MEDITERRANEAN SEA An area of approximately 2.5 million km². 3.860 km in length. It’s the largest inland sea in the world. Its banks comprised 22 countries and 450 million people. More than 150 million live on its shores. Neighboring countries: Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the Gaza strip of Palestine, Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, the islands Malta and Cyprus.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA Found in its history, past and present, three major religions, cultures and social organizations: the Christian, the Muslim and Jewish. Today is a patchwork political, social and cultural, where we meet: a high level of socioeconomic inequalities and North- South and South-South; the highest rates in the world and hydrocarbon pollution.
MEDITERRANEAN INSTITUTIONS The Euro-Mediterranean partnership launched in 1995 and known as the Barcelona Process has found an inflection point in July 2008 with the birth of the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM). The UPM claims to be a stable institutional framework of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.
THE MEDITERRANEAN CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY (MCA) Since 2008 a group of citizens of the Mediterranean have committed to work towards the emergence of a Mediterranean citizenship and a Mediterranean community of people. They elaborated a Founding Charter, based on the values of democracy, freedom, peace, respect for cultural diversity and environmental responsibility.
THE MEDITERRANEAN CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY (MCA) The MCA aims to favor the emergence of a citizen’s voice and action, thanks to meetings, communication and the creation of places for diverse dialogue. It’s a process in the medium and long term purport to bring together the different sectors of society: citizens’ movements, public and private institutions, companies, associations, unions, experts, universities, research centers etc.
OBJECTIVES OF THE MCA To contribute to building a sustainable Mediterranean area of peace, development, solidarity between Mediterranean peoples. To promote the involvement of citizens within a new political, economic and social structure for the Mediterranean basin. To work towards overcoming mutual fears to give a sense of human, political, cultural, environmental and economic unity to a community of Mediterranean peoples once again.
THE FIRST MCA GENERAL MEETING IN VALENCIA, SPAIN The First Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly on the theme “Institutions and citizenship in the Mediterranean” was held in Valencia, Spain, from 2nd to 4th July 2010. Over 100 people from 18 Mediterranean countries participated in this first Assembly, among them members of Mediterranean Citizens’ Circles of Greece, Albania, Spain, Montenegro and Morocco. Were also present representatives of all the Euro- Mediterranean public institutions.
SOME PROPOSALS ISSUED DURING MEETING IN VALENCIA Enable the emergence of a Peoples’ Mediterranean Community, anchored in a Mediterranean political area and Mediterranean citizenship. Require active policies against unemployment, particularly amongst the youngest layers of the population, as well as policies of integration for women. Promote mobility, especially in the case of young people. Promote education, based on new and crossed insights. Protect and preserve the Mediterranean sea as a resource and heritage.
THE SECOND MCA GENERAL MEETING IN TUNIS, TUNISIA The second meeting of the MCA was held from 1st to 4th December, 2011 in Tunis, and gathered more than 150 citizens from all Mediterranean countries and representatives of various institutions and entities present in Mediterranean. Since 2011, developments in North and South Mediterranean have demonstrated the determination of citizens to take responsibility for their sustainable future. Citizen dynamics are found north of the Mediterranean too, where a combination of factors has equally devoted the strong affirmation of citizenship in response to the crisis of politics.
SOME PROPOSALS FROM MCA For this, the MCA proposes to support the emergence of new models of governance enabling people to advance in their development by surpassing mutual fears. It’s necessary to give a new impetus to peace and to regional integration by ceasing to support corrupted regimes and practices. Transparency in the relationship is indispensable. Development must be designed as a factor of democratization. A fairer territorial balance and a fairer distribution of wealth is needed. The EU must get out from its short-term security perspective and give precedence to a long term vision of sustainable development shared with the south of the Mediterranean. Immigration must be seen as a cultural and economic opportunity and synergies with immigrants have to be promoted.
THE MCA AND THE CITIZENS’ REVOLUTIONS IN IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION The MCA has expressed its deepest admiration to the peoples of Tunisia and Egypt, which have opened a new path for the revival of citizenship, dignity, freedom and democracy The rebirth of the dream for a more human and fair society, governed by the rules of law universally established. the citizens of the North, South, East and West Mediterranean must be at the heart of the righteous struggles that cross Mediterranean countries on both shores. Struggles, in the near future, may change the geopolitical framework of the Mediterranean, and will force the European Union and other international bodies to review their policies in the region.
MCA STRUCTURE The MCA promotes the creation of local circles of citizens of the Mediterranean as areas of permanent and open dialogue between citizens. The circles already actives are: Valencia (Spain), Roma (Italy), Tirana (Albania), Volos (Greece), Montenegro, Croatia, Tunis (Tunisia), Oran, (Algeria), and Casablanca (Morocco). France, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt are under construction. They are organized around the debate of ideas and the development of collective citizen’s analysis and proposals.
MCA STRUCTURE Coordination of the MCA is carried out by: the CERAI (Spain), MEI (Belgium), UET (Albania). The Secretariat of the MCA is located at the MEDEA Institute (Belgium). The MCA has a Consultative Council currently consists of around thirty personalities from various Mediterranean countries of the Mediterranean and various socio- professional.