Asambleas Ciudadanos


 

the Mediterranean Citizens' Assembly

 

 

Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly : towards a Mediterranean community of the people

Translations : français . English . Español


We, the undersigned of this text, commit ourselves to participating in the process of construction of the Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly, a regional dynamics that will aim to contribute to the construction of a common, long-lasting space of peace, development, solidarity and prosperity shared by the Mediterranean peoples. Our initiative is meant to be complementary to other existing experiences that pursue the same objectives. Our Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly is based on the democratic values of freedom, peace and respect for cultural diversity and environmental responsibility. The Assembly seeks to ease the emergence of common citizens’ word and action in order to develop permanent meetings by means of innovating methods and instruments.


Rome, 22nd February 2009


Constant features and challenges



1. The constant features shared in common


Despite the complexity of the Mediterranean reality, we, Mediterranean Citizens, are firmly decided to collectively establish a whole of general constant features, which make the object of a strong consensus among us.


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Logo de l’Assemblée citoyenne de la Méditerranée
  • Although its unity and its political existence are not proved yet, the Mediterranean region is in fact a historical, human, commercial, cultural, social and environmental reality. This reality is not unimportant, but it deserves to be recalled and developed. Actually, this reality has been out of sight, particularly after the Second World War, because of the creation of a tight trans-Atlantic axis and the foundation of the European Union with the Northern Mediterranean countries, and the subsequent integration in the Union of more countries of the North-Eastern cost. Theses regional or political integrations have kept away some coastal countries from the Mediterranean whole for a long time.
  • The failure of the attempts to create some entities in the South and East of the Mediterranean is flagrant today.
  • There is a strong contradiction between the free circulation of merchandises and capital flow and the restrictions imposed to the circulation of people.
  • The appearance of tensions among worlds of different religious traditions is a very worrying reality.
  • The Eastern Mediterranean coast countries, which know the difficulties generated by economical and political transition, ethnical conflicts and conflicts among minorities, suffer or refuse isolation. It is impossible to exactly know how the Citizens -from these countries and the Mediterranean- will accept and live the double membership. On the one hand as part of Europe, on the other hand, as part of the Mediterranean.
  • Finally, we would like to underline that the relationships existing among the different coastal countries are variously developed, and are often based on a bilateral logic, which is rarely multilateral.

We are conscious about the fact that a Mediterranean approach in these conditions is complex, maybe difficult. However, we are convinced that it is absolutely essential.


2. Main challenge and strategic axes


The biggest challenge is the construction of a Mediterranean community of peoples. For this aim, first of all, it is necessary to identify some big strategic axes.


We think that today it is necessary :


  • To perform on the base of agreed and shared governance, adapted to the Mediterranean space. Obviously, the intention is not to impose a unique model of governance that was pre-existing and unadapted to a Mediterranean whole. It is necessary that all the members of the Mediterranean peoples participate in the definition and conception of a working model that is at once respectful to the particularities of everyone and allows common reflection and action.
  • To act in favour of an improved access for the countries that are still too confined within their boundaries or are excluded due to economical or political reasons, particularly in Southern and Eastern countries of the Mediterranean.
  • To contribute to the overcoming of mutual fears in order to re-give political, cultural, environmental, economical and human sense to the Mediterranean whole.

The carrying out of these changes will not be developed in a long-lasting and agreed way, unless the Citizens of the Mediterranean mobilize themselves to be understood and freely contribute to the emergence of a common action and word from its Citizens. Our approach will take into account the initiatives of various natures [1] - proposed by many government, parliament and non-government institutions- that care for the creation of a space of long-lasting peace, development, solidarity and prosperity shared by all.




Presentation of the Mediterranean Citizens’ Assemblies



1. Nature, values and principles


  • The Assembly of Citizens [2] is a process of collective action and intelligence (the whole’s notion) to surpass the frame of traditional expertise (citizens’ notion) aiming to produce new proposals and elements for consensus.
  • The Citizen’s Assembly shall be guided by three principles:
    • it allows -first of all- to identify the biggest mutations and the challenges that are awaiting us
    • it tends to build up common perspectives while taking into consideration the geographical and socio-professional diversity of situations and points of view
    • it bases democracy on the identification of common values, interests, challenges and commitments that are at the foundation of the community –and of «living together».
  • The Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly is part of a humanist and progressive vision of the historical evolution of the Mediterranean as a whole and of the whole planet. This vision is based on the democratic values of freedom, peace and respect for cultural diversity and environmental responsibility
  • The Mediterranean Citizen’s Assembly is known as a space of permanent dialogue among societies –with all its members- in the Mediterranean basin. It is a long-term process that gathers together the different actors in society –citizens’ movements, public and private institutions, companies, associations, labour unions, experts, universities, research centres, etc.
  • The Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly pursues to help to re-found a renovated citizenship that is based on responsibility, dialogue and sharing.

