Intercultural Dialogue in Eu Foreign Policy: The Case of the Mediterranean From the End of the Cold War to the Arab Uprisings by Pietro de Perini

Intercultural Dialogue in Eu Foreign Policy: The Case of the Mediterranean From the End of the Cold War to the Arab Uprisings by Pietro de Perini

Author:Pietro de Perini [Perini, Pietro de]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: International Relations, Intergovernmental Organizations, European, Diplomacy, Political Science, World, General
ISBN: 9781351582278
Google: xJU4DwAAQBAJ
Goodreads: 36872433
Publisher: Routledge
Published: 2017-10-05T00:00:00+00:00

Evaluating the implementation of ICD during the ‘phase of emergence’

The above overview of the three programmes provides sufficient data to advance a few analytical considerations with regards to the overall implementation of ICD in the period between 1995 and 2001. The following analysis investigates the objectives of the programmes, their consistency with the goals of ICD and the amount of resources allocated among all the funds committed by the Commission to Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. Finally, it explores if and how the three programmes have contributed to making ICD a co-owned instrument.

As concerns the objectives, all the programmes were developed under the conceptually broad and unspecified umbrella of ICD that emerged from the Barcelona Conference. They aimed primarily at fostering mutual understanding, either in a specific cultural cooperation sector or within a target group. Unsurprisingly, none of these programmes was launched in a field – such as the inter-religious exchanges proposed in the Barcelona action plan – that could be specifically connected to one of the strategic interests of the EU for this tool. Given the small inclination of some MPCs to foster cooperation on cultural and religious issues and the parallel need of the EU to give more substance to this part of the third basket, experts, officials and politicians in the region were more likely to find agreement either in less sensitive sectors or by drawing on past cooperation experiences.

In this context, it should be noted that the model on which these ‘Euromed’ programmes were conceived followed the one used for the decentralised cooperation programmes promoted since 1992 within the RMP framework. Although beset by all manners of shortcomings and finally suspended in 1996 (Committee of Independent Experts 1999), these programmes were generally appreciated by beneficiaries for the economic and technical contribution they brought to the social development of the MPCs involved. Some of them, such as the MED Media programme, were also evaluated positively for the intercultural contribution they promoted between participants (European Commission 1997, 53–54). Unsurprisingly, the experience of these decentralised cooperation programmes came to provide a safe platform for the first implementations of ICD. On one hand, under the regional approach championed by the EMP, the launch of revised programmes for cooperation on similar professional sectors was expected to bring to the whole Euro-Mediterranean space the positive experiences of mutual understanding achieved by the bilateral MED-Programmes. On the other hand, these programmes were also supposed to ensure new resources for the development of economic, cultural and social sectors, as requested by the MPCs. In light of this, the MED-Media programme (1992–1996), which was aimed at supporting the transfer of experience and know-how, in terms of media management, norms and working conditions, to the MPCs, served as a precursor and blueprint for Euromed Audiovisual and its promotion of ICD.

Although helpful to kick-start the implementation of ICD, the choice of very technical fields of cooperation also meant, in practice, less adherence to the general goal of this policy instrument. In this perspective, there is a notable difference between Euromed Heritage and Euromed Audiovisual on one hand, and Euromed Youth on the other.


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