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Mediterranean Worlds Forum: building together a space for freedom, exchange, peace and creation

14 February 2022 Business
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The Mediterranean Worlds Forum organised by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs at the initiative of French President Macron was held on February 7 and 8 in Marseille. After two years of health crisis, the Forum aimed at recreating a space for exchanges that would put together stakeholders of civil society and executives of territories from both banks of the Mediterranean Sea to face common challenges such as the environment, sustainable development, solidarity, as well as education and mobilities. These themes aim at “building together a true space for freedom, exchange, peace and creation”, according to Emmanuel Macron.

“What we want is to unite, to create between all players synergies that originate from our Mediterranean preferences which make emerge a feeling of belonging, a common proud, and a collective confidence in our own strengths”. This is how President Macron opened the Mediterranean Worlds Forum that took place in the wake of the Summit of the two Banks held in 2019 to boost the cooperation momentum in the Mediterranean area through the implementation of concrete projects for human, economic and sustainable development in the area.

 

 

 

 

The critical role of young people

 

With about 1,000 participants, the Mediterranean Worlds Forum has been an opportunity for many meetings between representatives of the civil society and institutional partners in the form of 25 workshops and round tables. Places for exchange and networking, a space dedicated to entrepreneurship and a “Village of projects” focused on about a hundred Mediterranean initiatives were also organised.

To anchor these discussions and presentations of projects in reality, French president Macron announced actions focused on “the role of young people”, which will be “absolutely critical in all fields, whether it is in environment, education, solidarity, capacities to travel, culture or heritage”. The measures that were announced are in line with this, with:

- the creation of an Académie des talents de la Méditerranée (Academy of talents from the Mediterranean Area) designed to “unite every year entrepreneurs, artists, creators, students and researchers” and fund “a scholarship grants programme to support them in their projects during several months and through some sort of Mediterranean grand tour”;

- the creation of a specific support fund, with 100 million euros, to “offer prospects to young people”, and particularly to entrepreneurs living in France who want to invest in Northwest Africa.

 

A white paper of young people for a more sustainable Mediterranean

 

Another high time of this Forum, right in the wake of the President’s speech, was the release of the “Plea for the Young”, a white paper designed by more than 200 young volunteers from all over the Mediterranean area.

A consultation process towards young players of the Mediterranean area was initiated before the Forum with the objective to design “practical proposals for building a more sustainable, prosperous and integrated Mediterranean by 2030”. This consultation brought together 200 players under the age of 40, from more than twenty nationalities from around the Mediterranean Sea. For six months, these young people participation in the creation of very rich proposals on eight key themes

- for an inclusive Mediterranean: improve economic and social inclusion and guarantee access to essential services and goods, promoting an inclusive culture for the recognition and valorisation of a diverse Mediterranean;

- for a more entrepreneurial, innovative and digital Mediterranean: establish a shared strategy to foster a Mediterranean entrepreneurial spirit and human capital, create a more favourable environment for the development of young Mediterranean companies;

- for Mediterranean cities that are more firmly rooted in their territory: create a “Capital of the Mediterranean” label to federate the talents of all the countries around the Mediterranean and create a “UniverCité de la Méditerranée” (UniverCity of the Mediterranean) to encourage the involvement of Mediterranean universities in local development and promote university-territory relations in the Mediterranean area;

- for a Mediterranean region of mobility and knowledge: establish Mediterranean exchange offices oriented towards culture, encourage and enable better mobility in the field of education and professional training;

- for a more sustainable Mediterranean: protect biodiversity, improve food security and sovereignty, through sustainable agriculture and consumption;

- for a culture of the Mediterranean: promote the mobility of cultural players and access to cultural information, to think of more equitable, sustainable and egalitarian methods of financing;

- for a Mediterranean region of projects: create a network of project leaders in the Mediterranean and a space for dialogue dedicated to young people to develop projects;

- for a Mediterranean of employment: adapt the education system to better meet the needs of the labour market.

 

The white paper insists on the fact that the proposals formulated “are all the richer because they are the result of a collaboration of committed actors from very different professional and cultural backgrounds”.

To know more

The Forum website

French president Macron’s opening speech




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