The final event of the WestMED Hackathons will take place tomorrow June 30th in Malta.
It will be a moment of synthesis but also of planning. The main results achieved in the numerous events that took place between May and June in the various countries of the western Mediterranean, participating in the initiative, will be presented.
What Is WestMED?
It is an initiative of the Mediterranean Union, supported by the European Commission, with the aim of supporting the sustainable blue economy, promoting employment, improving the maritime governance of the western Mediterranean and contributing to the realization of projects that make this part of the Mare Nostrum safer and more protected by preserving ecosystems and biodiversity.
The conception of WestMED is far-sighted, based on the awareness that the Mediterranean, in order to be truly protected and to become a driving force of growth not only economic for the populations that face it, cannot be looked at solely with the eyes of Europeans, but it is necessary to develop projects and join forces of those who share this sea so unique and extraordinary.
Here the link to discover some curiosities about the Mediterranean that not everyone knows.
How did this initiative come about?
This initiative was reached after years of dialogue between ten countries in the western Mediterranean region.
France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Malta are the 5 member states of the European Union; Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia are the 5 partner countries.
Building on the experience of the European Commission for Mediterranean basins, on the macro-regional strategies already introduced and on the specific EU policies for the Western Mediterranean, in November 2015 the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) approved the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Declaration, inviting the participating countries to explore the added value and feasibility of maritime strategies for the sustainable development of the blue economy.
Already in October 2016 the ten countries had encouraged further work and in June 2017 it arrived the approval by the Council of the EU of the initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Western Mediterranean region.
So in December 2018, in Algiers, government representatives of the ten participating countries, together with the European Commission and the Union for the Mediterranean signed a declaration to strengthen regional cooperation on the WestMED initiative.
The agreed roadmap identified 6 priorities:
1. Maritime safety and combating marine pollution
2. development of maritime clusters
3. development and circulation of skills
4. sustainability of consumption and production
5. conservation and restoration of biodiversity and marine habitats
6. development of coastal communities, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.
This roadmap, through the six focal points, aims to develop a sustainable blue economy in the sub-basin to generate growth, create jobs and foster a better living environment for local populations.
In 2021, during the second ministerial conference on the blue economy, the ministers of the 42 states of the UfM (Union for the Mediterranean) recognized the WestMED initiative as a successful example of cooperation and a tool for the development of a sustainable blue economy.
In the months of May and June of this year there were numerous meetings in the different countries, moments of planning and synthesis that on June 30 in Malta, under the Maltese-Libyan co-presidency, will be sublime in the final hackathon of the WestMED initiative.
During structured sessions, concrete project ideas will be discussed and future projects will be defined, also examining funding opportunities.
The main results and conclusions of the different events will be presented, outlining a complete picture of what the actors consider fundamental for the development of the sustainable blue economy in individual countries and in the Western Mediterranean region.
The mission is clear: to develop in the western Mediterranean basin a sustainable blue economy to generate growth and well-being, preserving the ecosystem and the environment.
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