Ref. :  000027760
Date :  2007-03-18
Language :  English
Home Page / The whole website
fr / es / de / po / en

Euromed Assembly in Tunis focuses on intercultural dialogue

Intercultural dialogue between Europe and the Mediterranean was the main theme of the third plenary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA), which took place on 16-17 March 2007 in Tunis. EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering announced that a Euromed Youth Parliament would meet in Brussels in 2008. Anna Benaki took office as the new EMPA President.

Speaking at the opening session of the EMPA plenary, Hans-Gert Pöttering spoke about the Middle East conflict, which is planned as the subject of a special session of the EMPA in Cairo in the autumn of 2007. "that the involvement of both Arab and Israeli partners in the EMPA is paramount to the Euromed process and will be of decisive importance for future action," said the EP President, adding that reconstruction and stabilisation in Lebanon was another important challenge for the Assembly.

The session was opened by Fouad Mebazaa, President-in-Office of the EMPA and Speaker of the Tunisian Chamber of Deputies: "No one can fail to notice that the Mediterranean region has become one of the areas of highest tension in the world, and it is also our responsibility, as parliamentarians, to redouble our efforts to start a dialogue based on equality rather than rivalry, and cooperation rather than aid," he said.

Setting up a real dialogue between the EU and Mediterranean countries

"I am convinced that peaceful coexistence between cultures and religions within the European Union and across the Mediterranean in the Middle East is of vital importance for our future," said Mr Pöttering. The EP President recalled that, in his inaugural speech in Strasbourg on 13 February, he had expressed the wish that "we should build an intellectual and cultural bridge over the Mediterranean."

"There can be no taboos in discussing the differences between us, if we are to be clear about what can we can build together, " said EP Vice-president Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou (EPP-ED, EL), adding that the intercultural dialogue needed to be expanded to incude the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar). Above all it was essential "to make contact with civil society in the Mediterranean countries," a point also made by Hélène Flautre (Greens/EFA, FR).

Carlos Carnero (PES, ES) and Béatrice Patrie (PES, FR) for their part said that cultural dialogue could not be reduced to a dialogue between religions in an assembly which brings together Christians, Jews and Muslims and which, according to Salvatore Tatarella (UEN. IT) was "an ideal place to strengthen links between cultures."

Euromed University, Youth Parliament and Bank

Among the steps proposed to "draw up a joint route to specific objectives," in the words of Vito Bonsignore (EPP-ED, IT), the EMPA Culture Committee recommended the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean University, to bring together students, teacher and researchers from both sides of the Mediterranean.

Mr Pöttering announced that the Euro-Mediterranean Youth Parliament, proposed by the representative of the German EU Presidency, Federal Secretary for European Affairs Günter Gloser, will be held in 2008 in Brussels. The transformation of the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership into a real Euromed Development Bank, independent of the European Investment Bank, was another of the ideas raised.

The Algerian representative, Mihoud Chorfi, put forward the idea of a Euro-Mediterranean Capital of Culture. Participants agreed that the most needs to be made of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in 2008.

Fight against terrorism

The EMPA's Political Committee, chaired by Tokia Saïfi (EPP-ED, FR), adopted a recommendation on the setting up of a code of conduct on the fight against terrorism. It says that the "political response to terrorism" must be based on deepening intercultural dialogue, development which is more equitable and sustainable, alongside the democratisation of the countries concerned and a resolution of conflicts and an end to all occupations, "which motivate and sustain" terrorism.

Anna Benaki takes over as EMPA President

The term of office of Fouad Mebazaa as EMPA President, which began in March 2006, came to an end with the Tunis plenary session. Anna Benaki-Psarouda, Speaker of the Greek Parliament, now takes over until March next year.

Other speakers at the inaugural session were the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdelwahab Abdallah, the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, the Speaker of the Egyptian Chamber of Deputies, Ahmed Fathi Sorour and the Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union, Habib Ben Yahia.

Created on the 3 December 2003 in Naples, the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly is the parliamentary dimension of the "Barcelona process", launched at the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of foreign ministers in November 1995. The EMPA, which comes together for a plenary session once a year, is made up of 120 members representing the EU (45 MEPs and 75 members of EU national parliaments) and 120 members representing the national parliaments of the EU's Mediterranean partners.

Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, Tunis 16-17 March 2007

REF.: 20070318IPR04276

Thomas Dudrap, Press Service
E-mail address :, Mobile number : +32 498 983 284

Rate this content
Average of 42 ratings 
Rating 2.81 / 4 MoyenMoyenMoyenMoyen
Same author:
 flecheEuropean Parliament resolution of 17 May 2017 on the situation in Hungary
 flecheConflict minerals: the bloody truth behind your smartphone
 flecheGender balance: five areas for improvement
 flecheRobots and artificial intelligence: MEPs call for EU-wide liability rules
 flecheTerrorism: members to vote on new measures against foreign fighters
 flecheVAT reform: how MEPs intend to tackle the €50 billion a year fraud
 flecheAfter CETA: the EU trade agreements that are in the pipeline
 flecheRussia is no longer a strategic partner of the EU, say MEPs
 flecheParliament urges EU member states to gear up for new security challenges now
 flecheAn ocean of plastic to eradicate
 flecheEP this week: €315 billion investment plan, robots and consumer safety
 flecheArmenian genocide centenary: MEPs urge Turkey and Armenia to normalize relations
 flecheAlbania and Bosnia & Herzegovina: political commitment is key to path towards EU
 flecheEU counter-terrorism coordinator: “Jail is a major incubator of radicalisation”
 flecheInter-religious dialogue: the way to defeat extremism
 flechePassenger Name Record and data protection talks should go hand in hand, MEPs say
 flecheEuropean Parliament backs EU-Moldova association deal
 flecheEnvironment Committee backs flexibility for EU countries to ban GMO crops
 flecheAnother record-breaking year for Erasmus
 flecheThe EU's energy dependence: facts and figures
 flecheMEPs urge EU to help 5.3 million young people find decent jobs
 flecheEuropean Parliament gives go-ahead for Lithuania to join the euro
 flecheMartin Schulz re-elected President of the European Parliament
 flecheParliament starts its new term with seven political groups
 flecheElection of new EP President, 14 Vice-Presidents and five Quaestors
 flecheConference of Presidents: the backbone of the European Parliament
 flecheData Protection: The dangers of the web
 flecheLithuania: how the euro could be gaining currency
 flecheEP committees: at the heart of European politics
 flecheResults of the 2014 European elections
 flecheForsmark: how Sweden alerted the world about the danger of the Chernobyl disaster
 fleche2014 European elections: latest projections of seats in the Parliament
 flecheOverview of Parliament and the 2014 elections
 flecheNet neutrality: Industry MEPs want stricter rules against blocking rival services
 flecheParliament maintains €3.5 billion in aid for the most deprived from 2014 to 2020
 flecheMigrants: MEPs endorse search and rescue rules to prevent further deaths at sea
 flecheThe Troika: How Europe's bailout power broker works
 flecheCentral African Republic: How can the EU help?
 flecheReport on the EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity
 flechePublic health MEPs to vote on final deal for tobacco products
 flecheCO2 emissions: cleaner vans by 2020
 flecheEU's long-term budget: how it all adds up
 flecheAung San Suu Kyi receives Sakharov Prize awarded in 1990
 flecheEU-China: the trade partnership worth €1 billion a day
 flecheMalala Yousafzai - winner of the Sakharov Prize 2013
 flecheEmployment MEPs approve plans to help more young people to work or training
 flecheEU drugs report: vigilance needed to tackle fast moving markets
 flecheAgriculture committee calls for EU-wide action to save bees
 flecheDid the WikiLeaks incidents create more or less democracy in the world?
 flecheCulture MEPs call on EU for more European online conversation
 flecheDevelopment aid: strong EU commitment needed to get MDGs back on track
 flecheLes films en 3D à l'épreuve de la saison d'été du cinéma américain
 flecheAnnée européenne du volontariat
 flecheMEPs mull over merits of an EU tax on financial transactions
 flecheGlobal warming: less meat = less heat
 flecheMore EU support for volunteering
 flecheG20: avoid placing too big a burden on future generations
 flecheExtending the scope of the Globalisation Adjustment Fund to respond to the crisis
 flecheUN's business and human rights envoy John Ruggie interviewed
 flecheSecurity and fundamental freedoms on the Internet
 flecheWater – 71% of the Earth's surface, but still scarce
 fleche"People like to participate in politics....on their computers!"
 flecheAmid economic crisis, roundtable debates 10 years of the euro
 flecheHuman rights remain key to EU-China trade relations
 flecheMEPs' diagnosis on economy ahead of Washington G20
 flecheMEPs and MPs debate CAP's future and world food security role
 flecheMEPs back new Erasmus Mundus Programme for student mobility and university exchanges
 flecheEurope struggles to influence UN human rights agenda
 flecheFuture of European cohesion policy debated with regions and cities
 flecheMember States to fulfil their ODA volumes, warn MEPs
 flecheImmigration: MEPs and national MPs reject "fortress Europe"
 flecheCan EU funds be put to use to help food crisis?
 flecheSarkozy to the European Parliament: "Europe can not be condemned to inaction"

