MEDAC: Strengthening Mediterranean Diplomacy

Project completed

The Mediterranean region is marked by democratic deficits, environmental and demographic challenges, multiple conflicts and difficult political transformation processes. Switzerland’s longstanding support to the Mediterranean Academy for Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) in Malta aims to strengthen Mediterranean diplomacy in areas such as human rights, good governance, migration issues, and to build trust among young aspiring diplomats from various countries of the region.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
MENA Regional
Conflict & fragility
Human rights
Conflict prevention
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
01.10.2017 - 31.03.2020
CHF  900’000
  • The Mediterranean region – comprised of North Africa and West Asia – is marked by a number of major social, economic and political challenges ranging from instances of difficult inter-state relations, environmental and demographic risks to serious democratic deficits.
  • Peace and stability in this region is viewed as a crucial factor for the stability in Europe.
  • The current migration crisis in the Mediterranean region has added further need to enhance cooperation between European and North African countries.
  • Malta is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and has historically been an important broker between Europe and North Africa/West Asia.
  • Since its inception in 1990, MEDAC has established itself as a centre in Mediterranean diplomacy and training institution.

To develop common academic reference points for Mediterranean diplomacy in areas such as human rights, good governance, security sector governance, migration issuesas well as gender, and to build trust among young and aspiring diplomats from various countries of the region.


Target groups


  • 22 young aspiring diplomats (11 per academic year)
  • Swiss chair holder
  • MEDAC alumni


Politicians, other academics, interested public, civil society representatives

Medium-term outcomes

Main swiss political outcome: to enhance bilateral relationships between Malta and Switzerland

  1. To provide academic debate on Mediterranean diplomacy, including issues such as human rights, good governance, security sector governance, migration and gender.
  2. To provide a platform for a shared understanding of economic, political and social challenges facing the Mediterranean region among young aspiring diplomats from the region.
  3. To foster exchange and debate among the MEDAC Alumni beyond their masters’ course.
  4. To strengthen cooperation between state and civil society representatives in the Mediterranean region.

Expected results:  

  1. 22 young diplomats from the Mediterranean region receive a scholarship to obtain a Masters (M. Dip) with a special focus on the Mediterranean region.
  2. Awareness of Human Rights and other challenges facing the region is raised through the organisation of conferences, workshops and other outreach activities.
  3. Organization of 4 alumni events and other activities (partly in cooperation with Swiss Embassies) involving state and civil society representatives.
  4. Presence and contribution of Swiss chair in MEDAC

Results from previous phases:  

  • Politically, the Swiss contribution to MEDAC is seen as an asset in the bilateral relations between Switzerland and Malta
  • Over the last 27 years, more than 700 diplomats and students from almost 60 different countries have graduated from the Academy. Today, many of them hold senior positions in their respective countries.
  • MEDAC has an alumni network, and a few events involving MEDAC alumni have been organized either in Malta, or in other countries in cooperation with the respective Swiss and Maltese Embassies.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign academic and research organisation
  • Other Academic Research North

Coordination with other projects and actors Potential synergies with the activities and projects of the Southern Africa, East and North Africa, Occupied Palestinian Territory Division (SENAP) to be assessed.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    900’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    869’000
Project phases

Phase 3 01.10.2017 - 31.03.2020   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.08.2014 - 30.09.2017   (Completed) Phase 1 01.10.2010 - 30.09.2014   (Completed)