A New Euro-Mediterranean Cultural Identity

A New Euro-Mediterranean Cultural Identity

A New Euro-Mediterranean Cultural Identity

A New Euro-Mediterranean Cultural Identity

Synopsis

"Addresses the concepts of democracy, civil society, human rights and dialogue among civilizations in the Mediterranean region in the context of the new EuroMediterranean Partnership The aim of this book is not to make prescriptions, or to provide the reader with recipes for achieving stability in the Mediterranean, but rather to offer, through an interdisciplinary approach, a pluralistic vision of democracy, civil society, human rights and dialogue among civilizations, the aspects of the third volet of the EuroMediterranean Partnership (EMP)."

Excerpt

For decades the Mediterranean has represented the clear-cut border of the North-South cleavage distinguishing Europe from North Africa and the Middle East, economic relations being at the forefront of their relationships. But it is nowadays widely acknowledged that the improvement of North-South relations cannot rely upon economic achievements only and that other instruments have to be adopted. Once the Mediterranean has offered a new focus of analysis, namely the Islam-West confrontation as a cultural component of the North-South economic cleavage, it is essential to foster a unified culture respectful of differences, assuming that cultural cooperation does create the basis for more stable political and economic relations.

The thread running through this volume is the question whether we are moving towards a Mediterranean cultural identity. Is there a balance between cultural globalization and localism? the Mediterranean is currently facing a dilemma. On the one hand, once we acknowledge a certain complementarity between local specificity and modernity, we might move towards a more integrated area, encouraged by political and economic incentives; on the other, by pleading for the incompatibility between the 'West' and the 'South', we might be inclined to strengthen an ideal cultural wall dividing the northern from the southern shores of the Mediterranean. the cultural dialogue, which is the essential key to the coexistence of different peoples and cultures, guides this exchange of visions of civil society, democracy and human rights and points out the necessity of overcoming the culturalist-universalist debate in the name of multiplicity and plurality.

The aim here is not to make prescriptions, nor to provide the reader with recipes for achieving stability in the Mediterranean, but rather to offer, through an interdisciplinary approach, a pluralistic vision of democracy, civil society, human rights and dialogue among civilizations, the aspects of the human dimension of security in the Mediterranean that represent the major components of the third volet of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP).

These debated issues are tackled to indirectly highlight achievements or impediments to the Barcelona Process. the emp is a long-term process aimed at realizing the ambitious goals of an area of stability and prosperity in the Mediterranean and the fostering of human and social development. But all too often misunderstandings between the partners of the emp arise, due to different definitions of concepts and strategies, or to wrong images of each other. Despite the common heritage of the actors involved in the Barcelona Process, agreement on crucial issues, including the protection of human rights and

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