3.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation
One of the most important actors in the dialogue between the European Union and the other Mediterranean countries is the European Institute of the Mediterranean. This institute, based in Barcelona (Catalonia), is a centre for reflection and debate on Mediterranean societies, a think-tank specialising in Euro-Mediterranean relations and a promoter of cooperation. The Institute is led by a Governing Board, with the participation of the Government of Catalonia, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Barcelona City Council; a Board of Trustees, formed by companies, universities and institutions from civil society, and an Advisory Council made up of important Mediterranean personalities. The Institute promotes knowledge through research and study; carries out training and promotion activities; encourages the participation of civil society in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (also called the Barcelona Process, the main framework for political, economic, and social relations, as well as dialogue and regional co-operation in the Mediterranean. In 2008 Barcelona was officially selected headquarters for the Secretariat of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean); promotes and participates in development cooperation projects; works in favour of Mediterranean networks; organises exhibitions and cultural activities; publishes books and periodicals and acts as an observer of the general situation in the Mediterranean. The Institute was set up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation as the Coordinator of the Spanish Network of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation. This Foundation is the first institution created by the 35 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, with the objective of improving reciprocal understanding and the quality of cultural dialogue between the two sides of the Mediterranean. The Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation encourages cultural dialogue, supports exchanges, cooperation and mobility, particularly among the young, and organises activities within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. Conceived as a "network of networks", the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation comprises 35 networks from different countries. The http://www.iemed.org/presentacio/xarxes/alindhxar.phpSpanish network is formed by 82 members, representing organisations from civil society.
The Europa Diversa Network is a virtual organisation for people and institutions dedicated to understanding, discussing and developing cultural diversity within the framework of the new Europe. Among its founder members are: the Jaume Bofill Foundation, the European Institute of the Mediterranean, the Open University of Catalonia, the International Centre "Escarré" for Ethnic Minorities and Nationalities and the Interculture-UNESCO Association for the promotion of intercultural dialogue in Catalonia. The general objective is to contribute, from the perspective of Catalonia, to the construction of Europe in terms of cultural diversity. With this aim, Europa Diversa Network organises symposiums and seminars.
The Interarts Foundation (European Observatory for Cultural Research and International Cultural Cooperation), a cultural think tank and an observatory for cultural policies, aims to foster cultural dialogue and the exchange of expertise, devising strategies for creative cities and cultural entrepreneurs. Established in 1995, as an independent association through an agreement between Catalan authorities, the Council of Europe and international partners, Interarts combines the advantages of a versatile independent body with a strong international presence and commitment to the public domain. To meet its objectives, Interarts provides services that range from the provision of policy advice to public institutions and private entrepreneurs from the cultural sector, to the stimulation of international cultural cooperation through networks, agents and civil society, and rigorously applied research in fields such as Cultural Rights, Culture and Socio-Economy, or Cultural Governance.
The Three Mediterranean Cultures is a non-profit foundation which, in recent years, has become the international benchmark for dialogue and respect for achieving peace and understanding amongst the people of the world, thanks to the exceptional nature of the patronage and its cultural activities. The Foundation was established under the aegis of the Andalusian Regional Government and the Kingdom of Morocco, who in 1998 broached the need to create a forum to bring together the people of the Mediterranean. This proposal was favourably received by the international community, with the support of the Peres Centre for Peace, the Palestinian National Authority, and multiple Israeli and Euro-Mediterranean individuals and institutions committed to dialogue and peace. Since March 1999, when the Three Cultures Foundation was established, the three main priorities in its day-to-day activity and cultural schedule have been: co-operation within the Mediterranean region and between Andalusia and Morocco, the Middle East, and the European Union and the Mediterranean countries.
See also chapter 4.2.7.
For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section.