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Erasmus of the Mediterranean

Alfano: “The Mediterranean must be a border that unites and the mobility of young talents is key in favouring mutual knowledge and a constructive exchange between the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean. This is what led us to think of an Erasmus of the Mediterranean, providing for scholarships and mobility programmes for university students and young researchers. An investment in culture aimed at opening new channels of dialogue and at creating a common Mediterranean identity, fostering conditions of security and peace in the region.”

The statement was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, when commenting the signing of the Joint Declaration on the “Erasmus of the Mediterranean” that will take place on Friday, 1 December, from 3:45 to 4:00 p.m. in the Sala Orsini of Rome’s Hotel Parco dei Principi, on the fringes of the 2017 edition of MED – Rome Mediterranean Dialogues.

The Declaration will be signed by Minister Alfano, the Vice President of the Presidential Council of Libya, Ahmed Maitig, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Abdelkader Messahel, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tunisia, Khemaies Jhinaoui, and the Ambassador of the Republic of Lebanon, Mira Daher Violides. 

The project aims to reaffirm the centrality of the Mediterranean in Italy’s foreign policy and the importance of sharing and exchanging experiences between students and young researchers as a key instrument in enhancing mutual knowledge and understanding among the Mediterranean Countries. 

The idea of an Erasmus of the Mediterranean constitutes the tangible continuation of a process that the Foreign Ministry started off with the programme “Italy, Cultures, the Mediterranean” launched on the fringes of the OSCE Conference of 24 and 25 October in Palermo. 

With the Declaration due to be signed, Italy commits to perform the two following actions: 

1)         increase the number of scholarships to be assigned to the aforesaid Countries;

 2)         at EU level, favour the Erasmus+ Programme, giving priority status and allocating greater financial resources to the mobility programmes to and from these Countries on the Southern Shore of the Mediterranean. 

The Declaration also reaffirms the common commitment to further promote and support inter-university cooperation and favour the development of curricula aimed at creating mutually recognised qualifications in the respective legal systems.  

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