Yesterday, December 2nd, the seventh edition of the Rome MED – Mediterranean Dialogues Conference kicked off in Rome. The MED Dialogues are an annual event promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the research institute ISPI. 

Rome MED - Mediterranean Dialogues 2021

The Rome MED – Mediterranean Dialogues conference aims to develop “a positive agenda” for the Mediterranean, based on multilateralism as a strategy for conflict resolution. The need to rethink the traditional approach to the problems and challenges of the region is all the more evident today, in an era of  pandemic  and political and economic transition. 

First launched in 2015, the MED Dialogues have quickly become one of the most important conferences of the Mediterranean, a forum that brings together political leaders, business representatives, civil societies, media and academic communities  from all over the region.   

The 2021 edition of the MED Dialogues will close on Saturday 4 December and will take place in hybrid mode – with both physical and virtual participations and a live streaming broadcast on the Foreign Ministry’s web platform.  

The official opening is scheduled today, with an inaugural speech by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and remarks by Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio  and Ambassador Giampiero Massolo, President of ISPI. The Conference will be attended by  over 50 ministers, representatives of international organizations, academics, entrepreneurs and experts from all over the world. 

MED Dialogues 2021. Courtesy of ISPI.
Courtesy of ISPI.

December 2 was dedicated to a series of international seminars, the Med-Fora.  

The Med- Fora investigated strategic issues for the region, such as the role of women and their contribution to social and economic growth, the economic relevance of infrastructure, the complexity of the migratory issue, the strategic role of cyber security, and the contribution of civil society in the Mediterranean countries. 

The MED Dialogues are based on four pillars: shared prosperity, shared security, migration and civil society  and  culture. The debates around these topics are aimed at complementing reflections on current challenges with new ideas and suggestions to strengthen economic cooperation, overcome regional rivalries and conflicts and ensure the creation of an ecosystem that encourages sustainable and shared development

Among the strategic themes at the heart of the debate are the main security challenges, innovative policies for the management of migratory flows, the fate of the younger generations after the pandemic, the main actions to accelerate the transition towards a green and sustainable economy, the complex problems posed by the climate emergency and reviving the Middle East peace process.  

Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the MED Dialogues
Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the MED Dialogues

The future of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, the role of NATO and the strategies of the European Union, the United States and Russia for the area will also be discussed. 

The MED Dialogues will be an opportunity to discuss how to respond cooperatively to the widespread need for security in a complex and multifaceted region. 

MED Dialogues has become a year-long initiative: over the last few months, in fact, no less than thirty meetings have been held, in digital mode, with top-level international personalities, to strengthen the contribution of ideas and proposals and discuss the situation in the key countries in the region.