A Mediterranean Crisis

The Mediterranean Sea is a unique geographical and cultural space that unites 22 countries and over 450 million people, most of them living in the coastal strip. Breaking with its history of solidarity and shared prosperity, a series of crises is threatening its future.

At the environmental level, climate change and human pollution irreversibly degrade natural resources quality and weaken secure access to water, energy and food. At the geopolitical level, ideological, political and armed conflicts provoke uncontrolled migrations and social turbulences between and within countries. While at the economic level, high unemployment and low competitiveness increase poverty and inequalities among citizens.

The Eco Forum, a place for change

The eco-forum aims to reflect on those major regional challenges from a collaborative, creative and participative way. It puts the focus on the Mediterranean Sea as a source of opportunities for common well-being. It imagines new solutions towards a more sustainable and inclusive development of the Mediterranean region.

This event, organized by Mediterranean civil society, offers debates, workshops, exhibitions and meetings -virtual and face-to-face- with the participation of key stakeholders from the Euro-Mediterranean political, economic and social world.

Objectives of the event

  • To raise awareness among public and private actors of the opportunities for sustainable economic growth linked to the Blue Solidarity Economy in Catalonia and the Mediterranean
  • To disseminate the measures and actions being carried out in Catalonia and other Euro-Mediterranean regions to promote SBE
  • To engage public bodies and social agents in the development of policies and programmes to promote SBE


Watch the full recording of the event here:

2020 edition: Focus on the Solidarity Blue Economy

The 2020 edition focuses on the Blue Solidarity Economy (BSE), a new concept merging the opportunities of the Sustainable Blue Economy (BE) with the benefits of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE). Based on the learning from a field initiative launched in Catalonia, we will discuss policies, strategies and a road-map for mainstreaming the Blue Solidarity Economy in the Mediterranean.


Free entrance. Discussions in Catalan, Spanish, English and French. Simultaneous interpretation into English, French and Spanish.

9h-9h30: Welcoming

  • Jeremie Fosse, President, eco-union
  • Isidro González, Deputy Secretary General, Water, Environment & Blue Economy, Union for the Mediterrannean (UfM)
  • Senén Florensa, President, European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed)
  • Alvaro Porro, Commissioner for Social Economy, Local Development and Food Policy, Barcelona City Hall
  • Juan Manuel Sánchez-Terán, Deputy Director of Social Economy, Government of Spain

9h30-10h30: The Blue Solidarity Economy in (post) covid-19 world
 Debate around the opportunities, challenges and synergies of the Blue and the Solidarity Economy in Catalunya, Europe and the Mediterranean, delivering the Agenda 2030 through Sustainable Recovery, Resilience and Reconstruction Plans.

  • Sergi Tudela, General Director, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Elodie Nunes, Executive Secretary Intermediterranean Commission CPRM (EU Maritime Regions)
  • Magali Outters, Mediterranean Center for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC)
  • Victor Meseguer, Director, Social Economy Europe
  • Xavier Bernard Sans, Director Euroregion Pyrenees-Mediterranean
  • Moderador: Roger Albinyana, Director for Human Development, European Institute of the Mediterranean

10h30-11h15: Pitch from Entrepreneurs – Blue Solidarity Economy in Action

  • Teresa Ferrés, Director, TwinApp (Catalonia)
  • Manel Gazo, Director, Dofins de Tramuntana (Catalonia)
  • Emanuele Troli, Managing Director Blue Marine Service (Italy)
  • Rania Koussani and Marwen Makhlouf, DEVLOK Project (Tunisia)
  • Nibani Houssine, Director, AGIR Association (Morocco)
  • Facilitator: Rodérick Egal, President iesMed EU Coop

11h15-11h30: Coffee Networking Break

11h30-12h30: Thematic workshop on Blue Solidarity Tourism in the Mediterranean
Exchange of good practices, opportunities, barriers and challenges related to the mainstreaming of community-, social- and nature-based tourism around the Mediterranean region.

  • Anne-France Didier, President, Defismed
  • Zied Ahmed, Director at CIHEAM Montpellier
  • Carla Danelutti, Programe Officer, IUCN-Med
  • Philippos Drousiotis, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI)
  • Samiha Khelifa, Professor in Sustainable Spaces at the University of Manouba
  • Co-facilitators: Alejandro González and Ioanna Kosmas, eco-union

12h30-13h: Closure

  • Rodérick Egal, President, Iesmed EU Coop
  • Imen Ouardani, Deputy Mayor of Sousse (Tunisia)
  • Elisabet Nebreda, Secretary for Foreign Action and the European Union, Government of Catalonia

Audience & Participants

The event is open to a wide-range of participants from the Mediterranean region, including:

  • Representatives of local communities, city and regional authorities
  • Actors of the Blue Economy, in particular from coastal tourism, fisheries and aquaculture, marine energies, bio-technologies, maritime transport, ports & harbours, environmental conservation, etc.
  • Actors of the Solidarity Economy, including associations, foundations, cooperatives, social businesses, impact-driven start-ups, etc.
  • Researchers, experts and public/private investment and development agencies
  • Professionals and citizens interested in social and environmental sustainability and euro-Mediterranean affairs

Values & Principles

Within this forum, it is aimed to promote the values of the Blue Economy and the SSE:

  • Respect and conservation of environmental and marine resources
  • Respect for people’s social, cultural and economic well-being
  • Promotion of the green/blue, local and solidarity-based economy
  • Custody and conservation of cultural, social and environmental heritage


Blue Eco Forum is organized by eco-union and iesMed, with the support of: