Summit of the Two Shores: UfM to put forward the project ideas of the Euro-Mediterranean civil society
- The “Summit of the Two Shores” brings together the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the ten countries of the Western Mediterranean and Germany as well as the Heads of the main International and Regional Organisations active in the Mediterranean area. The event features a pragmatic socio-political exchange with prominent civil society representatives.
- The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) actively participates in the Summit to promote a comprehensive view of the Mediterranean and put forward the insights and project ideas of the youth and civil society from all the Euro-Mediterranean countries.
- Following the preparatory thematic fora held in various cities of the region, the Summit seeks to showcase concrete success stories and recommendations as well as launch specific development projects for the region.
Marseille, 24 June 2019. The Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), Nasser Kamel, participated today in the « Summit of the Two Shores » in Marseille. The Summit brought together the ten countries of the Western Mediterranean (also known as 5+5 Dialogue) and Germany and consisted of a meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers and Heads of International and Regional Organisations active in the Mediterranean with 100 prominent civil society representatives from the 5+5 Dialogue countries.
The UfM has aimed to build on the renewed dynamism brought by this initiative and the 5+5 Dialogue and foster synergies with broader existing regional efforts while putting forward the views of the future generations from the entire Euro-Mediterranean region. The UfM has been actively associated to the Summit by participating in all preparatory thematic fora and bringing together in Barcelona more than 140 representatives of the civil society, youth organisations and non-state actors from the entire Euro-Mediterranean area to jointly propose recommendations and scenarios to strengthen cooperation on a wide range of key topics, notably on environment, water, energy, economic integration, women and youth empowerment as well as education (See conclusions of the Regional Dialogue on “Shared Views on key issues in the Mediterranean”).
UfM Secretary General Kamel stressed that “the best way to collectively strengthen our Mediterranean policy framework is to take advantage and foster synergies among the existing initiatives and relevant expertise to jointly build a positive agenda. We must act together to truly deliver on the commitment of tackling key regional challenges and amplifying the positive impact. I am confident that the meeting in Marseille will take on board the voice of the Euro-Mediterranean youth”. In his speech, he will make a special focus on the pressing environmental challenges facing the region and will highlight the need to build together the sustainable Mediterranean.
Never before has the world been home to so many young people. At 1.8 billion, this generation represents an unprecedented potential for global economic and social progress. With over 60% of its population under the age of 30, the Euro-Mediterranean is one of the youngest regions in the world. The UfM has therefore placed young people at the heart of its actions, focusing on building a positive agenda for youth in the Mediterranean and engaging young people as full partners in its activities. Some specific initiatives framed within this strategy and highlighted during the preparatory fora of the Summit are MedNC and HOMERe.
The “Mediterranean New Chance Network” (MedNC) and the “High Opportunity for Mediterranean Executive Recruitment (HOMERe), two UfM-supported initiatives with regional impact
The High Opportunity for Mediterranean Executive Recruitment (HOMERe)project promotes professional internship mobility among Mediterranean countries and is aimed at high-profile students in their last year of study before graduation. The objective is to ease their transition from the academic environment to qualified entry-level roles in their own countries, in a region where youth unemployment often increases with the level of education. Current results show a positive impact. Up to 70% of the beneficiaries are in employment in their country of origin after completing their internship.
In the sidelines of the Summit, the second phase of this initiative was launched during HOMERe’s Annual Conference, which took place last 21 June in Marseille.
Another important UfM-labelled initiative that has been showcased in the run-up to the Summit is the “Mediterranean New Chance Network”. Inspired by the French model of Second Chance Schools, this initiative addresses the challenge of the socio-professional integration of those young people who are not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEETs) by mobilizing and strengthening cooperation among organisations, experts and Second Chance Schools of both rims of the Mediterranean. The project has benefitted to date more than 26,000 youngsters in the region and is currently being implemented in Algeria, Egypt, France, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia. The UfM will continue to ensuring its replicability throughout the region.
Both projects are part of the UfM Mediterranean Initiative for Jobs (Med4Jobs).