2012 CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
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Since 2010, there has been a wave of unrest in the Arab countries in the Mediterranean region. The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ has been rooted in social malaise and in particular in the frustrations of young people about their economic prospects, lack of democracy and the limited opportunities for young citizens to actively engage in social, economic and political development. The revolts underlined the need for a new vision for the public policies which respond to the economic, social and individual needs, and a new concept of governance which ensured the active participation of stakeholders in defining and managing public policies.
On the one hand, the region is typified by rapid demographic development with over 30% of the population under 30. In parallel, the formal engagement and participation by young people in political process is negligible. Policy making processes are highly centralised which distances policy making from the individuals and societies which it is supposed to affect. In general, the governance structures do not include consultative mechanisms through which young people can share their vision and actively contribute to national or local policy processes. There is a need, therefore to create mechanisms through the voice of young people can be heard by policy makers, first and foremost in the field of public management, but also over time in other policy areas in which young people can become protagonists in the development of the region, such as entrepreneurship, education and training. In this context, the Young Mediterranean Leaders initiative has been launched in 2012, on the proposal of the ETF, and with the support of EGPA, and the College of Europe.
The initiative targets young people with a scientific background and interest in public policy in order to provide them with opportunities to contribute to policy development and to reinforce their potential to become future policy leaders.
These opportunities4 are expected to include a clearly defined and timebound role or task within a specified policy exercise5 organised by ETF in his/her country of origin. In addition, Young Mediterranean Leaders may also be offered opportunities for short internships in EU Universities including study visits to policy making institutions at EU and Member States level. Finally, laureates will be invited to participate to the ETF Torino Process conference in
May 2013 in Torino, as well as to the MED6 in September 2013.
The initiative takes place in the context of the 5th Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue on Public Management organised by EGPA.