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Editorial – 5+5 Mediterranean strategic studies Newsletter

Air Force General (2s). Director of the Mediterranean training on strategic studies

What is the Mediterranean? “A thousand things together. It is not one landscape, but numerous landscapes. It is not one sea, but a complex of seas. It is not one civilization, but a number of civilizations, piled one above the other”. These well-known words written by Fernand Braudel has tried to define the Mediterranean. But it is probably more difficult today to characterize this cradle of many civilizations. Surely, the Mediterranean basin concentrates almost all the factors of globalization and this sensitive place has always crystallized the tensions between countries of its borders and a springboard for expressing regional power.

Within the framework of the French Summit of the “Two shores”, the FMES institute saw the opportunity to bring together the two shores of the Mediterranean through its youth. On January and May 2021, two webinars were organized and 17 of you attended. The very interesting discussions and exchanges fed the debate and led us to a common thought. This original way to share reflections is a way to promote a Western Mediterranean identity and reinforce the link in our mare nostrum.

Mediterranean is more than a place where tensions, wars and rivalries have always existed. Mediterranean is a common past and presents many factors to build a common future. In this context of globalization, cooperation must be accentuated and dialogue between civil and military young leaders is a tool to achieve it.

What is the Mediterranean today? “A thousand things together” certainly. And we may have some keys to enhance our cooperation taking into account our differences.  As young leaders and the first alumni of the 5+5 Session, your mission is tough. By continuing your reflections and nourishing the network you have created, you will continue to work for peace in the Mediterranean.

Enjoy reading this first newsletter!