Representing the Republic of Slovenia, Her Excellency Ms. Tanja Fajon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, and His Excellency Prof. Igor Papič, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, along with the Deputy Secretary General of the Union of the Mediterranean (UfM), Álvaro Albacete, were welcomed by the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) on Tuesday 7 November. They were received by the President of EMUNI, Prof. Dr. Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry and esteemed Management Board Member and Deputy Chairperson, Ambassador Hatem Atallah. The renewed pledge of commitment, and political and financial support on the part of the Slovenian government comes during EMUNI´s 15th Anniversary year, marked by its successful Annual Conference this summer on New Models for Sustainable Universities.

Slovenia, which finds itself at the intersection of several geopolitical regions within Europe, has the potential to play an important role in the Mediterranean. Within the framework of the UfM, which is also celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year and for which EMUNI is a key priority, Slovenia has indeed already strengthened its position across the region. The Southern Mediterranean in particular faces several challenges that have potential ramifications for the rest of Europe in terms of stability and security: from disasters driven by climate change, as witnessed recently in the Moroccan earthquake and Libyan floods, to conflict in the Middle East, including the present situation in Gaza, as well as the Russian aggression in Ukraine. In this respect, EMUNI remains as committed as ever to its core mission, which is to foster a network of Euro-Mediterranean higher education institutions and provide an inclusive platform for knowledge exchange, cooperation, and trust building. In this context, EMUNI will continue to be one of the most important regional agents of youth empowerment, capacity building, and progressive intercultural dialogue, acting as a knowledge hub connecting science, education, and entrepreneurship.

This position is exemplified by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for the Sustainable Blue Economy (coe-sube), which conducts activities at the intersection of research, education and science for policy dialogue as well as citizen engagement in support of healthy seas for our and future generations, and the Euro-Mediterranean Innovation Camp (emic), now in its second season, and providing opportunities to Mediterranean youth to showcase their talent and novel ideas.

For this reason, the government of Slovenia will strengthen financial support for EMUNI’s further development in the period 2024-2029, which includes the diversification of its educational programme in the next academic year, and the drive to build stronger partnerships with institutions within its network to contribute to the renewed Euro-Mediterranean cooperation on higher education.

Also present at the meeting were delegations from both ministries.