Around 120 people, political representatives of Mediterranean municipalities, international institutions representatives, NGO’s, civil society and international experts coming from the Mashreq and the Magreb regions, participated in the debates held during the two days of the seminar

The seminar took place on 15th and 16th of June in Tripoli (Lebanon), and was organized by the MedCities network with the support of the CoMun programme of the GIZ and the Centre of Mediterranean Integration in Marseille (CMI).

The seminar was organized in round tables in order to present best practices on City Development Strategies and strategic projects as a tool to transform municipal governance, the role of civil society in the decision-making processes and international actors in the implementation of strategic projects.

The presentation of experiences from several Mediterranean cities promoted the debates and exchanges of knowledge among representatives from Morocco, Tunisia, Cypriot, Jordan, France, Spain and Lebanon. The active participation of representatives of the Lebanese civil society contributed to the debates with a critical view of the decision-making processes and the role of citizenship in the municipal governance.

The conference started with a presentation of the work done by MedCities during the last months and the role of its Knowledge Transfer Center established in the Urban Community of Al Fayhaa.

The first round table focused on the City Development Strategies as a tool to transform municipal governance, through the experiences of the CDS of Larnaca and Sousse, and the analytical report about CDS in the Mashreq, done by Mohamed Beni-Amer from the Muhanna Foundation with the coordination of the KTC of Al Fayhaa. These experiences and results were developed during the USUDS project, leaded by MedCites.

The second round table presented strategic projects within CDS in Lebanese cities. Speakers presented the main challenges of their municipalities and how the CDS helped to overcome them.

The first day ended with a roundtable on the role of local actors in local decision-making processes. The different presentations led to an interesting debate about the real capacity of the population to influence public policies, and the need to empower local municipalities.

The second day was dedicated to experiences of mobilization and the engagement of actors for the implementation of strategic projects.

The presentations generated strong debates on the challenges of citizen and stakeholder participation in the definition of the future of the cities, as an element that promotes the ownership of strategic projects and the transparency of local administrations.

Some representatives of the civil society that attended the second day of the seminar, emphasized the need of having a debate on the real citizenship participation in the definition of the strategies and the implementation of projects in order to achieve this sense of ownership and responsibility within the local population.

The last roundtable put emphasis on the importance of international and bilateral cooperation among the cities of the Mediterranean. The participants had the occasion to reflect on the importance of decentralized cooperation with the example of concrete projects developed among  cities. Moreover, other projects elaborated with the collaboration of other international actors such as NGO or international organizations as the UNDP or UN Habitat were also presented.

To accesss to all the presentations, clikc on the title of the sessions written on the program below.