SUCCESS 4 MED: The social network of the Euro-Mediterranean
An indispensible tool of the 20th century, the social network – than is to say the technological development of the internet placed at the helm of social interaction, is gradually instilling itself into our lives. It has revolutionised the process of social bonding, codes of communication and behaviour. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have uniquely accelerated the pace of personal and professional convergence, with particular advancement in the field of journalism and media throughout the world. This network, this tool, is now perhaps valued above all else in granting the individual rights of liberal expression, fulfilling initiatives, or broadcasting political demands and movements. Social networks have consequently played a key role in the outbreak, progression and media coverage of the Arab Spring. With the strength of this technological (r)evolution in the fore, we are convinced that the economic, cultural, social, and legal convergence desired by both shores of the Mediterranean must be based on the development of a common virtual space.
The initiative “SUCCESS 4 MED” maintains the objective of conceiving, through the creation of a digital platform, the intersection of all parties involved in Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, from institutions, associations, NGOs, businesses to members of society civil. All economic sectors of cooperation, security, social and particularly education, culture and art, will be affected. The success and moreover benefit of this initiative will have a twofold effect throughout the Mediterranean region: firstly, it aims to reduce the various inequalities between the two shores of the Mediterranean; secondly, boost the level and pace of cooperation through projects that have clear and achievable operational goals and are more accessible than ever before.
According to a model developed by the UIT, over 90% of young web users in developed countries are born with digital access while the number is less than 50% for the South. Over the next five years, this rate is expected to double and therefore reach the level of developed countries; this is one of the underlying goals of “Success 4 Med”.
Furthermore, better access to online networks will have a positive, necessary impact on the education of young people and will instigate the upward harmonisation of the socio-economic status of inhabitants of the South. Indeed, we must remember the importance of youth in the development of society: young people between the ages of 10 and 24 represent 28% of the population in North Africa, contrasting against 17% in Europe.
Moreover, by identifying various projects that seek to encourage cooperation between Europe and the Mediterranean, it became clear that most of the general public are unaware of these initiatives, with particular emphasis on the South. However, the development of a comprehensive, open virtual platform will greatly improve transparency and access to information. In the future, peoples can therefore be more involved and play more active roles in the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.
The southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean contain over 300 million people; Europe has more than 700 million. Our goal is both ambitious yet simple: increase interaction between Europe and the Mediterranean to build towards are more collective and cooperative future.