Majalat Civil Society Forum discusses EU Policy for the Mediterranean region

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:

  • The pre-eminence of human rights in any partnership
  • The condemnation of racism and xenophobia
  • The respect for the rights of migrants
  • Favouring dialogue over security and repressive approaches
  • Supporting civil society, in a context of shrinking space, to ensure its participation in the design and monitoring of public policies respecting their autonomy and diversity
  • Supporting an economic system that respects social justice and decent work

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.

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