14/04/2010

Institutions and Citizenship in the Mediterranean

Meeting with the Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly (MCA)
Wednesday 14 April 2010 from 12h30 to 14h, at the European Movement International, 25 Square de Meeus, 1000 Brussels

 

Given the finding of a lack of involvement of the civil society in the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, the  Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly (MCA) is a new initiative that aims at bringing together different actors of the society in a process of Citizens Assembly, designed as a forum for dialogue between the peoples of the Mediterranean.

To discuss this project, two members of the Council of the MCA were present: Vicent Garcès, Member of the Board CERAI (Centro de Estudios Rurales y Agricultura Internacional) and former MEP and Françoise Macé, program manager the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation for Human Progress. Two members of the coordination were also present: Sergi Ruiz Escribano, Technical Director of CERAI and Charles Kleinermann, Deputy Secretary General of the European Movement International.

 

Origins of the MCA

The Mediterranean is a reality. It is an area which for centuries has linked the peoples who surround it. In recent decades, initiatives, institutional or non-institutional, formal or informal, are multiplying in the Mediterranean. But they are all often juxtaposed and are hampered by latent conflicts in the region.

The Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly is designed as

1) A non-institutional space crossing preexistent Mediterranean initiatives;

2) A citizen engagement meant as personal, in an informal space that facilitates meetings and dialogue.

The initiative is supported by the Spanish NGO CERAI (Centro de Estudios Rurales y Agricultura Internacional), the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation for Human Progress, the European Movement International and the European University of Tirana.

 

Goals of the initiative

The MCA is part of a long-term dynamic  that aims at the emergence of a Mediterranean community of nations. It is complementary to other existing initiatives that pursue the same objective to Contribute to building a sustainable Mediterranean area of peace, development, solidarity and shared prosperity between its peoples.

MCA aims at encouraging the emergence of common citizen words and actions, the implementation of permanent meetings using innovative methods and tools.

In the South, it is often difficult to find real partners among civil society organizations. Initiate a dialogue between citizens will help to overcome this difficulty.

 

Participation & Functioning

As a citizen of the Mediterranean, anyone interested is invited to create himself a circle or to join an established circle. They may address specific topics (agriculture, governance, culture ….) or adopt a specific method. The main concern is for the people who gather to be interested in the Mediterranean and to adhere to the Founding Charter of the MCA.

The MCA does not want an institution or organization but rather a process. The form it will take is not predetermined. It is also possible to see the development of meeting circles in non-Mediterranean cities such as Brussels. Everything depends on the initiatives that will be taken.

The coordination of MCA is not there to centralize, but to facilitate meetings by putting people who want to meet in contact and by financing events if necessary.

Ultimately, the goal is to reach a system working with regional coordination’s (Southern Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Balkans …).

 

Coming soon

If they are motivated, attendees at this meeting in Brussels are encouraged to form a circle of citizens. To become a signatory of the Charter, visit www.acimedit.net.

A meeting is already scheduled for July 2010 on the theme « Mediterranean Dialogues: Institutions and citizenship in the Mediterranean » and will probably take place in Valencia and Alicante.