On September 30, 2023, the EU-funded MYSEA project successfully concluded during an event organized under the title "Stimulating Development. Enhancing Inclusion" at Le Royal Hotel in Beirut.
The event gathered a group of prominent figures from different fields such as diplomatic representatives, EU officials, INGOs and local NGO delegates, private sector actors and entrepreneurs, ENI CBC Med Programme beneficiaries, academicians, stakeholders, experts, and media people.
The opening ceremony started with a round-up video about the project followed by an inaugural speech delivered by the president of the Lebanese Development Network (LDN) Amin Nehme who acknowledged “the energy which flowed through the whole consortium as the driving force for its success.”
Director of the International Cooperation Sector and Co-Development at the Lead Partner CIES ONLUS in Italy, Loredana Gionne, presented the objectives of MYSEA. Gionne highlighted the “numerous benefits and outcomes the participants have achieved throughout the modules.”
Economic Expert at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and ENI CBC Med Programme National Contact Point in Lebanon, Mohamad Itani, focused on the “potential existing within the Lebanese vibrant and high-performing civil society organizations which succeeded to take part in 53 projects out of the 80 funded by the Programme.”
In turn, Maria D’Alisa, Public Officer at the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies – DGIMM, stressed the importance of these projects in terms of providing jobs to the target populations through the vital vacancies and employment opportunities created.
Dr. Esmat Karadsheh, ENI CBC Med Coordinator of the Eastern Mediterranean Branch Office in Jordan, introduced the main features of the upcoming Interreg NEXT MED Programme. Karadsheh emphasized the high significance of NEXT MED as “one of the largest cooperation initiatives implemented by the European Union across borders in the Mediterranean area.”
In his online intervention, the Coordinator of the ENI CBC Med Programme Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS) in Italy, Frabrizio Paloni, reviewed the stages of the project and the major challenges it encountered especially during the pandemic. Paloni praised the “serious and hard work done by the partners to implement and complete all of its activities.”
Plenipotentiary Minister at the Tunisian Embassy in Lebanon Mustapha Assakiri concluded the first part of the event. Assakiri commended the “important and prominent work conducted through MYSEA while noticing the evocative closing event.”
The opening ceremony included a trophy delivery to the president of the Tunisian Union for Social Solidarity (UTSS) Mohamad Khouini in recognition of his contribution and support.
Afterwards, three discussion panels were conducted covering the objectives of the project as follows: 1) Green and Blue Economy: Agri-Business, Waste Management & Energy, 2) Social and Economic Inclusion of Young People, NEETs and Women: Training and Decent Work in the Green and Blue Economy, and 3) Digital Learning, Youth, and Women Development.
The panels brought together a group of experts and specialists from local, regional and international organizations and programmes such as UNDP, UNESCO-UNEVOC’s Technical Cooperation Unit, Erasmus+, the Technical Agency of the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, Speha-Fresia Società Cooperativa, Womenpreneur Initiative, Saint Joseph University (USJ), German Jordanian University, BUSINESSMED, Forward MENA, WE4F MENA Regional Innovation Hub, World Elite Solutions, the Lebanese Foundation for Renewable Energy (LFRE), Mindflares, and WAZNAT for Career Counseling and Consultation.
The event was animated by the Master of Ceremony and Media Anchor Katia Khoury Mendelek, whereas the panels were moderated simultaneously by Christina Abi Haidar Nasrallah - Attorney at law-Governance and Development Specialist – Environment and Energy Legal Expert, Ilda Nahas - Entrepreneurship Expert and Empowerment Strategist, and Rita Nassif El Asmar, Senior EU Project Consultant.