and essential partners for dialogue and peace? How can we seize a historic opportunity to fuel the largest ever growth in people-to-people exchanges in the region?
As such, the Malta Forum will aim to:
The Malta Forum is structured on an exchange of existing practices and space for co-designing actions which can be scaled-up at the multi-lateral level, centered on strategic topics.
Some of the recommendations and projects emerging from the Malta Forum will be showcased at the Summit.
The CMI is a key partner of the Malta Forum and aims to use its convening power to bring substance on the topics of youth, education and mobility. The CMI will mainly contribute to an interactive session entitled “Education, Employability and Mobility: Exploring the Nexus”;
In recent years, Mediterranean youth have shown their impatience to become actors in their societies. They are bearing the brunt of the crises and undergoing exclusion on the economic, social and political levels, with high unemployment and a lack of opportunities to take part in public life. Nevertheless, they represent the Euro-Mediterranean region’s best opportunity. According to the World Bank, nearly 300 million young people from the MENA region are predicted to enter the labor market by 2050, requiring the creation of millions of jobs to meet their aspirations. A massive investment on all levels in human capital is needed. It is time for a new narrative on education, employability and mobility to emerge and take hold, one that would allow the youth to become the engine for change in the region by bringing shared prosperity and stability.
Speakers are professionals with diverse backgrounds and demonstrated experience in the field, representing various institutions: