Towards A More Inclusive Youth Engagement In Arab Mediterranean Countries
The aim of this paper is to provide recommendations to the Youth Partnership between the European Commission (EC) and the Council of Europe in the field of youth policy through listening and learning from the experiences of the youth in five Arab Mediterranean countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon.
We intend to better understand young people’s aspirations and to acknowledge them, we call for support for evidence-based youth policy in Arab Mediterranean Countries (AMCs), in particular, to ease intergenerational relationships, i.e. how the older generations listen, understand, and collaborate with young people. In this paper, we draw on rich qualitative and quantitative material collected in the framework of the EU-funded SAHWA research project. From our analysis, the most important element to highlight is the impact of the marginalisation of young people: the absence of political tools to influence the management of state affairs and resources and the grave challenges blocking the way to attaining hoped-for life chances due to structural obstacles to the labour market.
There is also a need to open new horizons of non-violent civic engagement for young people and to facilitate confidence-building measures by offering meaningful roles in public debates and decision-making processes. This can only be achieved in the more inclusive societies that the Arab Mediterranean youth aspire to build. Euro-Med Youth Cooperation can play a part in achieving this ambitious goal. Doing so, however, necessitates a profound reshaping of these cooperation policies in the near future. Although the EU is in the process of implementing its Youth Strategy (2010-2018) and mainstreaming cross-sector initiatives in this regard, the youth dimension remains to be mainstreamed in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), which affects its cooperation with countries on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean.