Between the 10th and the 12th of July 2017, nearly sixty non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from the southern Mediterranean and Member States of the European Union (EU) were invited, to Brussels, to exchange views with the European Commission and European decision makers on EU development policies and programs. Human rights, security and resilience, governance and democratic transition were also among the discussed topics.
The Forum was an opportunity to review civil society interventions in the above areas and to discuss EU-funded ad-hoc regional programs, with the presence and participation of representatives of reflection groups, international organizations, universities, Media and local authorities.
The Foundation who was invited to participate on a panel on women’s resilience within the society, focused on the role of Civil Society in advancing women’s rights in the Southern Mediterranean, highlighting the advocacy campaigns that are implemented in the CSO WINS Project as an example on the impact of NGOs on women’s access to power in the Southern Mediterranean.
The Foundation also participated at two sessions on young women’s employability, violence against women and women’s rights protection, where participants underlined the importance of ratifying Istanbul Convention and promoting its implementation. Additionally, participants emphasized on female entrepreneurs’ access to funding and the access to education as two essential conditions for building equitable and fairer societies for women.
On the occasion of the Forum, the The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mrs. Federica Mogherini, reiterated the EU’s commitment to supporting civil society in a the context of increasing instability, inequalities and the reduction of space for civil society.
The Forum is part of a permanent consultative process with Euro-Mediterranean NGOs launched in 2013 to create mechanisms for dialogue between civil society, the EU and the authorities. It is expected that the outcomes and recommendations of the Forum will be integrated within programs and policies for and by civil society and key stakeholders.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 “Strengthening the capacities of equality actors” of the Priority Solidarity Fund “Women for the future in the Mediterranean” funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women’s Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.