Security in the Mediterranean Sea. Two days to think, understand and share ideas (Fabio Agostini)

(crédit : EUNAVFOR Med Irini)

(B2) On the eve of the ‘Shade Med’ conference, Admiral Fabio Agostini, commander of the European operation Irini, explains the why and how of this virtual arena. It will bring together civil and military actors from the three continents around the Mare Nostrum.

A key moment

In this historical moment, of great complexity and remarkable effervescence, celebrating the Mediterranean Sea in a forum is a necessary step. The ninth edition of SHADE MED conference (Shared awareness and De-confliction in the Mediterranean) Thursday and Friday (November 26 and 27) is important. It allows all professionals and the audience who will connect via videoconference to discuss about the challenges of the Region and possible future perspectives.

An essential place of exchanges. a bridge between the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific

The Mediterranean basin is now a liquid bridge in continuity with commercial connections. They range from the Atlantic to the Indo-pacific. It concerns an area with a very high rate of economic and cultural exchanges. But also with historical and new players, as well as regional powers interested in having some influent weight in the matter.

When cooperating in the Mediterranean becomes a challenge 

The theme of this year’s SHADE MED – “Challenges for cooperation in the Mediterranean after the global pandemic” – will help shed light on different possible scenarios. Through high-level speakers, it will pave the way for possible new initiatives in common. This for the benefit of all actors that have interests and share objectives related to this strategic sea.

A virtual arena for three continents

I really care about this international seminar which, precisely because of the Covid-19 pandemic, will take place online. For two intense days, a virtual arena with participants from the three continents overlooking the Mediterranean Sea but not only will connect with the headquarters of the EU Operation IRINI that I have the honor to command.

Reflect, understand, but also share ideas 

We deem it necessary to think, understand and share ideas on how to deal with the current period and what will follow the pandemic at an economic, human and structural level in the Mediterranean area. I am convinced that if we ask ourselves the right questions and face reality with a holistic but yet pragmatic approach, we can really achieve long-lasting results.

There is still much to do…

In the context of Operation IRINI, for instance, we have tried to address this issue by adopting several measures, always keeping a positive and proactive attitude. However we are aware that there is a lot more to do, at various levels (not only operational). In order to reasonably manage all the challenges that Covid-19 and the Mediterranean region bring with them.

One mission : make the Central Mediterranean stable and secure

Through the SHADE MED Conference, our ambition is to give a proactive contribution. Remaining equidistant from the parties, we work day by day to guarantee stability and security in the central Mediterranean. Our future is written in this sea, the cradle of civilization, a blue road for the future, a scenario of challenges and great opportunities that the Covid-19 pandemic forces us to seize. It is our job to be proactive and vigilant for the common welfare.

Rear Admiral Fabio Agostini, IRINI’s Operation Commander

Titles and subtitles are from the editorial staff

Nicolas Gros-Verheyde

Rédacteur en chef du site B2. Diplômé en droit européen de l'université Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne et auditeur 65e session IHEDN (Institut des hautes études de la défense nationale. Journaliste depuis 1989, fonde B2 - Bruxelles2 en 2008. Correspondant UE/OTAN à Bruxelles pour Sud-Ouest (auparavant Ouest-France et France-Soir).