Euro-Med Information and Training Seminars for Diplomats

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1 25 Euro-Med Information and Training Seminars for Diplomats 25 th Anniversary of Malta Seminars Malta 2008

2 Looking Ahead: Euro-Mediterranean Relations By Prof. Stephen Calleya, Director of Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) The main factor that should move European and Mediterranean states closer together in future are the mutual security interests they share: Euro-Med political, economic and cultural cooperation must be strengthened if stability is to be secured in future. The key reason to support the Union for the Mediterranean initiative is that it is in both the EU and the Mediterranean states interests for the UfM to succeed given the indivisibility of security between Europe and the Mediterranean. Across the Mediterranean geopolitical and geo-economic indicators are not as positive as they can be. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is lacking, intra-mediterranean trade remains limited, north-south economic disparity is resulting in a permanent poverty curtain across the Mediterranean. Moreover, the demographic time-bomb continues to escalate, unemployment continues to increase, illegal migration has reached alarming levels, illiteracy remains at very high levels, and an escalation of ongoing conflicts remains a serious concern. When it comes to addressing Euro-Mediterranean security challenges the list of threats and risks is a daunting one. The plethora of the security challenges associated with the North-South debate includes illegal migration, terrorism, religious intolerance and the lack of human rights. Given the indivisibility of security in Europe and the Mediterranean, the EU must continue to adopt a more proactive stance when it comes to influencing and managing the international relations of the Mediterranean area. Geographical proximity and stability in the Mediterranean dictates that the EU needs to try and influence regional dynamics in the Middle East more systematically than it has been in recent years. Failure to do so will continue to stifle attempts to strengthen Euro- Mediterranean relations through the EMP: UfM and also have a negative impact on the EU s Neighbourhood Policy agenda that is currently being implemented. All extra regional actors, with an interest in ensuring that future Euro-Mediterranean relations remain peaceful and more prosperous, including the United States must act to ensure that the Middle East is not left to collapse as a result of an attitude of indifference. International organizations must guard against adopting an attitude of indifference when it comes to securing a peaceful future for this region. The outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and 60

3 other regional conflicts across the Middle East will have a major bearing on the future direction of twenty-first century relations. One cannot over emphasise the strategic significance of this region when providing an assessment of countering sources of insecurity in post cold war relations. Both the EU and the Arab world need a critical reassessment of regional cooperation. Regional cooperation is not an aim in itself. It has to be pursued with a clear strategy, clearly defined objectives and instruments to advance longterm objectives, and a clear sense of priorities. What sort of regional cooperation makes sense? Where is there a chance of advancing? Prof. Stephen Calleya, Director of Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) (right) with Dr. Tonio Borg, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta, at the opening of XXIV Euro-Med Seminar. A road map that stipulates short, medium, and longterm phases of region-building is necessary if progress is to be registered in establishing a Euro-Mediterranean community of values. All international institutions with a Mediterranean dimension should provide their think-tank platform to map out such a strategy so that a UfM of diverse states becomes a reality in the near future. 61

4 Prof. Stephen Calleya - Looking Ahead: Euro-Mediterranean Relations As highlighted in the Euro-Med Partnership: Union for the Mediterranean plan of action of July 2008 the EU needs to provide a larger boost to promoting education programmes that European and Mediterranean citizens can benefit from. There will not be sustainable employment without improved training and technology. This is the Mediterranean s weakest point and their biggest handicap in the international markets. The EU should therefore commit the bulk of the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI) funding to education, training and technology. This should include providing 100% of the children in countries such as Egypt and Morocco with primary education with modern curricula; massively finance teacher training; encouraging the MED countries to establish Arab Erasmus and Bologna; programmes of student exchanges and quality improvements of their universities; encouraging European public research institutions to twin with their Mediterranean counterparts and thereby help them raise their performance; engaging in a meaningful programme of scholarships for Ph.D. students in computer technology, science and engineering. Starting with 100 scholarships annually numbers should rise to at least 500 at cruising speed; substantially increasing the numbers of shortterm VIP visitors (journalists, members of parliaments, entrepreneurs, government officials, writers, mayors, academics etc.) from the Mediterranean countries and enable them to get acquainted with European methods of addressing political issues. If well run, these visits will have a long-term impact on governance. We need to increase the numbers to at least 200 visitors per year. Strengthening such practical policy dialogue mechanisms will add momentum to the Euro-Med Partnership Five Year Work Programme ( ) that is currently being implemented and which seeks to integrate our Mediterranean partners closer into the fabric of European society. Future Euro-Med programmes need to ensure that people to people interaction is at the forefront, especially young people. It is essential that a much larger number of students from the Arab world are given the opportunity to study at EU universities. The Bologna process must be made functional to them. The same goes for joint EU Arab research projects. The EU must introduce a package of programmes that seeks to tap into the wealth of intelligence in the Euro-Med region via scholarships, seminars, and other initiatives. The Euro-Med Education Ministerial that took place in Cairo in June 2007 has started to serve as a catalyst in this regard. When it comes to diplomatic training the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) has already established itself as a regional centre of excellence in the Mediterranean through its educational and training programmes. Since 1990 MEDAC has been offering postgraduate training in Diplomatic Studies to students coming primarily from North Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans and Europe. 62

5 Prof. Stephen Calleya - Looking Ahead: Euro-Mediterranean Relations Since 1996, MEDAC together with the European Commission and the Maltese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also been responsible for coordinating the Euro-Mediterranean Information and Training Seminars, or as they have become more commonly known, the Malta Seminars. The Malta Seminar has become a highly anticipated continuous official confidence building mechanism of the Barcelona Process where diplomats from all Euro-Mediterranean states are able to exchange ideas and discuss openly international relations of the region in an informal manner. Such a forum has allowed for the promotion of an open dialogue between Euro-Med representatives and the creation of a dynamic alumni that regularly exchange views about ongoing Euro-Mediterranean developments. with the region. The Mediterranean countries themselves must also adopt more of a self-help mentality. Rather than undermine or diminish the significance of the EMP:UfM, the growing socioeconomic disparities across the Mediterranean underlines further the significance of the EMP: UfM, the only multilateral process of its kind in the area. The success or failure of the Union for the Mediterranean will determine whether Euro-Med relations in 2020 will become more co-operative dominant. Implementation of Union for the Mediterranean projects will ensure that all of us live in a more peaceful and prosperous region in future. At the start of the twenty-first century, the Mediterranean must avoid becoming a permanent fault-line between the prosperous North and an impoverished South. The key development to watch in the Mediterranean in the next decade will be to see whether the phase of co-operative competition that has dominated post- Cold War relations to date is eventually superseded by an era of conflictual competition. If this scenario of socio-economic indifference does take hold, disorder will dominate Mediterranean relations. Such a scenario of instability and uncertainty will stifle the economic growth that is necessary to improve the standard of living of all peoples across the Mediterranean. Looking ahead the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: Union for the Mediterranean must attract the interest of international institutions such as the World Bank, OECD, and the IMF and persuade them to become more altruistic in their dealings 63

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