By Sami Zaptia.
London, 19 June 2019:
The internationally recognized Tripoli government of Faiez Serraj will participate in the Summit of the Two Shores, part of the 5+5 Dialogue, in the French southern city of Marseille on 23-24 June.
Libyan civil society representatives have already participated in some of the preparatory meetings held in other cities earlier in the year.
The gathering will bring together five States from the southern shore of the Mediterranean (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) and five States from the northern shore (France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain). The European Union and Germany, as well as pan-Mediterranean organizations and international economic organizations present in the region, are also participating.
The Summit of the Two Shores, is an initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron, which the French Foreign Ministry hopes will build on ‘‘unprecedented consultations with Mediterranean civil society, to boost cooperation between countries in the Western Mediterranean by implementing projects that support human, economic and sustainable development in the region’’.
Mobilizing Mediterranean civil society
The Summit involves multiple strands including civil society and builds on the idea that civil society must be fully involved in defining a new and positive agenda for the Mediterranean region.
With regards to the civil society strand, each state in the 5+5 Dialogue has put forward the names of 10 civil society representatives. One from each country will be named the lead representative. Lead representatives sit on a steering committee, whose work is coordinated by the Tunisian lead.
These representatives are called “The 100”. They took part in all preparatory thematic forums summarizing debates and gathering ideas and projects. They met on 11 and 12 June in Tunis for the “Assembly of the 100”, where they collated their proposals for action to call on leaders to act on them.
Proposals may take several forms: collective actions, tangible projects, suggestions for common public policy, common concepts, institutions, Mediterranean labels, regulations, etc. They must be regional or multilateral.
Five preparatory thematic forums
Five preparatory forums took place prior to the Marseille Summit. Each will focus on a different theme: energy; young people, education and mobility; the economy and competitiveness; culture, media and tourism; and the environment and sustainable development. At each forum, around 200 members of civil society will lead discussions and suggest projects – instead of institutional or State actors.
- Youth, Education and Mobility Forum, organized by Malta (Valletta, 24-25 April 2019)
“The Mediterranean Generation: Malta’s contribution to the Summit of the Two Shores”
- Economy and Competitiveness Forum, organized by Morocco ( Rabat, 29 April 2019)
“Better economic integration between the two shores, towards a partnership focused on shared growth and innovation”
- Culture, Media and Tourism Forum, organized by France (Montpellier, 2-3 May 2019)
“Creating new cultural momentum in the Western Mediterranean”
- Environment and Sustainable Development Forum, organized by Italy (Palermo, 16 May 2019)
- “Blue economy, green economy, circular economy: partnership proposals for sustainable coastal urban development in the Western Mediterranean”
- Restitution meeting of the Assembly of the 100, organized by Tunisia (Tunis, 11-12 June 2019)
“Towards shared intercultural dialogue, production and sustainable and inclusive development”