Watch the Forum 2021
MEM Summer Summit Forum 2021
To watch the version in Italian, follow the Forum on the website of Radiotelevisione svizzera RSI:
Emmanuel Macron’s speech during the MEM Summer Summit 2020
The French President Emmanuel Macron, in a video message, spoke about the importance of the region and its political balance, focusing on the conflicts in Syria and Libya and the crisis in Lebanon. The analysis of the French President – invoking for collective responsibility to find shared solutions – is structured around four pillars: religion, demographics, energy and politics.
MEM Summer Summit 2021
The fourth edition of the Middle East Mediterranean Summer Summit took place, in Lugano from 21 to 28 August 2021, with the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation.
The third edition of the Summit in 2020 was a great success with its exceptional list of speakers, including the French President Emmanuel Macron who delivered a keynote speech on the importance of the region structured around four pillars: religion, demographics, energy, and politics, and Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, who underlined the importance of art, culture and education in the fight against inequalities as well as youth and women’s unemployment.
The Middle East Mediterranean region in the current context
2020 will be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil price collapse, and one which will have witnessed all sorts of unexpected turmoil, reaching from the Middle East Mediterranean region to the European suburbs. A fragmentation occurs in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the one hand, the Abraham Accords are signed, which include the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan, Israel, aggregating Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and with an eye on Iraq. On the other hand, the “Brother-Shia axis” brings together Gaza, Qatar, Turkey, and Iran with the ad-hoc support of Russia. In these seismic upheavals, Beirut explodes, refugees and illegal migrants flock to Europe; the Turkish president Erdogan tries to make Istanbul the global centre of Islam.
Then terrorism strikes again, in France and in Austria, in the name of a jihadism without organisation. It relies on an “atmosphere” created by “instigators” mobilising crowds and social networks in the Muslim world, to avenge their prophet against the West. Meanwhile, Biden is faced with the task of rebuilding the trust of America’s allies.
In 2021, the MEM Summer Summit focuses on these topics and provides instruments for analysing the complexity of the Middle East Mediterranean region; and contextualising its current developments in global history, prompting a broader reflection on contemporary challenges. This ever-changing region has, in fact, a significant impact also on international dynamics, on Europe and its political structures.
The MEM goes on
The activities of the MEM Summit Summit go beyond the Forum and the Seminar. This year the MEM goes on by presenting new initiatives to the change-makers and to the public.
Bites of Transfoodmation
The MEM Summer Summit will go to Rome for Bites of Transfoodmation. The event is organised by the Permanent Representation of Switzerland to FAO, IFAD and WFP, in partnership with Istituto Svizzero, the Swiss Embassy in Rome, Présence Suisse and Università della Svizzera Italiana. The event aims to lay the foundations for momentous changes in the global food systems.
Federica Frediani and the MEM team are contributing to shaping and organising the event, and will be present in Rome. Accompanied by a group of MEM Summer Summit Alumni, they will be taking part as facilitators, speakers and moderators. USI’s Rector, professor Boas Erez, will deliver the closing address at the Dispute with the Swiss Ambassador in Rome, Rita Adam.
Cultural Narratives – New Horizons
The New Horizons Project originated from Stream C of the Seminar. It comprises of online and on-site workshops; a team of MEM Summer Summit Alumni, led by Federica Frediani, come together for discussion and working together over topics like:
- The mobility of people, ideas, cultures and commodities transcending barriers of space and time;
- The role of culture and creativity in the process of economic and social reconstruction after Coronavirus;
- Digitalisation of cultural activities.