25/04/2008

The new springtime of the Euromed

The idea of this editorial is born of an observation made these recent weeks: things are moving on the Euro-Mediterranean scene. It is therefore clear that the Union for the Mediterranean M. Sarkozy, although still in draft form, has awakened an enthusiasm  that wasd sleeping in recent years.

Conferences, meetings, dialogues of all kinds succeed at a quick pace, as if everyone wanted to express his ideas before the founding of the new « Union » on July 13 in Paris. Let’s have a look at some of these initiatives.

Now happening in Tangier, from 24 to 26 April, the Euromed meetings are organized jointly by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and the Association Espace Alternatif with a focus on migration and intercultural dialogue.

With the same focus, from 23 to 25 April, the Boghossian Foundation organizes meetings in Brussels on the theme « Long time / short time, East and West are speaking speak about a modern world. » Combining panel discussions, screenings and concerts, the Foundation invites the public to a dialogue with the wider East, between the Mediterranean and Japan.

As for the Anna Lindh Foundation, it organizes next May 22, the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue Night during which « groups and individuals within thirty-seven countries will join together in a single common event for the promotion of dialogue and coexistence between peoples.  » This will be a week before the meeting of Euro-Mediterranean Ministers of Culture in Athens where the results of the event will be presented.

Finally, from 26 to 29 June the Crans Montana Forum will take place in Monaco on the theme of the « New role of the Mediterranean ». Some key players will discuss topics as diverse as the dialogue of civilizations, the place of women in public life, security and maritime transport or sovereign funds. They also held the 4th meeting of the National and Europeans Members of Parliament.

This series of meetings, local or international, is really indicating a « new springtime of the Euromed ». Nevertheless, the events are so numerous that from the initial impression is that of a dispersion of energy. While it is beneficial that all ideas come from, but will they be taken into account, will they have a real influence? Let us hope that this revival on the scene Euro-Mediterranean will go hand in hand with a rationalization of the action.

N.J.O.