Join the Debate in Barcelona

Well tomorrow I am off to Barcelona for the Anna Lindh Foundation Forum 2010. I will be live-blogging and tweeting about the forum, with the help of a few others. I know I am not a big user of twitter at the moment, but college is taking up a lot of the time I would have spent on it, so I will be back to it tomorrow.

You too, though, will be able to see whats happening and pass on your comments as the plenary sessions will be webcast. I received an email about it today.

JOIN THE DEBATE

‘Bridging the Gap in Mutual Perceptions between people across the Mediterranean’
09.30 to 11.00 AM CET Friday 5th March 2010

Join the debate with live web-cast and blog at:
www.annalindhforum.org

The debate will be broadcast live from the Anna Lindh Forum in Barcelona, involving an audience of over 900 civil society representatives from the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.

You can also follow us at www.twitter.com/AnnaLindh to get the latest quotes and updates, and join the online discussion using the hashtag #forum2010

Do join in! It will be interesting to hear what you think!

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Decisions, Decisions! [ALF Forum 2010]

{{w|Kindergarten}} on the Ministry of Agricult...
Image via Wikipedia

If you intend on attending the Anna Lindh Forum 2010, you must register! The deadline is fast approaching by the way. You must register by 12th February 2010, 20.00 GMT.

As part of this process you must pick which workshop you want to attend in the Agora. The choice is from:

  • Education, Intercultural Learning and Youth: “Learning to live together in diversity”
  • Cultural & Artistic Collaborations: “Creativity for Dialogue”
  • Creating Spaces of Peace and Co-existence: “Restore Trust, Rebuild Bridges”
  • Cities, Migrants and Diversity: “Valuing Diversity, Understanding Migration”
  • Religion, spirituality and values: “Inter-religious dialogue and common values for action”

It was a fairly hard decision to make for me. Considering my past work on diversity and identity, I decided to go for the Cities, Migrants and Diversity workshop.  It will be about the following:

  • Migrations and mutual perceptions in the Mediterranean: challenging stereotypes
  • Migrants and immigrated communities as key actors of development and intercultural action
  • Intercultural approaches in dealing with strengthening social cohesion and solidarity in multicultural urban contexts

It should be interesting.

Of course in the medina there will be chances to find out more things and learns loads!

That consists of

  • Intercultural Fair
  • Best Practice
  • Project Ideas
  • Self-organized sessions (network and/ or partners’ meetings)
  • Artistic Exchange

Im getting really excited about it!

By the way if you wish to attend, these are the criteria you must fill:

he participants should:

  • be a resident in one of the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean;
  • have knowledge/experience in at least one of the fields of the Anna Lindh Foundation;
  • be strongly motivated to encourage intercultural dialogue;
  • be able to communicate in English or French;
  • pay a participation fee (Euro 30 for ALF members; Euro 100 for non-members).

More information in the info pack (pdf)

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ALF Forum 2010

Union for the Mediterranean
Image via Wikipedia

The Anna Lindh Foundation Forum 2010 takes place in Barcelona from the 4th of March to the 7th of March. The Forum aims to give new momentum to the cooperation among civil society organizations committed to intercultural dialogue in the Union for the Mediterranean region and to enrich the activities of the forty-three National Networks of the Anna Lindh Foundation

The Forum is being  organised by the Anna Lindh Foundation in partnership with the European Institute of the Mediterranean, Head of the ALF Spanish Network.

The gathering of around 500 representatives of civil society organisations as well as high-profile speakers from the political, cultural and economic field from the entire Union for the Mediterranean region will also serve as inspiration for the development of regional cooperation and as a tool to influence policy-making in the field of intercultural dialogue.

The programme of the Forum is built on two key pillars: the ‘Agora’, which is dedicated to plenary debate and workshops with experts on the achievements and challenges of social and cultural cooperation in the regional framework, and the ‘Medina’, which brings together members of the Anna Lindh Networks and regional partners to share ideas and build new partnerships and initiatives.

The Agora is dedicated to plenary debate and workshops with experts on the achievements and challenges of social and cultural cooperation in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean.

Specific debates which have been developed for the Agora include:

  • Education, Intercultural Learning and Youth: “Learning to live together in diversity”
  • Cultural & Artistic Collaborations: “Creativity for Dialogue”
  • Creating Spaces of Peace and Co-existence: “Restore Trust, Rebuild Bridges”
  • Cities, Migrants and Diversity: “Valuing Diversity, Understanding Migration”
  • Religion, spirituality and values: “Inter-religious dialogue and common values for action”

The Medina aims to bring together members of the Anna Lindh Networks, regional partners, networks and initiatives in order to share ideas and build new partnerships and initiatives.

Themes of the Medina workshops will consist of:

  • Intercultural Fair with presentation stands for members of the Anna Lindh Networks
  • Presentation of best practices with an insight to positive and challenges in the field
  • Spaces self-managed by members of Anna Lindh Networks and partners
  • Information sessions on subjects identified during the Forum preparation meetings
  • Artistic Exchange through exhibitions, audio-visual screenings and installations

There will be a part about blogging. Hence this post! A Bloggers’ Task Force is being set up to attend, which I have been asked to be part of! It is all very exciting. I will post more about this later in the week. Stay tuned!

See the website, facebook and twitter for more information about the Forum

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Union for the Mediterranean, what is it?

There has been alot about the Union for the Mediterranean (UM) in the news lately, but I am unsure of what it will do. The idea was first mooted by Nicolas Sarkozy, during his election campaign, as an alternative to Turkish Membership of the EU. This led to Turkey opposing the idea, but on being told it would not be an alternative, Turkey lent its support.

So who would be prospective members of the UM?
the french had to back down to plans that it would only compromise EU states bordering the Med, due to oppistion from Germany and other states who were uncomfortable with EU funds being spent where they had no say. So the UM would compromise the 27 EU member states (do I really have to list them?) plus the following countries taking part in the Barcelona Process (That could be another post, but I’ll just give the Wiki Link!)

*Algeria
*Egypt
*Israel
*Jordan
*Lebanon
*Libya
*Morocco
*Palestine
*Syria
*Tunisia
*Turkey (EU Candidate)

What are the aims of the UM?

Under the original plans, members would form a regular council under a rotating presidency (similar to the current EU model) dealing with energy, security, counter-terrorism, immigration and trade. French nuclear expertise would be exchanged for North African gas reserves. The Mediterranean and European Unions would work together and share some institutions, including a common judicial area to fight corruption, terrorism, organised crime and people smuggling. Many plans for institutions (eg Mediterranean Investment Bank) were dropped as the project was scaled down due to European reaction to the proposals.

My Opinion on the UM
Personally, I dont see the point, and see it as (at first) a French proposal to gain dominance in the Med. It is/was a way for France for securing Gas Reserves in exchange for Nuclear Expertise. I also see this as an overlap with the Arab Maghreb Union (Members: Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia). This will creat a myriad of organisations in the Med, instead of building on the Barcelona Process (or Euromediterranean Partnership). I’m not sure how this one will pan out. Personally I dont see it as a positive thing for either Europe or the Med.