The 10th edition of the Conference SHADE MED 2021 – “SHared Awareness and DEconfliction for the MEDiterranean Sea”

Rome, 9 October 2021

The 10th edition of the Conference SHADE MED 2021 – “SHared Awareness and DEconfliction for the MEDiterranean Sea”, took place in virtual mode on the 07th and the 08th of October 2021. The event, co-hosted with the NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM) in Northwood, saw the participation of high-level speakers who drew a picture of the complex situation that the Mediterranean region is experiencing. This was the second time this event was organized by Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI.

“In these two intense days, we had the pleasure of welcoming representatives from international organizations, such as the United Nations, NATO, IOM and the EU, agencies, such as Frontex, Interpol and EMSA, as well as several members of NGOs. I can proudly say that we had guests and participants from 31 countries. We had the pleasure to welcome military, diplomats, academics, politicians and industry representatives to SHADE MED”. Rear Admiral Stefano Turchetto, Operation Commander of EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, stated in his closing remarks to the conference.

“During the panel discussions and the working groups, every participant was able to develop his or her own vision. It is precisely the aim of SHADE MED to create an opportunity to freely share and reflect one’s own opinion by drawing inspiration from key note speakers and panels’ lecturers as well as from the outcomes of the working groups”, added Rear Admiral Turchetto.

“I cannot end SHADE MED without a special thanks to the insightful contributions of the lecturers and the great job done by the moderators that chaired the panels in a highly professional, effective and polite manner. I also want to thank NATO MARCOM for its effort in co-organizing with us this conference and in selecting topics and speakers” concluded IRINI’s Op commander in his final address.
The Shade Med 2021 was attended by around 250 connected guests from 31 countries and 25 organizations, with hundreds of people following the seminars and distinguished speakers through the EUNAFOR MED social network accounts.

The relevance of this edition was testified by the level and number of the international authorities who participated and provided their enriching insights: from Charles FRIES, Deputy Secretary General for Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and crisis response – European External Action Service (EEAS) to General Claudio GRAZIANO, Chairman of the EU Military Committee; from VADM Didier PIATON, Deputy Commander, Allied Maritime Command NATO to LtGen Pascal DELERCE, Deputy Commander, Allied Air Command NATO; from President Alessandro MINUTO RIZZO, NATO Defense College Foundation, to Emanuela Claudia DEL RE, EU Special Representative for the Sahel; from Vincent COCHETEL, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean, to Lapo PISTELLI, director Public Affair at ENI; from Rim BERAHAB, senior economist of Policy Center for the New South – Rabat to Amjad AHMAD, director and resident Senior fellow of EmpowerME at Atlantic Council, to LtCol Diana MORAIS, chair NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives and many others.

The Shade Med 2021 represented a unique opportunity to meet – albeit virtually – to exchange good practices and to share information and experiences among many and different actors involved in the Mediterranean area: from the armed forces to the coast guards of Mediterranean States, from international institutions such as United Nations, NATO and the European Union passing through Shipping Associations, think tanks, universities, NGOs to the representatives of Governments interested in the Mediterranean issues.

“The theme of this edition: “Sharing security, culture and values for a shared prosperity in the Med” required a punctual and far from banal reflection on the work that awaits us”, underlined the Rear Admiral Turchetto on the sidelines of the forum.

As writer and cosmopolitan intellectual Predrag Matvejević said: there have been those who have compared the Mediterranean to an immense sponge that has soaked up all knowledge.

In this spirit, it is necessary to face the challenges of the Mediterranean basin that require shared and sustainable solutions, know-how and ideas, to create opportunities for all peoples bordering the Mare Nostrum.

Among the objectives of the Conference, in addition to those of EUNAVFORMED IRINI, is to take concrete action to make the Mediterranean region a stable, safe, interference-free area that aims to develop all the potential existing that has so far been overshadowed by tensions and armed conflicts.

The appointment for SHADE MED 2022 is set for next autumn, when we will take stock of the results and good practices undertaken starting from this year’s outcomes.

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