Mediterranean Dialogue : Project Presentation
The Mediterranean Dialogue Project aims to establish and strengthen the dialogue between Germany, the European Union and the Southern & Eastern Mediterranean countries. Particularly, the five pillars economy, energy, integrated security/rule of law, human rights and migration are in the spotlight. The dialogue-oriented project intends to promote cross-regional cooperation based on liberal approaches and thus create benefit for the political debate.
Political education, political dialogue and political advice are amongst the central components of the project to pursue the objectives
The location Spain, more specifically its capital Madrid, combines many advantages in order to develop the intended effect of the project in the countries of origin and transit as well as in the "target countries" of the EU. Spain, as bordering the Mediterranean Sea, has traditionally good connections to North Africa. The large number of local development partners and the close ties that exist between Madrid and the Maghreb States also reflects this. Consequently, the government has acted both as a mediator in the North-South dialogue and as a promoter of Pan-European solutions.
The Madrid office seeks to strengthen cooperation and political dialogue between representatives from political parties, scientific institutions and civil society organizations from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany and the European sphere. We are committed to help contribute to solutions to specific regional challenges in Southern Europe and highlight best practices from this ever more important region for the European integration process. It also seeks to develop a new approach to interregional cooperation in the Mediterranean. With partner organisations, we are developing a liberal approach to geostrategic demands and opportunities in the Mare Nostrum.
- Mission: The Mediterranean Dialogue project will always look for adequate synergies and opportunities for cooperation with civil society and institutional actors in order to gain expertise and knowledge on the one hand and to multiply the effect of the measures through access to further target groups on the other.
- Vision: The aim is to network actors from politics and civil society, establish a constant dialogue between stakeholders of both shores of the Mediterranean Sea, develop liberal action plans for the states affected by crises and introduce them into the German and European discourse.
- Objectives: Principally, the objective is the establishment of a network between the FNF Madrid Office, eligible partners and within European institutions. Hence, the creation of a dialogue platform between the like-minded core group within Renew Europe (liberal, pro-European political group of the European Parliament) in order to strengthen the harmonization and “Europeanization” of policy proposals regarding the main fields of action economy, energy, integrated security/rule of law, human rights and migration. The overall objective is the continuous development of feasible and sustainable cross-regional solution strategies for both politics and civil society.
Our main topics of discussion
- Economy: The Mediterranean has been a core region for economic purposes and collaboration for the economies of (especially) south European countries. As a whole, in the region lies enormous economic potential, some of the key sectors include fisheries, aquaculture, tourism maritime transport, and oil and gas extraction. However, we identified the necessity of an enhanced Euro-Med collaboration in order to exploit sustainably the economic opportunities and to foster growth and innovation. Concerning this, the FNF Madrid office seeks to strengthen the dialogue between corresponding actors of the private and public sector to purse the ambitious objectives.
- Energy: Particularly, the huge deposits of natural gas of the favorable circumstances for renewables such as wind or solar energy make the Mediterranean a very prosperous region. Consequently, energy is one of the five strategic pillars of the Mediterranean Dialogue Project of FNF Madrid. It is indispensable that the exploitation of these resources require intelligent supply management, large investments and efficient cooperation strategies of the stakeholders. The activation and improvement of the energy economy can help contributing to the stability of the region and thus to social and economic development. FNF Madrid enables a platform for dialogue and collaboration with the objective of bringing together expertise and share best practice approaches of the actors involved.
- Integrated Security/Rule of Law: Partly, the countries of the Mediterranean lack of human rights, civil laws or the separation of powers. Unstable governments, political turmoil, abuse by the authorities and high-level corruption often characterize the region. As a result, sustainable economic development, followed by social stability are tenuously achieved and do not thrive into a prosperous and stable society. Poverty, public tensions or discrimination might be just a few consequences of labile governing policies. The rule of law serves as a powerful tool and fundament for a functioning democratic society as well as for combating the negative effects of a non-functional governance. The FNF is a constant promoter of liberal and democratic values. As a crucial element and pillar of the Mediterranean Dialogue project, the Madrid office highlights the relevance of the rule-of-law in the countries.
- Human Rights: FNF Madrid is dedicated to promoting human rights and democracy on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea. Especially the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa) have been scene of mass protests and questionable arbitrary detentions. Activities of civil society organizations or independent media are exacerbated and licentiously sanctioned, without having the chance to claim fair trial standards based on international law. Furthermore, in some regions, women and the LGBTQ community are heavily limited in their rights and become the target of repressions. The Mediterranean Dialogue project aims to strengthen local civil society organizations and cooperation between actors both in Europe and in the Mediterranean region. It is essential to develop strong networks, to sensitize society and to elaborate joint strategies in order to improve the circumstances in the affected countries.
- Migration: When you hear about migration to Europe, the Mediterranean Sea is doubtless in the spotlight. For years, the so-called “Mediterranean-routes” were in the focus of the public eye. However, during the last year, more and more refugees from the African continent are settling over to Europe via the even more dangerous “Canarian-route” to achieve Spanish and thus European territory. Migration movements are by nature and by definition cross-border and therefore require jointly developed answers. Therefore, a priority on the project’s agenda is the promotion of liberal and cross-regional cooperation in the area of migration with the objective to eliminate flight causes, to develop concepts for regular and safe migration as well as the to re-integrate migrants in society and labor market. The focus is also on establish basic consensus between the EU and the southern countries bordering the Mediterranean on goals and instruments for conflict regulation and prevention.