(Rome, 20 December 2019) Presentations and debates around the results of the Anna Lindh Report 2018 on Intercultural Trends and Social Change in the Euro-Mediterranean Region recently took place around the Mediterranean basin. The report, released in 2018 and already presented in Rhodes, Tunis, Rome, Amman, Rabat, Tampere and Paris, has also been debated in Portugal at the University of Évora, in Palestine at the University of Birzeit and in Cyprus at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia. These events were co-organized by UNIMED and the Anna Lindh Foundation. They aimed at sharing the richness of the data collected in the report and to foster dialogue between academia, experts and the civil society.
“We are now in an era of opportunity, we are able to encounter new cultures and a full diversity of ideas” said Sotiris on the occasion of the presentation and debate in Cyprus. This event focused on the importance of multicultural classes, the difficulties with migrants and the tools that have helped towards overcoming integration obstacles. Education and the cultural dimension have been identified as actions that can help people work together in the Euro-Mediterranean region. It has been stressed that in Cyprus youth from both communities have created common ventures. They take advantage of population movements to seize new opportunities, all of this being facilitated by their use of social media. The environment surrounding young people in Cyprus has a great impact on their mobility and constitutes an influential factor when it comes to migration. The presentation and debate in Cyprus led to the conclusion that people should invest in their common traditions, culture and civilization in the Mediterranean area. As Kyriacou pointed out “we should create a framework for coexistence that benefits us all”. Exchanges should be developed to get to know one another and the media should be trained to understand better how to promote diversity and multiculturalism.
On the occasion of the presentation and debate around the Anna Lindh report in Birzeit University, the focus was put on students and exchanges opportunities in the Mediterranean region. “Promoting intercultural openness and free dialogue among students and with their peers in the world is of essence” said Amir Khalil. As part of the partnership with the EU-funded Erasmus+ project, Birzeit University is working on integrating virtual exchange opportunities and online courses with international institutions of higher education into its programs. On a different note, Alazzeh suggested that the research should be re-conceptualized within the political contexts of the countries of the Global South and take into consideration the unequal power- and economic relations between targeted country groups.
During those debates, Marcello Scalisi, UNIMED’s director, not only presented the reason behind the Mediterranean Universities Union expansion towards Southern Mediterranean regions and the Middle East but also highlighted the role of UNIMED in promoting the development and harmonization of educational systems that share similar trends and lifestyles in the Euro-Mediterranean area.
The report was also presented at the University of Evora in Portugal in presence of Anna Lindh Foundation Director Nabil Al Sharif, who discussed the report with the public and the participants. This unique report based on a unique public opinion survey carried out with citizens on both sides of the Mediterranean was presented on this occasion as an instrument for measuring trends in cultural relations and triggering action for change at the policy level of regional cooperation. This intercultural analysis was discussed in a panel debate.
The report analyses the Intercultural trends in the Euro-Mediterranean region, featuring the outcomes of a research conducted in Euro-Mediterranean countries. This year’s report was carried out through opinion polls in eight European countries (Austria, Croatia, Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the Netherlands) and five Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEM) countries/territories (Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Occupied Palestinian Territories and Tunisia). This analysis investigates the trends in the perceptions within the region, particularly after the impact of conflicts, as well as in the broader context of globalization and immigration. It provides recommendations focusing on those areas which could bridge the gap in mutual perceptions, including education, culture and the media, as well as the creation of an instrument to measure the evolving values and attitudes of people in the Region, in accordance with the Groupe des Sages reflections.
You can read the full version of the Report here.
Here below a photo gallery of the events.