The inclusion of civil society - a new chapter in Euro-Med cooperation

Numru ta' Referenza:  , Data ta' l-Istqarrija : Lul 03, 2019

“Engagement with civil society members is essential in forging the future of the Mediterranean and youth must be placed at the heart of the solutions to the pressing challenges we face”. This was the message highlighted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela while addressing the IV MedThinkForum, Dialogue 5+5 themed foresting innovative alliances in the Western Mediterranean. Hon. Abela referred to the inclusion of civil society as a new chapter in Euro-Med cooperation and as having the potential to bring the ten-member states of the Western Mediterranean closer to each other through the identification of joint initiatives/projects for the benefit of the region, potentially leading to new and innovative alliances.​

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion spoke about the importance of Mediterranean countries creating new ambitions and opportunities through innovation by working together through the formation of partnerships between Governments, civil society and other important actors. “Our people want stability, security, development, economic growth and opportunities. Our job as politicians of the Mediterranean is to ensure that these are provided to them”. He reiterated the importance of effective coordination by seeing Mediterranean countries putting their resources together and work towards sustainability for a better future for all. Minister Abela also mentioned the importance of small and medium enterprises for the economy of the Mediterranean and encouraged international financial institutions to have and facilitate the necessary funding for sme’s projects to ensure that they continue growing and expanding.

Hon. Abela referred to the Mediterranean as the core of Malta’s foreign policy as Malta was the first to advocate that there can be no peace in Europe without peace and stability in the Mediterranean. “We know what are the current and future challenges that the people of the Mediterranean are facing. We also know what the solutions are to continue to enhance and to implement the expectations of the people”, said Hon. Abela.

In this regard he spoke about migration, a phenomenon that affects all the Mediterranean region through three predominant routes. He encouraged Mediterranean countries to work harder together and persevere in finding feasible solution within international fora. He called for more trust and more sharing of information between Governments and Law enforcement of Mediterranean countries to bolster border management and solidarity with each other.

The IV MedThinkForum is being organised by the European institute of the Mediterranean and the Union for the Mediterranean in collaboration with the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic studies.  The 5+5 Dialogue comprises Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia and is aimed at fostering relations between European countries and the Arab Maghreb Union.