Presidency of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, General direction, International Relations and European Programming Service

For years, the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia has developed a policy of international partnership and strategic cooperation with several countries in the Mediterranean basin.

In particular, cooperation with Libya had already developed from the PATH-DEV project in the years 2018-2019, which, under the direction of the Nicosia Initiative and the economic support of the Italian Ministry of the Interior, constituted a pioneering opportunity for contact and joint work not only between our Region and Libyan partners, but also among Libyan municipalities themselves.

Based on these considerations, our region’s participation in the REBUILD project seemed a natural additional step. In the framework of the REBUILD project, after the session organised by the Lead Partner in Trento in 2021 and given still the difficulty of holding one in Libya (something we hope for in the near future), hosting one of the Steering Committee sessions in Trieste demonstrates Friuli Venezia Giulia’s involvement in the project.

The three-day event held last July in Friuli Venezia Giulia fully met the expectations we had in committing to organise the event:

(i) it was a space with the mayors of the five municipalities involved in the pilot project on fisheries to further explore the common desire to develop the fisheries supply chain in Libya;

(ii) it strengthened relationships and gave new energy to the project, opening up opportunities for collaboration in the future as well;

(iii) it was an opportunity to extend hospitality and promote awareness of our territory;

(iv) Similarly, it brought Libyan mayors to our region and directly involved our political level in the projects we have been engaged in for years on the scenario of the southern shore of the Mediterranean.

The Steering Committee meeting was not only a technical appointment but also a political one. It was developed in several stages and contexts of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, from the meeting of the delegation of Libyan Mayors with the President of the Region, Massimiliano Fedriga, through the visit to the complex of the Old Port in Trieste, to a visit to the fish market in Marano Lagunare, where the Mayors were able to meet the main regional stakeholders in the sector, such as the health company and local fishermen’s cooperatives, since REBUILD pilot project n. 1 is essentially about the fishing supply chain. 

The Old Port in Trieste is an exceptional case of renovation of a historic waterfront that had fallen into disuse and therefore represents a valuable good practice for similar circumstances in Libyan lands as well.

In conclusion, the days in Trieste relaunched the common will to work together with the lead partner and Libyan partners, in view of the conclusion of REBUILD’s ambitious activities, that will keep us busy until 2025, but with already in mind a partnership scenario that can develop through new projects even far beyond that.