Mediterranean citizenship: a community of destiny
The VIII meeting of the Mediterranean Citizens´Assembly
Yolanda ZIAKA, Yolanda Ziaka, November 2019
Around 100 young people from all around the Mediterranean gathered in Barcelona, Spain, from November 7-10, 2019, to attend the VIII meeting of the Mediterranean Citizens´Assembly (MCA). Since 2008, a group of Mediterranean citizens have committed to work towards the emergence of a Mediterranean community of peoples. In order to do so, they launched the development of a Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly.
Today, the MCA is a network of people and organizations, organized in ‘citizens circles’, coming from Lebanon to Spain, from Bosnia to Morocco, through Greece and Egypt.., involved in actions to promote citizen dialogue across this mosaic of cultures that forms the Mediterranean identity.
The Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly taking place in Barcelona, from 7-10 November 2019, was based on a portrait of the major challenges in the Mediterranean and on a call to action:
“The Mediterranean youth is born and raised on a war context, with a dismal future, lack of professional opportunities, a limited education quality, intergenerational conflicts and huge difficulties for mobility. Nationalist policies that exclude and close borders in the West are emerging. Islamophobia is growing, security and anti-terrorism policies are beginning to limit the areas of freedom and the rights of citizens.
We are witnessing a hemorrhage of human beings, especially young people, forced to leave their home country, even at the cost of their lives, in search of peace, work and a better life. Wars, economic social and climate inequality and the developing policies are turning the Mediterranean Sea into an impassable wall, converting it into a cemetery. We want the Mediterranean Sea as a common circulation space and as a place where its diversity is respected and appreciated. A sea of progress and peace, which should overcome the current situation in order to facilitate the stability and future of young people from the three continents that cross it. “
For three days, the Mediterranean youth, aged from 18 to 35, participated in the debate on themes such as ‘Culture and Education’, ‘Economy, mobility and climate change’, ‘Empowerment and Citizenship’, ‘New Technologies and Democracy’, along with representatives from the European institutions and Spanish local authorities.
French philosopher Edgar Morin addresses the Mediterranean youth gathered for the VIII Mediterranean Citizens Assembly, in Barcelona
Creating bonds and networks that stretch across “Mare Nostrum”. A young participant in the Mediterranean Citizens Assembly relates his experience