France and the Principality of Monaco are joining forces under the “Supporting youth in the Western Mediterranean” call for proposals, in order to create new opportunities for young people on both shores of the Mediterranean. Of the 180 proposed, 19 were selected, some of which launched their action in autumn 2020.
“We believe that integration between our two shores, a goal we all aspire to, must be even more youth-driven. A new discourse needs to emerge on education, employability and mobility, creating a tangible impact to allow young people to become the drivers of change in the region.
Only through an ascendant approach, driven by young people and civil society, can we look to the future and address the joint challenges our region faces on a long-term basis.”
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has weakened Mediterranean associations and heightened challenges of youth employability and unemployment, this initiative aims to strengthen ties between the two shores, financing projects for young people in eleven countries (Monaco and the 5+5 Dialogue countries: Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Mauritania, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia) in the areas of education, socio-economic inclusion, mobility and the social and inclusive economy.
This joint effort is part of cooperation to foster a new positive agenda for sustainable, economic and human development in the Mediterranean, launched in Marseille at the Summit of the Two Shores on 24 June 2019.
In a demonstration of the vibrancy of Mediterranean civil society, a total of 334 organizations proposed 180 projects.
The 19 selected projects have strong local roots, include a sustainable development aim and show sensitivity to gender issues. Each proposes a tangible response to key issues for the most vulnerable young people in the Western Mediterranean. Three major themes emerge in Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania, which focus on the socio-economic inclusion of young people: the promotion of sustainable development activities in rural regions; the development of innovative educational programmes; and reflection on new forms of inclusive and sustainable tourism.
In order to foster closer relations between Mediterranean countries around joint development projects, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is also supporting associations wishing to develop their activities outside their country. For example, Libyan organizations will be joining up with partners in Tunisia and Morocco to carry out their projects.
The organizations supported implement their projects between October 2020 and December 2021. The IECD (European Institute for Cooperation and Development), with its expertise and 30 years of experience in development, will offer technical support. These projects are symbols of Western Mediterranean cooperation, driven by a “North-South” civil society consortium.
The success of this first edition offers good prospects and marks the beginning of France-Monaco cooperation in support of young people in the Mediterranean.