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Mogherini Launches Pioneering 'Young Med Voices Plus' Youth Initiative

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini launched yesterday the 'Young Med Voices Plus' initiative to “open all channels” to youth agency across the Mediterranean through large-scale communication and advocacy actions. She met with 36 young civil society actors from 16 different countries from the Middle East and North Africa and the EU to discuss a wide variety of issues affecting people on both sides of the Mediterranean.

Organised in partnership with the Anna Lindh Mediterranean Foundation and the European Youth Forum, the initiative represents a major achievement in a process driven by Young Mediterranean Voices, a leading network of young change-makers established in 2011 after the historic Arab uprisings. The network brings together young teachers, journalists, environments, social entrepreneurs, and peace and democracy activists from across North Africa, the Middle East and now Europe.

The gathering with High Representative Mogherini has also been the catalyst for a series of immediate-term actions announced today by the EU:

Launch of “YOUNG MED VOICES PLUS”, the initiative of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs to “open all channels” to youth agency across the Mediterranean through large-scale communication and advocacy actions in partnership with the Union´s Delegations and Representations across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). A taskforce of “Young Med Voices” has been appointed to ensure an effective follow-up to yesterday´s inaugural dialogue, along with the EEAS and the EU services, with a next meeting scheduled for 3-4 May 2017 in Brussels during European Youth Week.

A new cooperation framework between the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) and the European Youth Forum to support the expansion of Young Med Voices Plus including a large-scale mapping exercise to inter-connect existing youth participation structures and platforms across Europe and the MENA region.

New EU funding to support the Anna Lindh Foundation to expand debate and dialogue skills capacity-building in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe - The EU is allocating EUR 3.2 million for “Young Mediterranean Voices” (2017-2020), the initiative has also secured the financial backing of a consortium of partners. Facebook has also confirmed its collaboration on Young Mediterranean Voices through an innovative public-private participation aimed at challenging extremist discourses.

Announcement of EU collaboration on the first UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) - The EEAS to co-organise next September the “European consultation forum” for the 2250 Progress Study with the United Nations Secretariat and the Anna Lindh Foundation as member of the inter-institutional steering group for the Progress Study.

Strengthening youth voice in EU Communications in the Southern Neighbourhood - The EEAS announced that its “Task Force South” (on outreach & communication to the Arab World) will have a strategic focus on reaching out to young people and amplifying the visibility of youth agency across the Mediterranean. A Strategic Communications Regional Seminar will be held in Tunis from 15-17 May 2017, bringing together communications staff and political officers from EU Delegations and Headquarters to streamline policy and communications actions.


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