More than sixty students from associated universities of Italy, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Finland and Turkey have discussed the issue of mobility and the new European Commission’s program, ERASMUS FOR ALL, which will enter into force in 2014 and will finally be opened to non-European students.
During the Forum, the students discussed the issues related to academic mobility in the Mediterranean region with the aim of contributing to form a new “ MEDITERRANEAN GENERATION “ in order to break down physical, ideological and religious barriers which could prevent people to meeting each other, students and researchers to travelling, to pursuing new job opportunities, to developing a sense of belonging to a multicultural space as the Mediterranean basin fostering the dream of a Mediterranean exchanges, meetings and collaboration.
Working through three workshops (Mobility: Visas and practical obstacles to the free movement of people; Mediterranean mobility programs: “Erasmus for All“, “Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci EuroMed“ Training and Mobility of students into the world of work: What are the prospects?) students have drafted a joint document that was approved during the Plenary Assembly.
The document aims mainly at submitting to the attention of the European Commission and also of national and international institutions, the necessity and urgency to strengthen the students mobility in the Mediterranean region and particularly to improve the following aspects:
1. New opportunities for Mediterranean students ensuring at least 10.000
Erasmus grants per year to students from the Southern Mediterranean;
2. Visa barriers designing an ad hoc package of visa for university students of the Mediterranean region in order to expedite visa granting procedures, making full use of the opportunities offered by the EU Visa Code;
3. To integrate the “Erasmus student charter” with the following point: To guarantee a “special legal status” for students studying abroad in order to ensure respect of their own religion, culture, traditions and personal convictions.
Being inspired by the speech of the European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou stating that “Education is central to our efforts. In order to reach our objectives for a democratic and prosperous Southern Mediterranean, we need to concentrate on young people. They are the main catalyst for social and political change - and they are also the region’s future main economic actors”, UNIMED wants to strongly contribute to promoting this final declaration as result of working of the delegation of UNIMED-Students at the Forum in Istanbul believing that that this important event in Istanbul may contribute to the creation of a platform for dialogue among university students of the region in the field of Mediterranean cooperation.