Diplocat and IEMed to host an international conference about Mediterranean intercultural dialogue

The event is part of the "Mediterranean +25 Dialogues" series held to mark the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Process

On 30 September at the Palau de Pedralbes in Barcelona, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), together with the Catalan Government, are hosting the conference Mediterranean Intercultural Dialogue: recognising ourselves in the culture of others in partnership with Barcelona City Council. The aim is to discuss and showcase the role of Mediterranean societies and cultures in addressing global challenges.

The event is part of the "Mediterranean +25 Dialogues" series which the Catalan Government is sponsoring to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Process. This is a group project designed to enhance cooperation and dialogue between the European Union and the countries of the Mediterranean basin and was a crucial step towards the consolidation of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and the subsequent founding of the Union for the Mediterranean in 2008. The conference will be attended by the Catalan Minister of Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Bernat Solé, who will give a closing keynote address on Catalonia and Intercultural Dialogue in the Mediterranean.

The conference is to kick off with a welcome from Alfonso González, Director General of European and Mediterranean Affairs in the Catalan Government; Khalid Ghali, the Commissioner for Intercultural Dialogue and Religious Pluralism at Barcelona City Council; Josep Ferré, Director General of IEMed, and Laura Foraster i Lloret, Diplocat's Secretary General.

This will be followed by the first round of presentations entitled What Future for Dialogue between Cultures in the Mediterranean. It will feature writer Tahar Ben Jelloun; Nabil Al Sharif, Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation of Alexandria, and Nayla Tabbara, Director of the Institute of Citizenship and Diversity Management at the Adyan Foundation of Beirut. Journalist Andreu Claret, Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation (2008-2015) and a member of Diplocat's Advisory Council, will be the moderator.

Following this, two more panels will be run to allow social stakeholders and institutions in the Mediterranean area to have their say. Under the tagline Coexisting in the Mediterranean: interculturality as a tool, one panel will feature José Enrique Ruiz Domènec, Professor of Antiquity and Middle Age Studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona; Mohamed Tozy, Director of the School of Governance and Economics in Rabat; Ricard Zapata-Barrero, Full Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, and Esmat Elsayed, co-founder of Young Mediterranean Voices in Cairo. The discussion will underscore the role which culture and heritage, shared values based on humanism, religious issues, migratory flows and young people can play in fostering enhanced intercultural dialogue which will ultimately help to build a renewed Mediterranean project shared by all the peoples that make it up.

The last panel, entitled The Practice of Dialogue: testimonies and proposals from the association network, will showcase what this association network does to promote cohesion, something which is critical in the contemporary social and health crisis, and it will further advocate priorities and measures to be put in place by European policies in the Mediterranean. The participants in this panel will be Driss Krouz, Director General of the Fes Esprit Foundation; Mercedes Giovinazzo, Director of Interarts; Mohamed El Amrani, Chair of AZAHARA, and Anis Boufrika, network coordinator at the Anna Lindh Foundation.

Throughout these 25 years, the relationship between Europe and its neighbours to the south and east in the Mediterranean has been fraught with major challenges in an increasingly global environment of far-reaching change. Over the last decade, new generations of young people, women and civil society have taken the lead, especially those involved in calling for change and openness. The values of pluralism, inclusion, dignity and recognition are increasingly emerging as essential tools for building venues for reconciliation and dialogue which address real threats such as climate change and pandemics by dispelling the narrative of violence, conflict and misunderstanding and enhancing social inclusion. Hence dialogue is the key instrument for learning, listening and shaping solid relationships.

This conference seeks to bring to the fore all the features which are part of the Mediterranean identity and to give a voice to the stakeholders who can achieve the global changes and transformations which the world is asking for and that the Mediterranean area needs.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, onsite seating is limited and already sold out. You can follow the conference online after registering at this link.

Programme

Organized together with:

IeME

Generalitat de Catalunya

With the collaboration of:

Ajuntament de Barcelona