The Euro-Mediterranean-Arab Association EMA is honored to invite you to
The 2nd Mediterranean Summit
“A Good Climate for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”
Berlin | September 7, 2022
The Mediterranean Summit is the key event in Germany for the interregional and interdisciplinary dialog of experts and promoters of the Mediterranean. In a world of growing turmoil and uncertainty, more than ever, attending this exclusive platform for a renewed partnership between the two shores of the Mediterranean is a timely opportunity to raise awareness among various stakeholders about current affairs and developments in the Mediterranean region.
The Summit will bring together high-level representatives and stakeholders from Europe and the Mediterranean region from the fields of diplomacy, private sector businesses, politics, academia, and civil society to discuss new opportunities for enhanced regional cooperation as well as sustainable development and climate action. We expect, among others, the Honorary President of the EMA and former President of the Federal Republic of Germany Christian Wulff, as well as numerous guests from the countries of the Mediterranean and Middle East region.
Furthermore, the Summit addresses specifically the new members of the German government and parliament to raise awareness among their fold about current affairs and activities in the Mediterranean basin.
Why should you participate in the 2nd Mediterranean Summit?
Knowledge: The Forum provides you with up-to-date information and insights on investment opportunities, market exploration, strategic projects and business cases.
Market access: We facilitate your access to relevant decision-makers, associations and chambers of commerce throughout the Mediterranean region.
Business development: After the event, the EMA team will be happy to support you in your market exploration or targeted market development through customized industry analyses or B2B contacts on site. Please contact us!
Support programs: Climate protection is a priority topic of the German Federal Government. The EMA and its partners can arrange funding programs and financing opportunities specifically designed for investments and partnerships in a variety of relevant sectors and industries.
In cooperation with
Please note that participation in the 2nd Mediterranean Summit is reserved for members of EMA. Are you not a member of EMA yet? Then we would be delighted to get you to join the EMA and work together to further develop Euro-Mediterranean-Arab relations. Click here for more information on membership!
Your participation will only be considered confirmed once you have received a binding confirmation of registration from EMA. In case of cancellation on your part, we kindly ask you to inform us in time so that we can give one of the coveted places to another person. We thank you for your understanding!
(in order of appearance in the program)
Managing Director | Head of Financial Institutions, Emerging Markets, Commerzbank AG
Christian Toben is based in Frankfurt and has held his current position as Head of Financial Institutions (Emerging Markets) since July 2021.
As Regional Head FI Africa, Mr. Toben had previously led the FI Sales Team in Frankfurt since 2016 and was also responsible for the activities of the six Commerzbank representative offices on the African continent. During this time, he successfully developed the business with financial institutions in Africa. He began his career with Commerzbank in 2001 as a trainee and in 2002 as a Relationship Manager Financial Institutions, before moving to Buenos Aires as a Deputy Representative in 2005. From 2007 to 2016, he was mandated with the setup and management of the Panama Representative Office, which is still responsible for several countries in Central America.
He studied at the Federal University of Recife, Brazil and the University of Bremen (Germany) where he graduated in business administration.
H.E. Christian Wulff
Former President of the Federal Republic of Germany | Honorary President of the EMA
As former Federal President of Germany (2010-2012), H.E. Christian Wulff is dedicated to the cause of the integration of people with a migration background and with interreligious dialogue. Aside from being the Honorary President of the Euro-Mediterranean-Arab Association EMA, he is the chairman of the Foundation Board of Germany’s Integration Foundation and global chairman of GASME (Global Alliance of small and midsize enterprises). He regularly represents Germany at the international level, for example, during the German-Qatari Cultural Season and the conference “Tunisia 2020”.
From 1998-2010, H.E. Christian Wulff was deputy chairman of the German Christian Democratic Union CDU, and from 2000-2010 deputy to the chairwoman Angela Merkel. From 2003-2010, he was Prime Minister of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). Prior to that, he headed the CDU parliamentary group in Niedersachsen’s state parliament. H.E. Christian Wulff works as a lawyer at Wulff & Coll. in Hamburg.
HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan
President, Royal Scientific Society (RSS), Jordan
HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan is a leading advocate for science as a catalyst for change. She is a dedicated science enabler in the Arab World where so many challenges urgently require science-based solutions. The Princess has worked for over a decade to help foster an environment for home-grown solutions to pressing issues facing the region. HRH is President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS), Chair of the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), and Vice-Chair of the Jordan Museum.
