The Mediterranean Discourse on Regional Security
Annual Meeting: Youth and Local Government as Partners in Security?
Larnaca, Cyprus 1. - 2. October 2018
Dr. Petra Weyland
Insecurity in the MENA region has been growing significantly over the last two decades. In spite of tremendous efforts, the regional, national, and human security situation has only worsened; human security remains in an especially concerning condition. We have to face reality. Put simply, “more of the same” actions will risk “more of the same” consequences: a continued and notably acute deterioration of security. It is imperative to develop new approaches to security around the Mediterranean. Faced with grave questions, we need to seek new answers. Fresh approaches can only emanate from innovative, out-of-the-box thinking.
Continuing the discourse
The 2017 Mediterranean Discourse on Regional Security concluded that trustful, meaningful security partnerships based on a vision of shared responsibility are crucial for fostering successful new approaches to security, be it on a regional, national or human level. The track record of regional security cooperation since the Arab Uprisings and the Migration and Refugee Crisis exhibits that an integrated approach based on common goals has been consistently rejected in the pursuit of national goals.
While the 2017 workshop of the Mediterranean Discourse on Regional Security highlighted the importance of a common vision of shared responsibility for security partnerships, the 2018 workshop will focus on how to translate this common vision into practice. Participants of the 2017 workshop identified a range of relevant issues in relation to shared responsibility; the 2018 workshop will address three of these topics, each of utmost importance for security around the Mediterranean.
In all MENA countries, the demographic majority is under 35. This generation experiences acute political and economic exclusion; they are, by and large, left feeling that there is no future for them in their respective countries. However, this generation will inevitably shape the human, national and perhaps regional security situation of tomorrow. Thus, the modality of their integration into the societies of today matters greatly. Although experienced less acutely on the Northern shores, the young generation in many southern European countries faces similar evil, particularly unemployment. Therefore, one of the most urgent questions we must answer:
How can youth play an effective role in security partnerships?
Local Governance is rarely addressed in deliberations about security, especially in regards to national and regional security. This is a grave error, particularly because the root causes of regional crises are often local. In this sense, the EU and its individual member states stress that solutions to the Migration and Refugee Crisis must address causal factors rooted in countries of origin. Hence, the questions to be discussed will include:
How can local actors share responsibility for security around the Mediterranean? How can solutions be construed and pursued locally?
Human Security and its Relevance for National and Regional Security
Over the past two decades, the significance of human security has gained consensus. However, contemporary security dilemmas across the MENA region suggest otherwise. Despite positive rhetoric, national and regional security interests are pursued at the expense of human security. The 2018 workshop will focus on youth and local governance to offer fresh insights into the interrelationship between human and national/regional security.
What insights will be gained from discussions about security partnerships around the Mediterranean in regards to a common vision of shared responsibility?
The Mediterranean Discourse on Regional Security 2018 will be characterized by the pursuit of greater understanding of regional security around the Mediterranean, as well as by the drafting of decisive policy recommendations on how to empower local governance and youth in security partnerships.
Dear Larnaca 2018 Core Group Members,
My name is Brigitta Pirzer and I am the German Reference Librarian at the Marshall Center Research Library. You may already know me from last year’s 2017 LibGuide.
Dr. Weyland and I have worked closely together to research and prepare the topics covered in this year’s 2018 LibGuide. You will see that we added the information from last year’s 2017 Conference LibGuide as well.
The current LibGuide is a work-tool exclusively for the Core Group – when complete it will be the official Larnaca 2018 Conference LibGuide with all Participants having access.
A Blog function to exchange ideas in real-time was attempted for this year’s LibGuide but sadly none of the tools we tested satisfied our expectations or met the Marshall Center’s security standards. Although cumbersome, e-mail will be our best line of communication for the duration of the Conference.
If you have any suggestions to supplement the 2018 LibGuide, please send me an e-mail and I will be happy to add your suggested resource to the LibGuides’s common tool.
I look forward to working with you/everyone!
Best Regards from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Please contact our German Reference Librarian
Brigitta Pirzer at the GCMC Research Library