More than 40 experts and representatives of think tanks and diplomatic institutions from the Member States of the 5+5 Dialogue are debating on how to foster an environmentally-friendly and resilient socioeconomic model for the region at the 4th MedThink 5+5 Forum, held in Malta on 1-2 July 2019.
Malta, 1-2 July 2019. The fourth edition of the Forum held in Malta is co-organised by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) – Secretariat of the MedThink 5+5 network – and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of Malta and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC).
Under the title “Fostering Innovative Alliances in the Western Mediterranean. A Basin of Opportunities for a Sustainable Future”, participants have explored the unifying role of the 5+5 Dialogue in allowing for a more comprehensive Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation and the formation of new alliances within the 5+5 Dialogue and the Mediterranean region at large.
The issues debated where in line with the engagements for a more sustainable and innovating Mediterranean recently made in the Summit of the Two Shores in Marseille, which was attended by the ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Western Mediterranean and which emphasised the central role of the 5+5 Dialogue in strengthening the cooperation between the two shores.
This edition included the intervention of Carmelo Abela, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of Malta, who said at the opening session of this year’s edition that: “The Mediterranean has always been and remains at the very heart of Malta’s foreign policy. The theme of our Forum could not be more relevant in light of the present scenario and the many unfolding challenges in the region, Europe and the Mediterranean must adopt a pragmatic approach, within the framework of a variable geometry, as this would ultimately lead to confidence-building in the wider region with a more pronounced and a more effective cooperation structure”.
The Keynote Speech was delivered by Ana Santos Pinto, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Portugal, who pointed out that “two major aspects need to be incorporated in the work of the 5+5 Dialogue to reduce security hazards in 5+5 area. The first is the long-term policy of social and economic regional development; and the second is short-term measures for fighting regional security challenges”
For his part, Miguel García-Herraiz, UfM Deputy Secretary General, stated that “The 5+5 Dialogue offers a model of advanced political cooperation whose current political dynamism provides a valuable template for broader cooperation efforts in the whole Mediterranean region”.
Since its inception in May 2016, think tanks from the Western Mediterranean have formed a strong alliance known as the Med Think 5+5 Network which has by now organised three annual forums and multiple thematic seminars that brought together experts from around the region and beyond, in an effort to analyse the determinants of regional security and stability, as well as economic and human development.