The Regional Masar Al’an Program with the Mediterranean was launched by the AECID (Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation) last May 21st in Madrid. It is set to launch a new phase for regional cooperation, focusing on three critical areas of intervention: employment creation, ecological transition with an emphasis on environment and water, and gender equality. This comprehensive program, which has been operating since 2012, was initially established in response to the Arab Spring, a period marked by significant political, economic, and social demands across many Arab countries.

MedCities, as an organization dedicated to cooperation among Mediterranean cities, stands ready to collaborate in achieving these objectives through its network of Mediterranean cities. The organization participated in the official launch of the program, presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Mr. José Manuel Albares.

Over the past decade, both the Mediterranean region and the international context have undergone profound transformations, necessitating a renewed and adaptive approach.In its upcoming phase, the Masar Al’an Program will prioritize several cross-cutting themes to enhance its interventions:

  1. Support for Youth: Recognizing the vital role of young people in shaping the future, the program will focus on empowering youth through various initiatives aimed at increasing their employment opportunities and active participation in society. It has been considered fundamental to orient the new regional program towards youth and focus on this group as a cross-cutting element, as well as to promote inclusive economic growth and job creation as key vectors in the fight against the deep inequalities that the region experiences.
  2. Promotion of Collaborative Spaces for Greater Regional Integration: The program will foster collaboration across the Mediterranean region, promoting spaces where regional integration can thrive, thus enhancing economic and social ties.
  3. Inclusivity and Strengthening of Local Entities: A key priority will be inclusivity, ensuring that local entities are empowered and actively participate in the region’s development. This will involve bolstering local governance structures and fostering community engagement in developmental processes.

The Mediterranean concentrates a large part of the challenges of the global agenda: climate change, polarization, crisis energy crisis, growing inequalities, a crisis of food aggravated by the effects of the war in Ukraine, or the regional instability derived from the conflict in the Middle East.

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