On 2 and 3 December, more than 130 civil society organisations from the southern Mediterranean shore met with representatives of the European Institutions in Brussels in the second edition of the Civil Society Forum.
This forum is part of the EU-funded MAJALAT initiative, which aims to create a frank, safe and free dialogue space between southern civil society and the EU. SOLIDAR is part of the consortium (six NGO platforms from both shores of the Mediterranean) that coordinates this initiative. Several SOLIDAR members active in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region attended the Forum: ARCI, CGIL, ISCOD, ISCOS, MPDL, Progetto Sud, and Solidarité Laïque.
The Forum was structured around five themes of common interest: Good governance, Migration, Economic development, Security and the fight against violence, Social and climate justice, and Economic development. It concluded with specific recommendations for each topic, but above all, with a clear statement of the principles on which the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue should be built to create an area of stability, peace and prosperity in the region based on the respect for human rights:
In a year marked by spontaneous, massive demonstrations in several South Mediterranean countries, the political support of the European Union to civil society is fundamental. In this context, MAJALAT, beyond its involvement in this valuable platform of structured dialogue, should take an active role on making sure that EU policies take into consideration the concerns of southern civil society.
Picture source: Majalat.org