High-Level Advisory Group on Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures

The High-Level Advisory Group (1), created upon the initiative of the President of the Commission, started its works in January 2003.

The main objective of The Group is to make the instruments already in place and future measures  meaningful. This means that it should focus its analyses and thinking on:

  • the conditions for giving new impetus to Euro-Mediterranean cultural dialogue,
  • the practical guidelines for a reinvigorated approach to cultural cooperation,
  • ways and means of taking account of the interactions between the various (political, economic, social, etc.) dimensions of the Partnership within this dialogue to avoid undoing everything that has been achieved;

Besides so, the Group had also the objective of devising the « software » for the Foundation to work with and operate by so it can serve as an instrument both for this revitalised approach and for taking these interactions positively into account.

The report, presented in October 2003, has developed the vision of constructing a civilisation bringing in contributions from all different cultures. The three guiding lines of the report are: the need to contend against the North-South opposition; the reference to the individual as a concrete actor of the Dialogue; and the identification of cultural dialogue as the privileged guide for the Euro-Mediterranean  Partnership and the EU’ New Neighbourhood policy.

The High-Level Advisory Group has identified a number of founding principles (respect to the Other, equality, freedom of conscience, solidarity, knowledge),  themselves translated into principles for action (equity, co-ownership and shared responsibility, transversality, cross-fertilisation, cooperation). It is this set of principles which make up the « software » of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation, the « specification » of which must enable it to both set in motion, promote and coordinate all the initiatives responding to these principles, and assess whether each initiative complies with those principles.

The group proposed a set of twenty concrete recommendations, all of them about three main guidelines: how to make education a central vector for learning about others and respecting diversity; how to promote mobility and exchanges and benefit from know-how, skills and better social practice; how the media can act as a key tool for promoting equality and mutual knowledge.

(1) The Group is co-chaired by Mrs Assia ALAOUI BENSALAH and Mr. Jean DANIEL.

The other members of the Committee are Ms. Fatima MERNISSI, Ms. Simone Susskind-Weinberger and Tullia ZEVI, and Messrs  Malek CHEBEL, Don Juan DIEZ NICOLAS, Umberto ECO, Schmuel N.  EISENSTADT , George JOFFÉ, Admed KAMAL ABOULMAGD, Bichara KHADER, Adnan Wafic KASSAR, Pedrag MATVEJEVIC, Rostane MEHDI, Tariq RAMADAN, Faruk SEN, Faouzi SKALI.

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