In June 2017, the Director-General of UNESCO appointed HRH as UNESCO Special Envoy for Science for Peace. This unique honour recognises HRH’s efforts to combine science and research with cultural heritage, to foster peace, opportunity, and prosperity. Princess Sumaya was Chair of World Science Forum 2017, which was held in Jordan under the theme of ‘Science for Peace’. This biennial conference was founded in 1999 and is the leading global forum for scientists and policymakers. WSF 2017 marked its first time in the Middle East.
She has dedicated herself to facilitating research opportunities and outputs in Jordan. She is the founder of the Advanced Research Centre at the RSS and has been a supporter of the SESAME project from its initiation to the present. HRH is Chair of the Board of the Amman Baccalaureate School. She believes strongly in the importance of creative education from the earliest stages to drive positive change in the region.
Director General for Africa, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
Birgit Pickel has been the Director General for Africa at the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development since February 2022. She previously held positions as director for global health, pandemic preparedness, and One Health and was, in that capacity, a member of the boards of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and of the Global Financing Facility as well as chair of the supervisory board of the Legacy Landscapes Fund.
Mrs. Pickel looks back at more than 20 years of experience in international cooperation, including more than ten years in management positions. Her regional focus is on Africa while her focus topics aside from health include biodiversity and nature conservation, civil society, civic engagement, and international volunteering. Her career led her to live and work in the USA, South Africa, and Zambia.
Industry Expert “Climate Protection, Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Systems”, AWE, Germany
Verick Schick advises companies from Germany, Europe, and partner countries on the funding and financing instruments of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In doing so, Mr. Schick also provides information on financing solutions and project design; his substantive focus is on the areas of renewable energies, energy efficiency and energy storage.
Previously, Mr. Schick held management positions at various institutions and companies, including the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Procter & Gamble, and an Ethiopian ministry. Most recently, he worked for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH as a project manager in Morocco. He is currently on secondment to the BMZ-affiliated Agency for Economic & Business Development via GIZ.
Verick Schick holds a degree in engineering (KIT Karlsruhe) and an MBA from the University of Toronto/Canada and the University of St. Gallen/Switzerland.
Dr. Aghadeer Jweihan
General Director, Princess Taghrid Institute for Development & Training, Jordan
Dr. Aghadeer Jweihan is the director of the office of HRH Princess Taghrid Mohammad. She is also the founder and voluntary director of the Princess Taghrid Institute for Development and Training – a local NGO established in 2010 to rehabilitate, train, and employ orphaned and abandoned girls.
She is the owner of Al Mshkat Lighting fixtures and Interior Design company. Also, a proud owner of an agricultural project in the south of Jordan that employs 25 women all year round to produce delicious and hormone-free vegetables. Furthermore, Dr. Jweihan is a supporter of several entrepreneurial projects in Amman for youth including a glass recycling project.
Dr. Aghadeer is the founder and general trustee of the East, West and African Women’s Forum, in addition to representing Jordan and specific entities in Jordan such as the UNDP in international conferences multiple times a year and being the Middle East Coordinator for the Arab Women Council.
CSO, H&R GmbH & Co. KGaA, Germany
Detlev Wösten is an entrepreneurial-driven leader making companies in the industry take a lead for disruptive changes that have just started. Based on his more than 20 years of experience in the engineering, chemical and oil & gas industry his ambition is to set targets for meeting both sustainability and economic goals at the same time.
Fields of Mr. Wösten’s expertise include the innovation, technology, engineering & construction, chemicals, oil & gas and energy sector with a strong focus on added value & de-carbonization strategies. Concepts applied include efficiency programs, biomass-based production routes and award-winning power-to-gas (PtG) / power-to-liquids (PtL) / power-to-chemicals (Power2Chem) / (PtX) technologies.
H.E. Dr. Abdelkader El Khissassi
Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development & Employment, UfM
H.E. Dr. Abdelkader El Khissassi is a Moroccan diplomat, who was seconded to the UfM Secretariat in Barcelona as a senior advisor, responsible for the youth and civil protection dossiers in the Social and Civil Affairs Division. Prior to his secondment to the UfM Secretariat, he worked as a diplomatic advisor in charge of the political communication and civil society dossiers at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Côte d’Ivoire and as a diplomatic advisor in charge of the political, economic, communication, civil society, and protocol dossiers at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Burkina Faso.
