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Rome MED 2015: new ideas and a positive agenda for the Mediterranean

SOCIETYMED2015_finaleBetween the 10th and 12th of December, 33 Heads of State, Ministers, top officials of international organizations and over 400 representatives of the political, economic and cultural communities met at Med 2015 – Rome Mediterranean Dialogues, in Italy: a three–day conference on the current challenges and transformations in the Mediterranean.

The ambition of the debate – promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ISPI – was, beyond focusing on the most pressing challenges in today’s Mediterranean, to stimulate new ideas on the ongoing transformations in the MENA region and set a positive agenda.

Terrorism
The defeat of Daesh and violent extremism was confirmed as a priority at the conference, but several speakers underlined that the military response needs to go hand in hand with more concrete efforts to prevent radicalization by strengthening intelligence collaboration, combating terrorist financing, fostering a new media narrative and reinforcing cultural cooperation.

Migration
Rethinking current policies beyond the humanitarian crisis. New ideas were explored on how to identify safe and legal routes for asylum-seekers, provide social inclusion and combine counter–trafficking policy with the protection of human rights.

Business and opportunities
Another key pillar of the Conference was the search for new growth opportunities to re–launch economic interactions and promote greater integration amid the two shores of the Mediterranean. Specific attention was devoted to the role that business communities can play to foster common prosperity.

Libya and Syria
Identification of viable policy options for Libya and Syria and of sound strategies to promote successful post–conflict transitions were also addressed in the 3–day Conference. Special Dialogues with key international actors and policy–makers were dedicated to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the role of Russia, Turkey and Qatar in the Middle East, and the cooperation in the infrastructure and energy fields.

Two more goals
First, start a reflection on how to rebuild, in the medium–term, a regional order in the Mediterranean. Second, develop a “positive agenda” for a region that is not only divisions and conflicts but also opportunities.

The personalities who attended Rome MED 2015 include: the King of Jordan Abdullah II, the Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergej Lavrov, the Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, the Lebanese Minister of Interior Nouhad Machnouk, the Egyptian Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman, the Minister of Energy of Morocco Abdelkader Amara, the Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil El–Araby, the Chief negotiatiors for Palestine and Israel Saeb Erekat and Silvan Shalom, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos and the UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. On the Italian side, the President of the Council of Ministers Matteo Renzi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni, the Minister of Defence Roberta Pinotti and the Minister for Economic Development Federica Guidi.

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