2. General objectives


The Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly wishes to tend to the following objectives :


  • To contribute to the construction a long-lasting Mediterranean space of peace, development, solidarity and prosperity shared by the peoples.
  • To participate in the emergence of new ways of governance that are really arranged and shared within the Mediterranean space.
  • To act in favour of economical and political integration in the regional frame, while allowing some peoples to get out of their confinement.
  • To work for the overcoming of mutual fears in order to re-give political, cultural, environmental, economical and human sense to the Mediterranean community of peoples.

3. Carrying out


  • The Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly has the purpose of, first of all, establishing the common constant features and defining collective vision and perspectives to face the challenges of the 21st century.
  • Secondly, we will discuss the perspectives of different origins in order to find the priorities, common strategies and well-defined proposals –which could serve, among others, to orientate the political action. In accordance to our vision of what makes a society, the participants of theses meetings will come from the maximum social, professional and cultural means in the Mediterranean basin.
  • A steering committee has been arranged to promote this approach. It is composed by the representative members of the geographical, cultural, socio-professional diversity in the Mediterranean.
  • The spaces of dialogue could take the form of general meetings and thematic workshops.
  • The development and good working of the Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly partly lies on instruments and work methods of a collaborative kind. These instruments, which will be adapted to needs, will be considered as an element in its own right of our approach. We, the undersigned of this text, commit ourselves to developing and promoting the process of the Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly, and to performing in favour of a Mediterranean community of peoples.




Members of the Steering Committee [3]



  • Baghdadi SI MOHAMED (Algeria) - Teacher. Associative actor.
  • Ahlem BEL HADJ (Tunisia) - Hospital practitioner children’s psychiatry. Feminist activist.
  • Jelloul BEN HAMIDA (Tunisia/France) - Director of the publication N@rosnews. Associative actor implied in the reflection about migrations fluxes.
  • Adrian CIVICI (Albania) - Economist. Headmaster of the European University of Tirana.
  • Sergio ESCRIBANO (Spain) - Agricultural Engineer. Director of CERAI (Centre for Rural Studies and International Agriculture).
  • Vicent GARCÉS (Spain) - Member of the governing board of CERAI (Centre for Rural Studies and International Agriculture). Member of the European Parliament.
  • Sandro GUIGLIA (Italy) - Instructor. Associative actor within the domain of development.
  • Françoise MACÉ (France) - Direction Assistant. Programme Responsible. Foundation Charles Léopold Mayer for the Progress of Men (Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le Progrès de l’Homme, FPH).
  • Ziad MAJED (Lebanon) - Researcher on political sciences. Coordinator of the Arab Net of studies on democracy.
  • Mina RHOUCH (Morocco/Spain) - Doctor. President of the International Medical Centre for the Migrants and Strangers (Spain). Member of the board of the Moroccan community in foreign countries.
  • Sezin TOPÇU (Turkey) - Sociologist of sciences and techniques. Member of the Foundation Sciences Citizens.
  • Yolanda ZIAKA (Greece) - Economist, agent of civil service. Coordinator of Committee for the Charter of Human Responsibilities for Southern Europe.





[1] Such as the Barcelona Process and the Union for the Mediterranean, the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, the civil Forum and the regional social Forums.

[2] The format of the Citizens’ Assembly was born from the works of Alliance for a responsible, plural and united world (www.alliance21.org). In December 2001 the World Citizens’ Assembly takes place in Lille (France). After, the format was polished with the experience of the China-Europe Forum, held in 2005 (www.china-europa.net). At present there are many initiatives in process in India, in Asia, in Latin America, in Africa (www.assemblees-citoyens.net).

[3] The other members will be soon integrated in the steering Committee ; this list will be regularly developed.

 

 

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