Regional Leadership Seminar, Malta, 17-23 November 2019
The Regional Leadership Seminars brought together 24 young emerging leaders from the participating countries of the Young Mediterranean Voices (YMV), ten from across eight Arab countries. Spread over 5 days, the participants had access to international institutions, media mentoring networks, and European peers. The overarching aim of the programme was to empower young people to enhance a culture of dialogue, and to contribute to public policy and shape media discourses to create a shared understanding with peers across the Mediterranean on how to address issues of common concern to their communities. The Seminars run by the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) combined innovative methodologies to support the participants to work together in a fresh and exciting way, with a focus on tackling a common challenge relevant to societies to the south and north of the Mediterranean.
The Regional Leadership Seminars are one of the core activities of the YMV, which follows on the successful footsteps of the Young Arab Voices, a leading network of young change-makers established in 2011 by the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) after the historic Arab uprisings. The network brings together young teachers, journalists, environmentalists, social entrepreneurs, and peace and democracy activists from across North Africa, the Middle East and now Europe (all 42 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean). The Seminars represent the anchor event in an annual pedagogical programme with alumni from YMV.
The Seminar programme was organised by MEDAC on behalf of the Anna Lindh Foundation with input from the Club de Madrid and Common Purpose International. The components of the seminar programme include leading through values, cultural intelligence and digital outreach, and provided trainees with direct exposure to established leaders (Club de Madrid members) and EU policy makers (co-ordinated by MEDAC and in close collaboration with the EU headquarters).
The programme was devised on the positive evaluation of a model established in February 2016 in Amman, Jordan but takes that model further by integrating leadership skills, media mentoring, digital media campaigns and access to, and interaction with leaders to build self-confidence, develop young people’s capacity for advocacy and provide the tools and networks for impact. This has become an urgent objective as the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini announced in Brussels on 23 May 2018 that she is putting in place new mechanisms for young people to shape EU external policies towards the Mediterranean and Africa. The first Regional Leadership Seminar held in January 2019 and the template created for it was evaluated as a successful formula and this second Regional Leadership Seminar would continue to enhance on it.
Participants in leadership seminars took part in policy platforms and public policy debates at EU level including at EEAS Strategic Communications debates, European Development Days and within the Regional Structured dialogue process. The long-term objective is to provide an operational basis to consolidate a permanent hub and sustained presence with EU headquarters.