Following the Rabat Forum on “Economy and Competitiveness”, this is the fourth thematic forum, organised by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the French Ministry of Culture, in the run up to the Summit of the Two Shores (24June, Marseille). Le Sommet des Deux Rives is part of the 5+5 Dialogue, which brings together five States from the southern shore of the Mediterranean (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) and five States from the northern shore (France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain). Germany, as well as pan-Mediterranean organizations and international economic organizations present in the region, are involved in this French initiative.
Montpellier, 2 May 2019. The Montpellier Forum on Culture, Media and Tourism entitled “Creating new cultural momentum in the Western Mediterranean”, gathered around 200 participants at the Municipality’s Town Hall, with a view to focus on the important role of the civil society and youth led initiatives in the areas of culture, media and tourism. Organisations and participants hailed from the civil society, NGOs, the youth sector, media houses, musicians, theatre artists, visual artists, film makers, actors and producers, tourist operators, the GIZ and the Anna Lindh Foundation among others.
The official partners for the Montpellier Forum were the Métropole Montpellier Méditerranée, the – Università della Svizzera Italiana de Lugano, the Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement de Genève and the IReMMO (Institut de Recherche et d’Etudes Méditerranée Moyen-Orient).
The Forum’s Plenary was launched with a brief introduction by the Mayor of Montpellier Philippe Saurel and by the Minister of State for the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. In his welcoming speech, the Minister thanked all the countries that have already hosted the S2R Fora. He said that the expectations from the outcomes of the S2R through the workshops will have an impact and change the lives of the Mediterranean countries. The Minister underlined that the whole exercise is to serve as a meeting of wisdom emanating from the civil society and youth. He looks forward to the concrete projects that will be selected for the Marseille Summit so that the Mediterranean will be a real crucible. He appealed for ideas from the discussion of the workshops which are needed to address and solve the challenges that face the Mediterranean. In conclusion the Minister of State remarked that there is the need to pick up the lost thread and work on the proposed initiatives during the workshops and the fora.
The following day was dedicated to workshops and presentation of proposed projects or initiatives by the civil society and the participants. The thematic subjects that were dealt with were: Culture, Media and Tourism. Three separate but parallel informal workshops on each theme were held. The UfMS was represented by Ambassador Marisa Farrugia who participated in the workshop on Tourism. She underscored the importance of sustainable tourism for the Mediterranean region with reference to the work being carried out by the UfM in this sector.
The forum’s objective was to listen to the expectations of the participants, to promote any new projects or initiatives in support of human, economic and sustainable development in the region and to exchange views on common tracks. In the run-up to the Marseille summit, the Montpelier Forum aimed at promoting a new approach within the Western Mediterranean on the chosen theme. During two days of debates, the participants from the civil societies of the 5+5 Dialogue countries shared their initiatives designed at fostering the emergence of innovative, inclusive and ambitious projects.
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