Morocco has suggested for more solidary and creative cooperation between the two sides of the Mediterranean to overcome the consequences of Covid-19, as well as to promote critical economic sectors in the Euro-Mediterranean area.

In an address at the 2022 Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Bodies in Marrakech, Ahmed Réda Chami, the President of the Economic, Social, and Environmental Council (CESE), emphasized “the need to establish a more enterprising and bold long-term strategic direction for our ties with the European Union in order to attain a Mediterranean region recovery and long-term development.

Chami, who thinks that the EU must pay greater attention to present divisions and respond more effectively to the demands of its southern counterparts, affirmed CESE’s eagerness to continue working with the EU and expanding it further in order to make it more effective.

“The 2022 Euromed Summit is a great opportunity for discussion, collaboration, and exchange in areas of shared interest as well as further enhance the bilateral friendship between both shores of the Mediterranean,” the president added.

This conference, Chami says, is “also critical in allowing civil society representatives’ voices to be heard and strengthening their active engagement in the construction of a Euro-Mediterranean zone of peace, prosperity, and freedom.”

“This epidemic, whose effects are still being felt, has worsened the fragility of our economic, social, and environmental development models and has challenged the international cooperation between nations,” he emphasized, recalling that Morocco, on the orders of his majesty the king, had responded swiftly by sending essential medical aid to fifteen African nations.

Chami said the most important lessons to learn from Covid-19 crisis management are the necessity for fundamental health system reform and a social protection mode to emerge across value chains.

“I am confident that this Marrakech summit will be a milestone in the process of fixing our shared problems and the successful revitalization of the Euro-Mediterranean project,” he added.

After kicking off last Tuesday, the Euromed summit had a unique session on “Debriefing on disaster management in the Mediterranean”, as well as a plenary sessions on “Networks in the Euro-Mediterranean area – developing regional cooperation”; “Renewed partnership with the Southern Neighborhood”; and “Covid-19: the role of civil society in the reconstruction and resilience of the Euro-Mediterranean region”.

It also includes sessions on such themes as “the impact of COVID-19 and the Ukraine war on long-term development in Europe,” “mitigating the social consequences of COVID-19,” and “the road to economic recovery.” 

About 120 participants including representatives of businesses, trade unions, other economic and social interest groups, as well as NGOs from the Union for the Mediterranean member states are attending.

The European Economic and Social Committee will publish a more elaborate paper on the summit’s main topic, in close ties with its southern Mediterranean counterparts. 

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