A group of young representatives from different youth associations from Mediterranean Regions (France, Spain, Cyprus, and Italy), met last 14-15 December in Santa Severa (Lazio, Italy) to support the creation of an Intermediterranean Youth Council, exchange ideas and identify the issues and objectives of the group.
The idea of the Youth Council is to provide the space for Youth contributions to topics in which the Intermediterranean Commission works on a daily basis, notably maritime issues and Mediterranean identity. All participants met together to share their different experiences and skills regarding education and the blue economy, in order to create a common and shared background. Later on, three parallel groups, World Café style, took place to address various issues regarding the creation of such a network and ensure its sustainability. A side meeting gathering the Representatives of the participating Regions also took place to discuss the ways the Intermediterranean Commission (IMC) Regional authorities could bring their expertise to the table as well.
During the discussions, two main issues that the Youth Council could address were particularly stressed: inequalities and environmental issues. The group also defined the objectives of the Youth Council as well as its main organisational rules and regulations. The Youth Council should work as a facilitator for young people to express and propose new ideas, throughout policymaking systems, and this way, challenge governments to take action in these areas. It should equally represent all the regions from the Mediterranean area, with members from 18 to 30. There should be a two-way exchange between the Youth Council and the IMC, achieved by consultations, attendance to statutory events and participation to meetings and events.
At the end of the day, all participants produced a document focused on the launch of this ambitious Network of Mediterranean Youth Councils which will be further built over the coming months to delimitate the pillars and action plan of the Youth Council.
The creation of the IMC Youth Council is part of the activities carried out by the Lazio Region as co-President, with Occitanie Region, of the IMC “Economic and Social Cohesion” working group. In addition to represent a consulting body, the IMC Youth Council could be a powerful tool to deepen and acquire skills, which will help the young generations of the Mediterranean to grow from a cooperation perspective.