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On 22-23 May 2019 in Barcelona, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) hosted the Regional Conference “Shared Views on key issues in the Mediterranean” in collaboration with the Instituto de la Juventud (InJuve), the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The conference brought together more than 100 representatives of the civil society and youth organisations to discuss how to best address environmental, educational, societal and economic challenges faced by the Euro-Mediterranean region and propose recommendations to foster more aligned cooperation amongst the region’s countries.

EMEA and EMNES were represented by George Christopoulos, Communications officer of the association.

The discussions held during the Regional Dialogue and the recommendations and project proposals drawn from the exchanges will feed the UfM Strategy for Youth and will also be presented as suggestions and project proposals to contribute to the Marseille Summit of the Two Shores (24 June 2019) by putting forward the views of youth and civil society of all UfM countries on key priorities for the region.

The exchanges over the course of the two-day forum served to establish the following action areas:

    • Environment, Water, Energy and Sustainable development– Regional youth and civil society representatives active in the fields of water, renewables, environment, blue economy and climate action, discussed the possibilities afforded to the Mediterranean region for the development of a circular economy applied to the green and blue dimensions, the sustainable management of water and sanitation, and the advent of renewable energy and climate action in the frame of the energy transition.
    • Youth Employment and Social economy and inclusion of youth and women – Ensuring that youth and women are further integrated into the region’s economy as a whole was the focus of this Roundtable, which addressed two main themes: Partnering with the Youth for Job Creation and Social Economy and inclusion of youth and women. The panel’s agenda centred on how best to harness the region’s potential, in terms of greater integration of women and youth into national economies. Indeed, the potential increase in the region’s Gross Domestic Product if youth unemployment is reduced by half, is over 20 billion euros in the short-term.
    • Rethinking Education – The panel gathered the insights of relevant regional youth and civil society representatives active in the fields of education, youth and women empowerment to address educational challenges at the Mediterranean level. This included interventions on: New learning paradigms in a comprehensive approach to education, Specific challenges faced by vocational training, and Women and Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education (STEM)

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