Besides serving abroad, he held the position of political advisor in charge of relations with the European institutions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates of the Kingdom of Morocco in Rabat.
Dr. Christian Buck
Director General for Political Affairs (Africa, Latin America, Near and Middle East) & Special Envoy for Libya, Federal Foreign Office, Germany
Ambassador Dr. Christian Buck has been Director-General for Political Affairs (Africa, Latin America, Near and Middle East) and special envoy for Libya at the Federal Foreign Office since July 2022. He previously held positions, among others, as director Middle East & North Africa as well as briefly as crisis commissioner and as interim head of the task force Transformation in the Arab World. He was also Germany’s ambassador to Libya in addition to posts at German embassies in Afghanistan, the UAE, and Japan. Before joining the Foreign Office, Ambassador Buck was trained as a newspaper editor and studied economics, English, international relations, and international politics at universities in Basel/Switzerland, New York/USA, Niigata/Japan, and Berlin/Germany.
Member of Parliament, Germany
Tobias Bacherle was elected a member of the German parliament (Bundestag) in 2021 and is a member of the Foreign Affairs and Digital Affairs Committees. He is also vice-chairman of the parliamentary group Maghreb states as well as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the UfM. He studied political science, initially with a minor in languages, history and cultures of the Middle East, and later media studies, at the University of Tübingen. In 2014, he was elected as the youngest member of the Sindelfingen municipal council where he headed the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group. From 2019-2021, he was a political advisor and graphic designer for a member of the European Parliament.
Vice President, Association Marocaine de la Communauté Achats (AMCA), Morocco
Nadia Khamsine has been the Vice-President of AMCA since August 2012. At the same time, she is the Director General of NK Services, which is a professional rental company (handling equipment, facility management services, etc.) in the construction sector. Before that, she had 20 years of experience in OCP SA Group where she held the position of the head of the strategic purchasing department.
Mrs. Khamsine finished her Executive MBA from Geneva Business School. She also received a certification in Leadership and Individual Performance from Leadership Management International – LMI.
President, CONECT, Tunisia
Tarak Chérif is a Tunisian businessman, at the head of the Alliance One Group, whose companies are active in several sectors including tourism, chemicals, distribution, household appliances, and more.
Among other things, Mr. Chérif has also been the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Turkey in Tunisia since May 2011. More recently, in April 2018, he was elected Vice-President of the Federation of Arab Businessmen for the period until 2022, during the sixteenth meeting of the Arab Business Community held in Amman, Jordan.
He is a Knight of the Legion of Honour and has also received several other decorations in Tunisia and abroad.
Managing Director, SOS Humanity, Germany
Maike Röttger is the managing director of the civilian sea rescue organization SOS Humanity, which has saved around 35,000 refugees from drowning in the central Mediterranean in the six years of its existence. She has extensive experience in international development cooperation and humanitarian aid, with a particular focus on children’s and women’s rights. For ten years, she previously served as executive director of the global children’s rights organization Plan International Germany. Mrs. Röttger originally began her professional career as a journalist at the Hamburger Abendblatt.
Mrs. Röttger volunteered on the board of VENRO from 2016 to 2021 and advised the Hamburg Senate for many years as a member of the Hanseatic City’s Council for Sustainable Development. She also sits in an advisory capacity on the expert group of Wider Sense, the consulting firm for philanthropy and social engagement.
|16.30||Admission & Registration|
Christian Toben, Managing Director & Head of Financial Institutions, FI Emerging Markets, Commerzbank AG
|17.05||Words of Welcome & Introduction
H.E. Christian Wulff, Former President of the Federal Republic of Germany | Honorary President of the EMA
|17.20||Building Euro-Mediterranean Bridges on Science and Research
HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President, Royal Scientific Society (RSS), Jordan (will participate virtually)
A New Climate Calling for Mediterranean Solidarity
Birgit Pickel, Director General for Africa, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
|17.50||Panel Discussion: “A Good Climate for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”
Moderation: Clara Gruitrooy, Secretary General, EMA
|18.40||Sustainable Economic Development and Integration in the Mediterranean
H.E. Dr. Abdelkader El Khissassi, Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development & Employment, UfM
|18.55||The Future of German-Mediterranean Relations
Dr. Christian Buck, Director General for Political Affairs (Africa, Latin America, Near and Middle East) & Special Envoy for Libya, Federal Foreign Office, Germany
|19.10||Panel Discussion: “The Next Chapter: From Neighbor to Partner”
|20.00||Networking & Dinner Buffet|
|21.00||End of the Event|
A Good Climate for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership
On September 7, 2022, the EMA organized its lighthouse event of the year, the 2nd Mediterranean Summit, which brought together high-level representatives and stakeholders from Europe and the Mediterranean region to discuss new opportunities for enhanced regional cooperation, sustainable development, and climate action. Gathering members of the EMA and selected guests in the beautiful Haus der Commerzbank next to the landmark Brandenburg Gate in downtown Berlin, the Summit commenced with the opening words of the host, Christian Toben, Managing Director & Head of Financial Institutions, FI Emerging Markets, Commerzbank AG.
