The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean has successfully launched the PAM Academic Platform at a dedicated event held in collaboration with the University of Catania, on 11-12 December 2014, in Catania, Italy.

Over 60 participants, including members of National and International Parliaments, Government Officials, Representatives of Academic and Research Institutions, the UN System and the Productive Sector of the Euro-Mediterranean and Arab regions, exchanged views on the respective roles and the required synergies in the Legislative, Education, Research, Social and Economic fields for the benefit of intercultural dialogue and exchanges, project development, objective-oriented education and vocational training, and employment opportunities in the region.

The Conference underlined the importance of the PAM initiative, since it opens a new path for dialogue and collaboration, and a new form of communication between politics and knowledge. At the same time, emphasis was put on the need to create favourable legislative frameworks that could stimulate Research and Development, which would benefit the countries and the populations of the Region.

Academics also called for more collaboration among the Universities of the Mediterranean and concluded that the PAM Platform vision represents a unique occasion to achieve this objective.

It has also been agreed to invest the PAM Academic Platform also with the role of a network of networks, where existing university partnerships can come together and, through PAM, initiate or strengthen collaboration with Parliaments. To this end, during the Conference, a number of joint initiatives and dedicated meetings were agreed upon for implementation in the next biennium.

The Catania Conference is a step in a long term process launched by PAM in Morocco in 2008, which had foreseen the development of a dedicated mechanism for Parliamentarians to interact with the main stakeholders in Higher Education and the Productive Sector to ensure synergies and practical approaches to the challenges facing society. Future endeavours include the organisation of a number of PAM Summer Schools dedicated to governance, sustainable development and transfer of knowhow.

The Final Declaration, signed by PAM President, H.E. Senator Francesco Amoruso (Italy) and the Magnificent Rector of the University of Catania, Prof. Giacomo Pignataro, and adopted by the Conference, reflected the main issues raised during the discussion and the way forward for the PAM Academic Platform.

The PAM Platform will promote, on the principle of shared ownership, knowledge transfer in the region through the: Creation of a regional knowledge exchange mechanism; Stimulation of regional cooperation among parliamentarians, Academia, and productive sector representatives; Facilitation of mobility for professors, researchers and students in the Mediterranean region; Internships at PAM and National Parliaments; Setting up of a hub enabling stakeholders to draw upon top expertise for activities and debates on specific topics; Identification of stakeholders’ areas of excellence.

From a practical point of view it was agreed to hold a meeting in Rome by the end of January 2015, hosted by the Italian Parliament, where the operational terms will be fine tuned and a Working Agenda will be prepared for presentation to PAM member parliaments on the occasion of the 9 Plenary Session which will be hosted by the National Council of the Principality of Monaco, on 2-4 February 2015.//

ISSUED ON: 17.12.2014



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