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‘Mediterranean’ and ‘Euro-Mediterranean’ Identities

July 2014
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Intercultural Affairs

Success through diversity: Soccer as a force for integration
Shohreh Karimian

In the often heated debate over the integration and social recognition of fellow citizens with a migrant background, it is still the case that positive aspects of the integration of German citizens of foreign heritage are acknowledged far too rarely. The fact that nowadays many Germans with migrant roots work successfully as teachers, scientists and journalists, as well as in business and sport – to mention just a few vocations – is unfortunately only ever mentioned in passing in the media.

Paris: A place for Tunisian culture?
Emna Mouelhi

Tunisian culture is underrepresented in Paris, but some initiatives are trying to develop a post-revolutionary artistic scene. Who are these artists and what are their resources? After five days of searching, we found Akram Belaid, a 'cultural agitator' who is  currently the director for cultural activities at Tunisia House. Glancing through the cultural events proposed by the foundation, it is clear that it invests a great deal of effort in developing Tunisian culture in Paris.

My belly is mine

My Belly is Mine believes a woman’s complete control over her own body is the very foundation of women’s liberation and an important step to true equality. The proposal to reform the current abortion law in Spain was the wake up call that reminded us how easily women’s rights can be eroded, even within the heart of Europe. A draft bill was approved by Spain’s cabinet on the 20 December 2013 to ensure abortion is only allowed in the case of rape, serious foetal deformity or if the pregnancy presents a serious mental or physical health risk to the mother.

Thinking Citizenship in a Revolutionary Arab World: The Intransigence of Difference
Maya Mikdashi

The ongoing Arab uprisings that began in Tunisia in late 2010 have demonstrated that citizenship in the Arab Middle East is a subject in need of much critical scholarship and intervention. Many scholars, working from an archive of political philosophy that begins with Rousseau's social contract, have assessed the Arab national project of producing citizens skeptically, as Suad Joseph has demonstrated.

In Focus

The Mediterranean as a Potential Superordinate Identity
Daniel Damigella

The Mediterranean lands have experienced the birth, development and end of civilizations that have marked the history of humanity (Hamel, 2006). The aim of this study was to explore the attitudes that a group of students has about the Mediterranean as a possible super-ordinate identity. Specifically, it tested the hypothesis that there is a link between some identity and group dimensions and a Mediterranean representation as a potential super-ordinate identity (Gaertner & Dovidio, 2000). Data was collected by using a semi structured questionnaire. Results seem to go in the direction of the Dual Identity.

Unity and Diversity in Euro-Mediterranean Identities: Euro-European and Arabo-Mediterranean Dimensions
Affaya Rim

It is widely recognized that the historical interactions between the peoples surrounding the Mediterranean Sea have largely contributed to the drawing of the cultural, political and religious civilization of the region and affected the itineraries of several other movements occurring in other regions of the world. The Romans, the Islamic golden age, the Middle Ages, and the Modern Era testify to an original history that is indispensable to consider in order to comprehend the renaissance of the Euro-Mediterranean identity as a central issue to decorticate the present situation.

تعريف الدول المتوسطية: دراسة للخصائص الاجتماعية والاقتصادية
أسامة فاروق مخيمر – الأهرام/

تتطرق هذه الدراسة إلى تعريف الدولة المتوسطية وخصائصها الاجتماعية والاقتصادية بواسطة معيارين: الاستراتيجي والجغرافي، فمثالا على المعيار الاستراتيجي يمكن الإشارة إلى حالة كل من الأردن وموريتانيا والبرتغال على اعتبار أن تلك الدول متوسطية بالمعيار الاستراتيجي، إذ أنها ترتبط مع دول البحر المتوسط بمجموعة من العلاقات والارتباطات ذات نمط تعاوني يغلب عليه طابع المصالح والأهداف المشتركة، وبالتالي تدخل معها في مشروعات تعاون تجعلها متوسطية فعليا وعمليا دون أن يكون لها انتماء فعلياً للمتوسطية.