Democracy and cooperation – now more than ever!
“We now need more international diplomacy, discussion formats, and exchange opportunities like here at the EMA”, stated H.E. Christian Wulff, the Former President of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Honorary President of the EMA. Condemning Russia’s war on Ukraine and giving the example of Mikhail Gorbachev’s contribution to the unity of Europe through his political reforms, the Honorary President of the EMA called for good leadership that believes in democracy and a future in which people live together and are positively connected through economic interdependence and trade, through science and research. Stressing this idea, he quoted the Swedish historian Johan Norberg that “no democracy has ever been ravaged by famine, no two democracies have ever gone to war against each other.” Besides, President Wulff mentioned the precious work that the EMA does to foster the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and to tackle the most pressing issues of climate change, sustainability, women empowerment, supply chains, and more.
Building Euro-Mediterranean Bridges in Science and Research
Unable to join herself, the President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS), HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan’s speech was delivered by Prof. Wejdan Abu Elhaija, HRH’s Advisor for Academic Affairs at the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) and the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), who joined the Summit virtually. Mentioning the scientific breakthroughs the RSS has achieved in the past years, the Princess proposed cooperating more on science and research. She further talked about the skilled young Jordanian labor force who are the changemakers driving innovation.
“It’s really important to look at leaving no one behind in these days”
Birgit Pickel, the Director General for Africa at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), continued the call for solidarity by mentioning “we need to work together in solidarity to create opportunities and focus on improving livelihoods together with our partners in the MENA countries. It’s really important to look at leaving no one behind these days”. The BMZ invests around 2 billion euros per year in the MENA region, by pursuing a feminist development policy and putting society’s most vulnerable in the center of attention. She further stated that her ministry’s policies do not only consider women the most vulnerable but also the agents of change. Consequently, the two important priorities of the ministry in its partnership with the MENA region are the fight against poverty & inequality and ensuring transition towards a carbon-neutral economy & fighting climate change. Mrs. Pickel appealed to the governments in the region to take the lead and stated that “we can support, but it’s really up to the governments to work on structural reforms”.
A Good Climate for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership
The moderator of the Summit, EMA Secretary General Clara Gruitrooy, herself a keen commenter on current affairs in the Mediterranean, opened the first panel by welcoming Dr. Aghadeer Jweihan, the Director General of the Princess Taghrid Institute for Development & Training in Jordan, who talked about her inspirational work in empowering marginalized girls in rural Jordan who do not have any family or support. Talking about the girls under her mentorship she stated, “I became, by default, like a mom to them. What they needed was a mother, and it became my mission in life”. Furthermore, Jordan is a major recipient of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, and Somalia, Dr. Jweihan mentioned that her Institute also empowers women who fled those countries by applying the same strategies they use with the girls in Jordan – building the full circle of empowerment, training, employment, and mentoring.
Following the statement made by Dr. Aghadeer that, “if a project needs to be sustainable, you have to work with the private sector”, Verick Schick, the Industry Expert “Climate Protection, Energy Efficiency, and Sustainable Energy Systems” at the Agency for Business & Economic Development (AWE) continued the discussion. Mr. Schick presented the activities of the AWE, which supports companies from Germany, Europe, and developing countries, to invest in developing countries. Financed by the BMZ, the AWE informs the private sector on possible cooperation possibilities and provides cost-free advice and networking opportunities.
The panel concluded with Detlev Wösten, the CSO of H&R GmbH & Co. KGaA, who emphasized the urgency to shift focus from fossil fuels to renewable energy. His company is a leading manufacturer of mineral oil specialties like white oils, lubricants, cosmetic and pharmaceutical raw materials, among many, which has been using more and more raw material from renewable sources such as green hydrogen and power-to-liquid. Mentioning the green transition targets of his company, Mr. Wösten further stated that “this is the reason why we are so focused on the potential and perspectives of the MENA region”.
