What will the needs of society be in 2050 ?
What kind of Mediterranean will we have developed by that date?
Is it too utopian to imagine-that the Mediterranean might again have become a true "middle of the earth" in a newly discovered context of peace ?
The challenges that face us are multifarious but the enthusiasm exhibited today by the various stakeholders in the Mediterranean gives grounds for hope that the new kinds of education we are developing for the 100 000 or so students of engineering and engineering science in the member universities and schools of RMEI will equip them to become highly qualified professionals, aware of the social and political issues, with a strong background in science and technology, a desire to innovative and entrepreneurial, willing to engage in dialogue and to be open to discussion.
These future leaders of industry will still be active in 2050 and it is our hope that these young men and women will develop the ambition to put their competencies to use for the benefit of the Mediterranean, the cradle of our culture. Our aim is to convince them that the Mediterranean is destined for a future that will instil in them a sense of pride to work in or for this region of the world.
The responsibility for achieving this task cannot be limited to a few utopians or visionaries. We must all work together - academics, researchers, citizens, political decision makers - whatever the scientific, social or business sector that we represent. The great challenges facing the Mediterranean and the world today - energy, water resources, combating pollution in the Mediterranean, logistics, the maritime highways, urban development in relation to climate change, the management of mineral resources, waste management - these are areas that deeply concern us all.
We bear a heavy responsibility. The 66 RMEI member engineering schools and universities whose duty it is to train these student engineers, the future leaders and decision makers for industry, share the wish to give our students the means to acquire the competencies and the Mediterranean cultural background that the development of the Mediterranean region calls for. In collaboration with the Associate Members and partner companies, the RMEI can provide the momentum for driving proposals and actions that cut across disciplinary boundaries.
Young people must by now be fully aware of the vital issues involved in sustainable development and we should all work together to study, identify and propose new ways forward in education, in research and in entrepreneurship-focussed innovation, in order to meet the challenges facing the Mediterranean.
The aim of the RMEI is to do everything in its power to help realise the unique potential that the young people of the Mediterranean region represent, in the hope that the dream we all share of a better world in the Mediterranean might become reality.
President , RMEI