A network developing knowledge and tools to empower young women and men in the Western and Eastern Basins of the Mediterranean will be launched at UNESCO Headquarters on 5 June. The Project Networks of Mediterranean Youth (NET-MED Youth) is implemented by UNESCO and supported by the European Union, which has committed €8m to the project for the next three years.
Southern Mediterranean countries share common challenges related to the social inclusion of youth, such as high unemployment and weak labour market participation of young women, low representation in public and political spheres, disinterest in civic engagement, exclusion from mainstream media and economic marginalization. NET-MED Youth is a UNESCO-EU joint response to these issues, built on an analysis of youth aspirations and needs in each partner country from the region.
The Network will help young women and men to develop their competencies, claim and exercise their rights and meaningfully engage as active citizens, particularly in decision-making relating to youth policies. The focus will be on the development and revision of public policies by reinforcing the capacities and participation of identified youth organizations and stakeholders working on youth-related issues (locally elected officials, decision-makers and civil servants).
NET-MED Youth will also promote young people’s freedom of expression, representation in mainstream media and empowerment through media and information literacy, underpinning their participation in public dialogue. By facilitating their involvement in media production and by reinforcing the capacities of young journalists, quality coverage relating to youth rights and perspectives will be fostered.
In addition, NET-MED Youth will provide national youth organizations with opportunities for supporting the review of policies and programmes focused on youth employment and transitions, for participating in the production and dissemination of prospective diagnosis findings about the national and regional skills challenges, as well as for reinforcing their capacity to influence the national dialogue with stakeholders.
These activities will be conducted initially on a national level with transnational networking opportunities to be provided as a second step, in order to share experiences between two or more countries and support regional integration.
NET-MED Youth is in line with the objectives of UNESCO’s Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021 and with the UN System-wide Action Plan on Youth (SWAP).
At the European Union level, NET-MED Youth is in line with the Action Plans concluded with most of the Southern Mediterranean countries within the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy revised in 2011. It also complements the National Indicative Programmes (NIPs), particularly in relation to youth and the inclusion of civil society in the light of the EU’s renewed emphasis on building deep democracies and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
For further information, please contact Ms Moufida Goucha, Chief of Section, UNESCO Youth Programme, m.goucha(at)unesco.org ; 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France – Tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 45 52