UFM and EMA – working together to strengthen regional integration
In the second opening round of keynote speeches, Mrs. Gruitrooy welcomed to the stage the Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development & Employment at the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) H.E. Dr. Abdelkader El Khissassi. The UfM is an intergovernmental organization with 42 member states with a major focus on economic development through regional integration. “Regional integration is a very complicated issue”, stated H.E. Dr. El Khissassi, who further added, “I would like to thank Germany for supporting UfM in our activities to develop several programs with our partners to strengthen regional integration”. Consequently, he mentioned that the UfM is a strong partner of the EMA and looks forward to joint future activities to foster our common goal.
“We are neighbors, we are friends, we are part of the life in the Mediterranean”
“What happens in the Mediterranean is also a part of what happens in Germany. We are neighbors, we are friends, we are part of the life in the Mediterranean”, stated Dr. Christian Buck, the Director General for Political Affairs (Africa, Latin America, Near, and the Middle East) & Special Envoy for Libya at the Federal Foreign Office, emphasizing on the fact that Europe and the MENA region are always interlinked where a crisis in one region always affects the other, giving the example of the refugee crisis, Covid-19, and the energy and food crisis we are currently facing due to Russia’s war on Ukraine. At the same time, to overcome not only these regional challenges but also global challenges, we need to explore solutions together. Talking about climate change, Dr. Buck stated, “climate change is catastrophic and we can already feel it everywhere. One way to address it is energy transition. Then I am looking at the Mediterranean and seeing a region that is perfectly suited to generate solar energy, wind energy, or other green energy, and has a huge potential for green transition”. Dr. Buck concluded his keynote by expressing his optimism regarding the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, mentioning that these two regions have always worked together in the past – and will do so in the future.
The Next Chapter: From Neighbor to Partner
Nadia Khamsine, the Vice President of the Moroccan Purchasing Managers Association AMCA inaugurated the second panel discussion with a focus on sustainable supply chains – opportunities and challenges for North African companies. She highlighted the supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19 and Russia’s war on Ukraine by stating, “everything became expensive, many companies stopped production, transportation costs are skyrocketing. Hence we are shifting our focus to produce locally”. Mrs. Khamsine highlighted the importance of Morocco as the gateway to Africa with huge potential for green hydrogen and agribusiness. Adding a Tunisian perspective to the panel, Tarak Chérif, the President of the national entrepreneurs federation CONECT added, “we need a mutual basis in order to be competitive. I am not saying to close down factories in Germany and go to Tunisia. I am asking for cooperation”.
Focusing on a political perspective, Tobias Bacherle, a member of the German parliament, mentioned that “in politics, when you have a theory you look at numbers and you look at the past – it’s useful but it’s completely different in practice”. He further added that “as German politicians, we have to change our perspectives”. According to Mr. Bacherle, politics has a lot of layers and it is very hard to identify everyday interests. Currently, the political interest is in energy and the Mediterranean has a huge potential in satisfying that interest. On the other hand, Maike Röttger, the Managing Director of SOS Humanity, urged everyone in the room to take a more humanitarian approach. She stated that “the Mediterranean is a huge graveyard. We must exercise humanity”, shedding light on the unprecedented number of deaths in the Mediterranean since the refugee crisis started. The panel ended with a rich discussion between the guests and the speakers, which further continued during the networking dinner.
The 2nd Mediterranean Summit successfully gathered important stakeholders from all Mediterranean countries and reached an important goal to foster regional dialogue and concrete actions in all relevant fields, be it digital innovation, food security, supply chains, renewable energy, or the human side of Euro-Mediterranean economic cooperation, politics, and friendship. To build on the success of the Summit, Mrs. Gruitrooy urged everyone in her closing remarks to speed up the identification process of where this cooperation needs attention and invited everyone to take the benefits of all the opportunities the EMA offers to engage in dialogue and explore the multifaceted potentials of a multicultural and vibrant region.
The 2nd Mediterranean Summit was organized in cooperation with the Agency for Business & Economic Development (AWE), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), and Commerzbank, and with the support of H&R, Ritz, neemen, Connect Achat, and PartnerAfrica Digitalisation.