Euro-Arab University

The creation of a Euro-Arab University was proposed in a European Parliament resolution of 30 March 1984 (published in the O.J. of the Communities on 30.4.84). It was to be created in Spain with aid from the EEC and the League of Arab States. A tripartite EEC-Arab League-Spain committee submitted its reports in July 1988. The idea was a post-graduate university institution endowed with 25-30 professors and a student body of 200. The Spanish authorities would cover the acquisiton of premises and the Arab League and EEC would cover the costs of the creation phase. At a later stage, to avoid subjecting the institution to the ups and downs of Euro-Arab fluctuations, running costs would be covered by an endowment fund, with the Communities initially contributing one-third and the other two thirds shared by the Arab League and Spain. The Commission of the Communities could also provide further contributions through student grants, financing seminars etc.

This project cannot be taken any further, however, before the resumption of the Euro-Arab Dialogue.

In order to show its interest in this project, the Commission of the European Union took the initiative in October 1994 to create in Granada a « Euro-Arab School of Management » opened to both Arab and European students. Its setting up and its three first years have been financed by the European Union (8.3 million ECU) and Spain (9.9 million ECU).

The Itinerant Euro-Arab University

After the EEC and the Arab League decided in 1984 in favour of the principle of the creation of a Euro-Arab University, and with no virtual progress beyond that decision, some universities decided not to wait any longer and to move forward with their own, albeit limited, resources promoting an itinerant form of the university. It proved a successful experience since the Itinerant Euro-Arab University has already held a dozen sessions (at first annual and now twice a year), alternating between Arab and European Universities.

Beside the financial support from participating universities, almost 40 at present, and aid from UNESCO, the Itinerant Euro-Arab University has recently also received support from other institutions both private and public. So far they have mainly been Italian, but Mr Azziza, rector of the Itinerant Euro-Arab University, hopes to see the contributors start diversifying shortly, to include the Commission of the European Communities in particular.

This is an initiative which goes beyond the Community on the European side since non-member state universities such as Uppsala (Sweden) and Malta are involved.