The Balkans’ role as a part of the Mediterranean region: political-historical contextualisation and economic aspects
Ana Bojinović & Boštjan Udovič

When looking at the current role of the Balkans as part of the Mediterranean region, one starts at the very question, ‘Is Balkans Mediterranean?’ Next to ‘real’ flows of existence in forms political, economic and cultural cooperation of the Balkans within the Mediterranean region, what the authors deem important is the perception of this role. The latter is being created in many ways and the most influential meaning producers are powerful players and the most prominent one for the Mediterranean (and the Balkans) after the end of the Cold war has been the EU.

Constructing South East Europe: the Politics of Regional Identity in the Balkans
Dimitar Bechev

Those who view the Mediterranean as an imaginary construct usually oppose it to the riparian subregions, including the Balkans. As a rule, subregions are historically and geographically more concrete compared to the fuzzy Mediterranean mosaic. This certainly will come as a surprise to the students of South East Europe who are accustomed to the axiom that the countries and societies inhabiting the area are so heterogenous that they lack a common identity transcending national borders. 

سياسات التعاون في البحر المتوسط: الاتحاد الأوروبي والبحر المتوسط
منار الشوربجي – الأهرام

تقرير يجمع ما تم التوصل إليه من خلال حلقة النقاش التي عقدت في جامعة ريدنج في يونيو 1994، تحت عنوان الاتحاد الأوروبي والبحر المتوسط. تنقسم الموضوعات التي طرحت إلى خمسة أجزاء. يعنى الجزء الأول من التقرير بمشكلات التعريف خاصة ما يتعلق بمصطلح إقليم البحر المتوسط وكيف يؤثر غموض التعريف وتناقضاته على طبيعة العلاقات مع الاتحاد الأوروبي. أما الجزء الثاني فيتحدث عن سياسات الاتحاد الأوروبي إزاء إقليم البحر المتوسط. بالإضافة إلى أجندة الأمن التقليدية في عصر ما بعد الحرب الباردة في الجزء الثالث. أما في الجزء الرابع فعن العلاقات بين الاتحاد الأوروبي والبحر المتوسط، وبالنسبة للجزء الأخير شكل السياسات التي قد تنشأ في المتسقبل.

Histoires vraies de la Méditerranée

En 2001, l’auteur américain Paul Auster recueille par courrier 220 histoires vraies d’américains (4000 reçues) qu’il lit chaque semaine sur la radio nationale américaine et édite sous le titre True Tales of American life. Comme un écho à ces histoires d’Amérique, l’auteur François Beaune a imaginé entreprendre un voyage autour de la Méditerranée afin de collecter au micro, à l’image et à l’écrit des histoires vraies de Méditerranée à la rencontre des habitants de cette région du monde.

EuroMed Media Review

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations invite youth (ages 18 to 35) from the Euro-Mediterranean region to apply for the second edition of Entrepreneurs for Social Change

Entrepreneurs for Social Change is a seven day training that will take place in Torino, Italy, from 16 to 22 October 2014. E4SC will bring together 20 young people from the Euro-Mediterranean region to enhance the skills needed to boost a business idea with a social mission and become a powerful motor of economic development and social inclusion.
There is no participation fee. All participants will be provided with round-trip international tickets to Torino as well as accommodation, meals and visa support. Application submissions are open until 14 July 2014.

Open call to participate in ECF's 2014 Idea Camp by European Cultural Foundation

We invite you to submit an innovative, daring idea for cross-sectoral collaboration that engages Europeans in re-defining and shaping “public space”. From the applications we receive, we will choose the 50 most viable and innovative ideas. These will be represented by the successful applicants at ECF’s first annual Idea Camp, co-hosted by Les Têtes de l’Art. The Idea Camp will take place in Marseilles between 23 and 25 October 2014 (arrival in Marseilles on 22 October). ECF will cover all the travel and accommodation costs associated with the event for a maximum of one representative for each idea. We also launched #PublicSpaceis online campaign inviting people to share their view of what public space is.

