The meeting of the Advisory Council and the Governing board of the Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly Foundation, a multidisciplinary group of experts from different parts of the Mediterranean, was held on 12 November.
Due to the mobility restrictions put in place to deal with the pandemic, the meeting had to be virtual, but this did not stop the important work of the Advisory Council and its members.
The meeting began with an analysis of the challenges facing Mediterranean societies in the current context of the pandemic. Vicent Garcés, President of the MCA Foundation and former European MP, pointed out that the pandemic has slowed down our lives and has led us to an adaptation for which not everyone is prepared. On this matter, it was expressed concern about the growing level of poverty on both sides of the Mediterranean, and it was evaluated by what means this situation could be mitigated.
In the same vein, Hassan Balawi, Palestinina diplomat and member of the Advisory Council, pointed out that the pandemic is pushing coexistence to the limit in many places, giving rise to conflicts not only of a political nature, but also of a religious and intellectual nature. Consequently, Balawi continued, we must re-read and reflect on issues of tolerance, diversity, laicism and cohabitation.
The Advisory Council also stressed the need to establish an intergenerational dialogue as a necessary prerequisite for intercultural cooperation among citizens, as well as the ways to achieve it.
Furthermore, the Council reflected on the theme and modalities of the 9th meeting of the MCA Foundation, which will take place in November 2021. Specifically, the proposals presented were discussed by Sébastien Boussois and Maria Donzelli, both members of the Advisory Council. These proposals revolved around the lines of fracture and union between the peoples of the Mediterranean, as well as the establishment of bonds of solidarity between them through citizen diplomacy.
However, the council also highlighted the role of the MCA Foundation as a forum for proposals, dialogue and citizen action, committed to the emergence of a community of the peoples of the Mediterranean. In fact, this objective takes on special relevance in these times, where the democratic values of freedom, peace and respect for diversity are being compromised by the instabilities derived from the pandemic.