The Summit of the Two Shores, an initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron took place in Marseille on 24 June 2019. Building on unprecedented consultations with Mediterranean civil society, this event aims to boost cooperation between countries in the Western Mediterranean by implementing projects that support human, economic and sustainable development in the region.
The Summit of the Two Shores is part of the 5+5 Dialogue, which brings 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 (Union for the Mediterranean and the Anna Lindh Foundation) and international economic organizations (World Bank, European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) present in the region, are involved in this initiative.
“I announced at the beginning of the year in Tunis that a Summit of the Two Shores would be held, based on the current 5+5 Dialogue but in an even more inclusive format with significant contribution from civil society [...] We must define a different Mediterranean policy by learning from all of our successes and shortcomings.” Emmanuel Macron, Conference of Ambassadors, Paris, 27 August 2019
Mobilizing Mediterranean Civil Society
The Summit of the Two Shores was based on the idea that civil society must be fully involved in defining a new and positive agenda for the Mediterranean region.
For three months between April and June 2019, Western Mediterranean civil society groups from north and south worked on developing tangible solutions for the region. Groups targeted included young people and economic, social, academic and cultural stakeholders. Their reflections and proposed initiatives will be shared with Heads of State and Government at the Marseille Summit, where priority actions will be identified.
Initiatives may be of several kinds: completely new projects, projects at the technical development stage, projects requiring funding or extensions to existing projects. They may also 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.
The 100: Bringing Together 100 Representatives of Civil Society in/from the Western Mediterranean
Each State in the 5+5 Dialogue has put forward the names of 10 civil society representatives. One from each country was named the lead representative. Lead representatives sit on a steering committee, whose work is coordinated by the Tunisian lead, Ouided Bouchamaoui.
These representatives are called “The 100”. They took part in all preparatory thematic forums with a view to 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 and called on Heads of State and Government to act on them.
Five Preparatory Thematic Forums
Five preparatory forums took place prior to the Marseille Summit. Each focused 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 led discussions and suggested projects – instead of institutional or State actors.
The CMI was fully mobilized as a key technical partner of the “Summit of the Two Shores”. In its unique position as a multi-partner collaborative platform and through its institutional, academic, civil society partners, on both national and local levels, the CMI has contributed to the identification of regional projects and initiatives to reinvigorate the Mediterranean area, which is key for the stability of the region and the world.
CMI representatives, participated in 4 out of the 5 Summit preparatory for a (Algiers, Valetta, Rabat and Palermo) as well as in the restitution meeting in Tunis.
After the Summit, the CMI stands ready to support the execution and monitoring of emerging projects.