Young Med Voices Debating Mediteranean Citizenship Engagement with EU Parliament MEP’s at AJCM Festival
Young Mediteranean Voices collaborated with organisers of AJCM’s Festival holding regional debate session on 8 June 2020, in partnership & support of French EU Parliament Liaison Office, French Network of Anna Lindh Foundation, Region SUD - Provence ALpes Côte d’Azur, and Eurocircle.
Our Young Mediterranean Voices alumni, Samir Akacha (France) & Manal Benani (Algeria), played a pivotal role in unpacking hands on political debate expertise at the regional debate session. Programme participants challenged MEP’s take on addressing concerns raised & reported from regional peers you held & led earlier working groups addressing Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystem – Gender Inequality – Sustainable Development & Green Economy.
Young Med Voices participants argued for a policy perspective on the aftermath of COVID19. In addition to flagging the need for mechanisms to address parity on policy, programmatic & funding mechanism grounds as envisioned by youth. Furthermore, our participants called for scaling up best practices led by their fellow grassroots in countries of Mediterranean basin. Samir Akacha from France was critical of “public authority & open spaces for educating citizens on gender based violence”. While Manal was analytical on “gender quota vs political competencies & scope of youth influence on both country & region level”. They also advocated for utilizing the power of social networks & media, in institutional capacity, to model waste management addressing plastic pollution resulting from COVID19 crisis.
Mr. François Alfonsi, MEP The Greens (Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of UfM) reflected on raised arguments, with ongoing budgetary & policy discussions on reshaping EU Neighbourhood Policy in light of COVID19. Mr. Alfonsi said, “While countries neighbouring Mediterranean Sea continue to face climate change & from shipping traffic & tourism industries polluting our shared territory.”. Ms. Agnès Rampal, PACA Regional Counsellor (President of the EuroMed Commission & Member of the EU Committee of the Regions) was equally supportive on relieving the ecological impact & reducing climate change. Ms. Rampal echoed, “ there is a need to establish “Euromed Youth Parliament” as instrumental to the regional policy-making process. Hence, institutionalizing tangible outcomes from diverse initiatives of youth-led initiatives (country-level & regional)”.
Festival was concluded by a musical festival broadcasted from Marseilles, preceded by workshops on: the First Virtual Young Artist Residency and another on AJCM plogging challenge (showcasing disruptive impact of COVID19 crisis on environment with ongoing dumping of personal protective tools in the Mediterranean).