 fleche1968-2008: 4 decades of customs union
 flecheErasmus Mundus: "be curious and don't hesitate"
 flecheAsma Jahangir : « Donner la parole à l’immense majorité qui veut vivre dans la diversité »
 flecheTrade in raw materials and commodities- MEPs concerned about supply
 flecheParliament and climate change: Carbon Capture and Storage
 flecheEuropean Parliament calls for more transparency on lobbying
 flecheUN advisor Professor Jeffrey Sachs on soaring food prices
 flecheInternational agreement cannot wait, warn climate change MEPs in Washington
 flecheMEPs to debate calls for more open WTO Wednesday
 flecheMEPs call for sharper focus on jobs and growth potential of cultural industries
 flecheBurma: EU needs "coherent strategy" ahead of military's poll
 flecheHearing told of high levels of child poverty in Europe
 flecheEuropean Parliament at 50 - images from half a century
 flecheWill Europe take in Guantánamo Bay prisoners?
 flecheLiverpool and Stavanger – European Capitals of Culture 2008
 flecheSuper Tuesday in America: can Europe learn lessons?
 flecheAre your details caught in the World Wide Web?
 flecheGrand Mufti of Syria: a single civilisation unites us all
 flecheIs immigration the cure for a declining working population?
 fleche2007 Sakharov winner Salih Mahmoud Osman warns of "atmosphere on impunity" in Darfur - Interview
 flecheEuropean Parliament approves the Charter of Fundamental Rights and urges UK and Poland to apply it
 flecheACP-EU: workshop looks at "Justice on the grass" Rwanda's victims
 flecheGlobalisation: MEPs debate the challenges and opportunities
 flecheChina committed to fighting climate change, but not yet to quantitative targets, says EP delegation
 flecheSeat distribution up for discussion in Parliament
 flecheHow different are parliamentarians from either side of the Atlantic?
 flecheEU regional policy stakeholders debate global economic challenges
 flecheEuropean Year of Intercultural Dialogue should focus on religion
 flecheEurope's cultural heritage only a click away?
 flecheParliament adopts priorities on legal and illegal immigration policies
 flecheHighlights: MEPs to discuss energy, immigration, rail, toys in 2nd September Plenary
 flecheEnvironment MEPs back compulsory CO2 cap on cars
 flecheNatural disasters, EU solidarity fund needed without delay and European reaction force
 flecheAs Erasmus turns 20 some MEPs share their memories
 flecheEurope's cultural heritage only a click away?
 flecheBrazil's President Lula on trade, agriculture, poverty and biofuels
 flechePortugal's EU Presidency: MEPs on their expectations
 flecheLes attentes du monde arabe à l’égard de l’Union européenne : L’espérance déçue d’une alternative aux États-Unis ?
 flecheMEPs give green light to new European Globalisation Fund
 flecheLe Parlement européen remet le Prix Sakharov 2006 à Alexandre Milinkevitch
 fleche2006 report: the drugs problem in Europe
 flecheDrugs in Europe cheaper than ever says report
 flecheDer EU-Beitritt Bulgariens und Rumäniens
 flecheThe EU must define how far it can expand with new member states
 flecheFair Trade and Development - call for the Commission to act
 flecheRapport sur le commerce équitable et le développement
 flecheL'Union européenne devrait bientôt s'exprimer d'une seule voix à l'UNESCO
 flecheEuromed: much achieved, much still to be done
 fleche Discours du Président Borrell devant la première Assemblée Parlementaire Euroméditerranéenne
 flecheSpeech by the President at the opening of the extraordinary session of the EMPA
 flecheParliament calls for a constructive WTO meeting in Hong Kong
 flecheREACH, the chemistry behind a colossal project
 flecheEl Houdaïgui, Rachid
 flecheParliament gives green light to Romania and Bulgaria
 flecheFerrero-Waldner, Benita
 flecheA clear "yes" to the Constitution
 flecheBudget 2005: MEPs urge more money for EU's key policy areas
 flecheBorell, Josep
 flecheMEPs call for EU seat on Security Council
 flecheIGC - need to move on - not a time for recriminations
 flecheCommission President Prodi unveils action plan as a result of Eurostat affair
 flecheEnlargement: EU should promote decision on Kosovo final status within two years
 flecheExternal Relations: Urgent call on both Israel and Palestinians not to declare the peace process dead
 flecheSecurity and Defence: Financing and priorities for EU foreign and security policy
 flecheUrgent call to both Israel and Palestinians not to declare the peace process dead
 flecheCommissioner Verheugen gives foretaste of monitoring reports on accession countries
 flecheEurostat: a chronology of events
 flecheEtendre Erasmus au monde entier
 flechePour une politique volontaire de lutte contre les maladies liées à la pauvreté
 flecheLe directeur général de l'OMC promet des efforts pour associer plus intensément la société civile aux négociations de Doha
 flecheSustainable development: towards a global partnership. Greens/EFA Report Accepted by the Commission
 flecheNicole Fontaine: "une Convention porteuse d'espoir pour l'avenir de l'Union"
Keywords   go
Translate this page Traduire par Google Translate

Share on Facebook
Partager sur Twitter
Share on Google+Google + Share on LinkedInLinkedIn
Partager sur MessengerMessenger Partager sur BloggerBlogger