Majalat Forum 2019 – South Mediterranean civil society takes the floor

Belgium, Maghreb, Mashrek, Press Release

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Embargoed until Monday 2 December 01:00am CET

150 representatives of civil society organisations from the southern shore of the Mediterranean will meet in Brussels on 2-3 December to dialogue with EU representatives on how to tackle regional social, political, economic and environmental challenges.

This forum co-funded by the European Commission is organised in the framework of a project called ‘Majalat’ aimed at building a structured dialogue between key civil society players from both sides of the Mediterranean and the European Union. The EU policy towards its Southern Neighbourhood covers ten partner countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia). The EU seeks to encourage political and economic reforms, and support civil society in the region.

Nine years after the Arab uprisings, governments across the Euro-Mediterranean region are still adopting repressive measures and policies to silence the civil society’s critical voices. This forum is a key opportunity for a direct dialogue with EU representatives, with a view to increasing cooperation and support that exist between these actors.

The youth and women are at the heart of this initiative. They have always been instrumental in the development of their region. In recent demonstrations in Algeria and Lebanon, for instance, they have more than ever taken on a major role in public spaces.

EuroMed Rights president Wadih Al-Asmar says: “With the current political developments and spontaneous civil society responses in several South Mediterranean countries, the European Union’s political and practical support to civil society is now more crucial than ever, while evaluating the impact of its cooperation frameworks on civic space, freedom of expression and mobility. In such a context, the Majalat Forum is not only a key platform for dialogue, it is aimed at becoming a place where civil society from the South Mediterranean can influence EU decision-making on topics of common concern.”

 Notes to the editor

  • Majalat is a regional initiative co-funded by the European Commission aiming at creating a hub to generate a structured dialogue between the Civil Society (CS) based in the Neighbourhood-South (NS) and the European Union (EU). Gathering for the second time civil society organisations, trade unions and social movements, Majalat is a unique civil society run process of this kind. The word itself stands for ‘spaces, opportunities, fields and domains.
  • This initiative is being coordinated and set up by six organisations: Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Arab Trade Union Confederation (ATUC), EuroMed Network France (REF), EuroMed Rights, Forum for Alternatives Morocco (FMAS) and SOLIDAR.
  • #MajalatForum19

For more information, please contact:
Catherine Joppart,, 0032 (0) 491 64 37 35
EuroMed Rights, 22 rue des comédiens, 1000 Brussels