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Wednesday 22 February 2012
150 associations’ representatives and policy makers met in Lyon to share expertise, analysis and recommendations, advocating for youth policy to the size of the Euro-Mediterranean area in response to movements of mobilization of the North and South of the Mediterranean.
From indignation to contribution was the title of the conference-debate organized the first week of February, in Lyon, by National Institute of Youth and Education (INJEP), the French national Agency for "Youth in Action" European program, the SALTO-YOUTH Euromed, the RCBS (Regional Capacity Building and Support Unit for the Euromed Youth Program IV) and the University of Lyon 2. The aim of the event was learn from the strong mobilization of young people one year after the Arab Spring and the waves of protest in Europe leveraging the Euro Mediterranean cooperation tools funded by the European Commission.
The conference attracted 150 association leaders and decision makers, researchers, academics, experts and European programs’ operators from both shores of the Mediterranean. It was the opportunity for these high level political and institutional representatives from the European Commission, the Council of Europe, INJEP, Lyon University, Orient and Mediterranean Institute to provide their expertise on the historical and cultural context on youth mobilization, cautioning against a too culturalist reading, emphasizing the historical and geographical diversity and complexity of context of each country. They also put into perspective the impact of new technologies, but stressed the importance of mobility and intercultural exchanges, confirming that we are living the end of a cycle.
Culmination of a week of preparatory work, this event has given rise to nine recommendations, after rich and committed debates by fifty professionals on youth coming from sixteen countries, including of the eight of the South Shore: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. They include the strengthening of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation among all public and private actors, as well as the recognition of a common framework about non-formal education promoting employability, entrepreneurship and volunteerism. Participants also advocated the free information flow, knowledge sharing and innovation support. Reacting to these recommendations, policy makers in attendance emphasized the importance of an equal cooperation between North and South, guaranteeing the involvement of future generations to an area of stability and prosperity shared in the Euro-Mediterranean area.
Four Euromed Youth Units in charge of the Euromed Youth Program IV have joined and shared this experience: Tunisia, Israel, Jordan and Palestinian Territories. During the two days before (6th-7th on February 2012) they were trained by the RCBS in the presence of the European Commission on procedures, Webtool, training strategy, networking, website management and communication.