MENA Leadership Academy – Generation 4 - Regionalprogramm Politischer Dialog und regionale Integration im Südlichen Mittelmeer
Motivated by the desire to grow professionally, MENA Leadership Academy participants (Generation 4) came together in Berlin, for the fourth and last training of 2022-23 cohort of MENA LA program. From 21 to 25 August 2023, the participants met a plethora of high-ranking actors from diverse fields and institutions and indulged in candid and meaningful discussions ranging from politics and economic cooperation to migration and democracy.
During the multiple visits to state institutions and political officials, MENA LA participants learnt more about how democracy in Germany is manifold. They were impressed by the federal structure in a country composed of 16 states, or Länder, each holding considerable regional political power. While each government enjoys a certain level of autonomy and jurisdiction, they all abide by the federal constitution dubbed ‘the Basic Law’. How the political and electoral system work and how representation and accountability are practiced in Germany’s democracy were at the heart of the participants’ core questions. During these meetings, mutual challenges and areas of cooperation in the Euro-Med relations were also discussed in an atmosphere of open exchange of ideas and concerns.
The various forms of political activism and engagement have been at the forefront of the MENA LA agenda. MENA LA participants had the opportunity to meet with political actors from the very top echelon of the CDU party. The discussions provided valuable insights into the internal workings of the party as well as its foreign relations. The participants seized the opportunity also to visit the Junge Union, the joint youth organisation of the CDU/CSU coalition in Germany, and get to know more about its work and how youth are able to anchor their movement within the CDU/CSU discourse and agenda.
Given the historical significance of Berlin, participants went on the last day for a guided city tour that showcased how Germany, once divided, made a phenomenal comeback in terms of peace and development.
By the end of this two-year capacity building program, MENA LA participants displayed significant improvement in terms of social and political consciousness. Their debate of the region’s challenges and prospects, with all the dexterity of future leaders, proved they can be change agents for a better, more inclusive and prosperous region.
KAS PolDiMed is committed to providing exchange opportunities for youth in the region, increasing and sustaining their involvement in the socio-political processes and fostering positive relationships and inter-regional dialogue between both shores of the Southern Mediterranean Sea.