The Ponza Prima-Med initiative, in partnership with the Cerealia Festival (cerealialudi.org), comes from the commitment that the Mediterranean Perspectives Association (PM) devotes to the promotion of sustainable development in the Euro-Mediterranean area. PM is a non-profit association – member of the Italian Network for Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue (RIDE), Head of the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) in Italy, which has granted its patronage to the initiative. PM organizes activities, research, and projects aimed at promoting, enhancing, and protecting the different collective identities in the Mediterranean Sea basin.
The name of the initiative is composed of two parts: the word Ponza refers to the main island of the Pontine Archipelago, location of the two (2019 and 2020) previous annual editions and of the first event (July 25-26, 2021) of the Third edition, while Prima-Med refers to the Euro-Mediterranean organization Prima Foundation, and its Italian Secretariat, which inspires the main themes of the initiative: circular economy, climate change, and food security.
- First edition: September 23, 2019 in Ponza
- Second edition: September 13-14, 2020 in Ponza, on the occasion of the Barcelona Declaration’s twenty-fifth anniversary
- Third edition: July 25-26, in Ponza, September 5, and October 12, 2021, in Ventotene
The selection of the Pontine Archipelago as the site of the initiative has a high symbolic value. The Italian fascist regime confined political dissidents, including Altiero Spinelli, Sandro Pertini, Pietro Nenni, and Umberto Terracini on the island of Ponza (1937-1939), then deported to the island of Ventotene (1939-1943), where Spinelli wrote the Manifesto for a free and united Europe in 1941, imagining the rebirth of a democratic and peaceful Europe.
On the occasion of the Ponza Prima-Med Second Edition the speakers at the annual Euro-Mediterranean inter-institutional conference (Ponza, September 14, 2020) – including Amb. Miguel Angel Moratinos, High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Amb. Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, the late Dr. Nabil Al-Sharif, Executive Director of ALF, and Prof. Angelo Riccaboni, President of the PRIMA Foundation – celebrated, for the first time all together, the values of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation inspired by the Barcelona Declaration, on the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary, launching – to honor the memory of the aforementioned historic political dreamers confined in the Archipelago – a Euro-Med Manifesto on Sustainable Development. Participants agreed on the proposal to transform the Turtledoves Villa (Villa delle Tortore), located in the center of Ponza, into a Center for Higher Education and Science Diplomacy on Sustainability – agri-food systems, sustainable development, climate change, blue and circular economy, Identitary Cuisine – considering the Villa as an ideal location for activities benefitting women and younger generations in the Mediterranean area.