A network of “second chance” schools to help thousands of young people from the Mediterranean to find their place in society
The Mediterranean New Chance Network (MedNC) recognised by the ten States of the 5+5 dialogue at the Summit of the Two Shores in Marseille on 24th June
Marseille, 24 June 2019 – Aware that youth unemployment is a major challenge for countries within the Mediterranean region, Foreign Ministers of the ten countries that make up the 5+5 dialogue (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania) welcomed the Mediterranean New Chance Network (MedNC) project at the Summit held on June 24th in Marseille, in the presence of the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron. This important initiative will enable MedNC to develop its network of second-chance schools in Mediterranean countries. The objective: to help thousands of young people residing in the Mediterranean region who are disconnected from training and employment, in order to help them to find their place in society and create wealth in their country.
The Mediterranean region faces unprecedented socio-economic challenges that can only be addressed by intensified regional cooperation and strong institutional engagement between the various actors and stakeholders. The youth unemployment rate in the region is among the highest in the world, with figures of 35.8% in Tunisia, 34% in Spain, 32% in Italy, 23.9% in Algeria and 20% in France in 2017. It is therefore urgent to put in place various solutions that allow unemployed young people to enter the job market and to become more integrated into their society.
With this objective in mind, the MedNC network, led by the European Institute for Cooperation and Development (IECD), supported by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Drosos Foundation, the European Union through an Erasmus+ programme, and the South Region, brings together actors from the Euro-Mediterranean region who are developing local mechanisms to respond to the challenges of unemployment and the socio-professional integration of young people.
Currently, the network is one of 14 projects saluted among the 272 proposals made by civil society during the preparation of the Summit of the Two Shores, in the “Youth, education, mobility” initiatives. As such, it has been cited as a model to follow by Jean Yves Le Drian, the European and Foreign Affairs Minister of France, Ouided Bouchamaoui, President of the Steering Committee of the Summit of the Two Shores and Lead Partner for Tunisia, and Assia Bensalah Alaoui, Lead Partner for Morocco. This represents a major step forwards in the structuring and deployment of the MedNC network. It will encourage States to promote, at institutional and budgetary levels, a broad deployment of initiatives under the New Chance approach.
More than 26,000 young people and 100 partner centres in 9 countries (Algeria, Egypt, France, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, and Italy) are already involved in these schemes, while the network will be able to strengthen significantly and develop its field of intervention. For example, in France 60% of young people who have been helped by “second chance” schools go on to find a job or continue their studies.
“By supporting and accompanying the development of the MedNC network since its inception, the Union for the Mediterranean fully embraces its role as a catalyst to further strengthen regional cooperation and dialogue. We strive for concrete results, with a real impact on the citizens of the region, centred on three unchangeable priorities: human development, stability and integration. »
Nasser Kamel, Union for the Mediterranean Secretary General
“The IECD aims to build environments that are conducive to revealing everyone’s talents. We seek to build conditions that are favourable to the development of people of good will, in order to give them the chance to act on social, professional and institutional levels. By acquiring the necessary expertise, they can transform their lives and become responsible actors in their country. We believe that in this way, they will have a positive impact on society and contribute to making it fairer. »
Alexis Béguin, IECD General Director
“The MedNC network is a formidable breeding ground for innovation and hope for the youth of the Mediterranean region. The tangible and promising results already achieved merely need to be amplified. We believe in sharing and spreading these practices, but this cannot be done without the support of public authorities, at a local and a national level. We must all work together to help more young people and give them the tools to live up to their full potential. »
Astrid Desjobert, MedNC Network Supervisor