Research & Innovation EMEG Policies Consultation

Among others, an important component of MEDSPRING is EMEG (Euro-Mediterranean Expert Group), which acts as a “think tank” of experts. This year, EMEG will work on research policy dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean Region, identifying suggestions on concrete actions for enhancing cooperation. Within this activity, we would like to know your opinion and views on the role and impacts of Research and Innovation (R&I) policies and policy dialogue in the Mediterranean.

Photo Competition: Put your project in the picture. Cast your vote now!

On the occasion of EU Cooperation Day , 21 September, the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre, in cooperation with INTERACT ENPI, invited all EU funded projects implemented in the EU Neighbourhood to submit their best photo describing how they are making a difference. Yesterday, we published on our Facebook wall the five best pictures from the East and the five best pictures from the South ( You now have until Monday 21 July to vote for your favourite photos by simply clicking ‘like’. As a reward, the two winning projects, one for the East and one for the South, will have their picture displayed in the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre photo exhibition, "Faces of the Neighbourhood”, in Brussels (Belgium) and/or Milan (Italy).

Drama, Diversity and Development Project: Street Theatre Grants

We are looking to fund outstanding street theatre projects focusing on ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities (including refugees). Each project should aim to create profound and vibrant impact whilst also strengthening the capacity of its creators and team. “Drama, Diversity and Development” is one of three culture projects funded by the EU in the regional programme "Media and Culture for Development in the Southern Mediterranean Region Programme".


The Mediterranean: identities and discourses
Majumdar, Margaret. University of Portsmouth.

For some time, we are witnessing the resurgence of this old idea that goes back to antiquity, area and Mediterranean identity. From some general theoretical considerations, we will examine here the news of this Mediterranean identity, the nature of the new discourse, its relation to objective reality and its political purpose. We will try to situate this particular notion of supranationalism in the current geopolitical and regional. At the same time, we will consider this concept from the perspective of history.

The Mediterranean in History
David Abulafia

Contained in this history of the "Great Sea" are the stories of the birth of Western Civilization, the clash of warring faiths, and the rivalries of empires. David Abulafia leads a team of eight distinguished historians in an exploration of the great facts, themes and epochs of this region's history. The book departs from the traditional view of Mediterranean history, which placed emphasis on the overwhelming influences of physical geography on the molding of the region's civilizations.

The Politics of Regional Identity. Meddling with the Mediterranean
Michelle Pace

Focusing on the politics of representation and constructions of identity, this book analyses the impact of European regionalism on the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean - as a region, as an area of EU policy and as a locus on the fringe of a rapidly integrating Europe - has so far been a theoretically under-researched area. Containing empirical research on Greece, Malta and Morocco, this theory-led investigation into the political effects of the Mediterranean's symbolic geography, complements work done on the constitution of entities such as nations, Europe and the West. 

The Mediterranean in the Age of Globalization: Migration, Welfare, and Borders
Natalia Ribas-Mateos

The Mediterranean in the Age of Globalization is a welcome corrective to the tendency to present globalization as a homogenous concept, and the failure to describe how it operates in specific regions. Ribas-Mateos examines globalization and migration across the Mediterranean, using an innovative, integrated framework so as to map social places by describing how social, political, cultural, and economic forces are embedded within a globalizing environment. 

The European Union in a transformed Mediterranean: strategies and policies

838 opinion leaders, experts in the international sphere and major actors from the Mediterranean world consulted by the IEMed negatively assess the evolution of the region as a whole over the last three years. However, this contrasts with the optimism regarding the possible progression in the long term, especially in terms of improved governance and socioeconomic issues. This is one of the conclusions from the 5th Euromed Survey, issued by the ieMED.