COVID-19: The role of civil society in the reconstruction and resilience of the Euro-Mediterranean region

EESC opinion: COVID-19: The role of civil society in the reconstruction and resilience of the Euro-Mediterranean region

Key points:


  • Insists that only the systematic involvement of social partners and civil society organisations will ensure a fair and equitable economic and social recovery in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Principles such as the rule of law, protection of democratic values, social and human rights and a commitment to the sustainable development goals are key in this context.
  • Welcomes the adoption of the Renewed Partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood and its measures in support of recovery to improve the quality of life of the region's people. This renewed partnership must be tightly bound to environmental, demographic and immigration challenges, while fully respecting the EU's founding values.
  • Raises attention to the impact of climate change affecting the Mediterranean area in the form of desertification, water scarcity and rising temperatures. Initiatives such as WestMED can contribute to the achievement of climate and environmental goals and lead to job creating while protecting ecosystems and diversity.
  • Underlines the role of blue economy with its many small- and medium-sized enterprises in the economic and social recovery throughout the Euro-Mediterranean region. The swift recovery of tourism will contribute to sustained job creation around the Mediterranean.
  • Reminds of the ongoing trade negotiations between the EU and Morocco and Tunisia, as well as of the upcoming negotiations with Jordan. The modernisation of trade relations with these countries should reflect existing asymmetries and adequately accommodate the EU's southern trading partners to sustain their economic and social reconstruction.
  • Sustains the importance of a proper vaccination campaign and the strengthening of COVAX with maximum logistical and supply support from the European Institutions. The release of patents on vaccines and medical products to combat pandemics is a major aspect in this context.