Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me express my gratitude for having endorsed my candidacy and having placed your confidence in me. I am aware this is a challenging commitment, but I stand ready to give my proactive contribution, along with the present MEDENER representatives, in order to build upon the successes of the last years as well as to fulfill MEDENER’s mission to firmly support and promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in the Mediterranean Region.

Firstly, I would like to thank the outgoing President, Mr. Dario Chello, the secretariat and all of you, for the valuable work carried out in these years, by enabling the active engagement of all the Mediterranean countries in the MEDENER activities, by favouring concrete initiatives that trigger investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions all across the Mediterranean Region, with the aim to achieve our common objective: the establishment of an enlarged energy market in the Mediterranean.

By continuing along with the work you carried out in the past years, I will try to do my best to achieve our goal to develop a legislative framework for renewable energies and energy efficiency, to share experiences, know-how, skills and best practices among MEDENER’s members and international partners, and to strengthen the support to the Mediterranean countries for the design and implementation of energy management policies and cross-border cooperation strategies.

Within this framework, it becomes crucial to promote the engagement of all the stakeholders involved, in order to boost investments and exchange of information related to energy transition, to put in place a comprehensive strategy and concrete partnership initiatives, as well as to attract funds to develop actions and projects in line with our Work Programme.

The provision of secure, affordable and modern energy for all citizens is crucial to energy poverty reduction and economic growth. Historically, the way towards economic growth has largely been a consequence of the shift from an economy based on agriculture to an industrialised and a knowledge-based one. Such structural changes in an economic system alter patterns and levels of energy consumption as well as the types of fuels and energy technologies it employs. Thus, economic and social development tends to go hand-in-hand with the transformation of the energy sector.

This process needs to be properly managed by taking into account the differences in energy mixes and socio-economic structures across all countries in the Euro-Mediterranean Region. In order to foster energy transition, sustainable economies will require substantial shifts in technology, industry, business, finance and, ultimately, society as a whole. Renewable energy sources are distributed on the territory and can be managed at local level in a friendly way, thus facilitating energy access – where needed – and improving energy security. This has a strong social and economic impact within the Mediterranean area, because of the strong potential of RES in the Region.

Definitely, the implementation of the climate and energy framework of the Paris Agreement, which is ambitious but certainly realistic and enforceable, will help to ensure that energy efficiency and renewable energy become an important driver of the decarbonisation of the energy systems. This is a significant challenge, but it represents also an excellent opportunity for economic transformation, jobs and growth.

In this scenario, the MEDENER approach looks at the sustainable development as well as at the promotion of common policies, regulation, measures, practices, and standards for a sustainable economic development in the Mediterranean Area. Harmonization and strong coordination of the activities among the three Platforms of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) – the Regional Electricity Market Platform, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Platform and the Gas Platform – will reinforce the global energy policy in the Mediterranean Region. The three thematic areas are strongly interconnected, and the results of energy transition and climate actions can be obtained only through a common strategy.

Therefore, we must work together in order to create suitable conditions for the development of a policy agenda, which is able to fund our Work Programme through new projects focused on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. This objective can be achieved through dedicated projects, such as meetMED. Thus, I am willing to continue the fruitful experience carried out by MEDENER in the framework of the meetMED project.

I am aware of the preliminary good results achieved by the meetMED project during its first year and I am confident that we will be able to design a new phase of the meetMED project for the years to come. At this regard, I suggest creating dedicated working groups, that will be responsible for the design of meetMED 2 and for the continuity of the action already implemented in its first phase.

Thanks again for your trust and I wish a fruitful work to all of us.

Dr Giorgio Graditi

MEDENER President