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2017:  Discussing migration policy with young diplomats from the Mediterranean region

The migration crisis presents the Euro-Mediterranean region with unprecedented challenges. Although the political reality is often very different in the affected countries of origin, transit and destination; Europeans, Arabs and Africans should tackle the root causes of migration with common strategies. This was the conclusion of this year's ZEI-MEDAC Roundtable held on April 5, 2017, within the framework of ZEI's long-term cooperation with the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC). During presentations and the subsequent discussion, students from both sides of the Mediterranean and beyond had the opportunity to discuss the causes of the crisis and possible solutions for the region. The speakers included: Liam Gauci, Malta, Olivia Ludger Maboko, Tanzania and Mohammad Kawzaa, Egypt (from MEDAC) as well as Christina Palii, Moldova, Maija Pusinska, Latvia and Teodora Ladjic, Montenegro (ZEI Master Fellows "Class of 2017"). Prof. Dr. Stephen C. Calleya and Dr. Monika Wohlfeld led the group of diplomats from MEDAC.

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2016: Challenges of  the Euro-Mediterranean region

The migration crisis presents the Euro-Mediterranean region with unprecedented challenges, to which Europeans and Arabs have to find common solutions. This was the conclusion of the 2016 "ZEI-MEDAC Roundtable" that took place on the 14th of April 2016 in Bonn. The joint event forms part of the ongoing cooperation between the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) and ZEI.  During this roundtable, students from both sides of the Mediterranean and beyond had the opportunity to exchange ideas, experiences and possible solutions at a time of upheaval in the region. Both students of MEDAC and ZEI delivered presentations followed by a discussion on current challenges and opportunities of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. Amongst the speakers were the following participants: MEDAC: Upendo Peniel Mwasha, Vilen Murzac and Ahmed Raafat Hanafy; ZEI Master Fellows ("Class of 2016"): Grace Harper, Jovana Gudzic and Lindsey Brown. The group of young diplomats currently studying in Malta was chaired by MEDAC director Prof. Stephen C. Calleya and Dr. Monika Wohlfeld.

2015: Challenges of migration in a discussion with Arabic diplomats

"It is important to create awareness in the western societies about the benefits that migrants can bring to them." In the background of the ongoing subject of migration, this insight is especially significant, argued the young diplomat Daphine Teddy Nyanduri from Uganda, in order to change the EU’s view on the topic of migration. Together with other diplomats from the European neighborhood, currently conducting post-graduate studies at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) in Malta, she attended a workshop, jointly organized by MEDAC and the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI). As part of the ongoing cooperation between ZEI and MEDAC, the roundtable, held on the 6th of May at ZEI, was focusing on the exchange of ideas and experiences between students from both sides of the Mediterranean and beyond at a time of unprecedented challenges in the region. The young diplomats currently studying in Malta were accompanied by MEDAC director Prof. Dr.Stephen Calleya, Dr.Monika Wohlfeld and Dr. Omar Grech. ZEI's own Master Fellows ("Class of 2015) attended the roundtable with ZEI director Prof. Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt. Both students of MEDAC and ZEI together with their professors held short presentations followed by a discussion on the current situation and the challenges in the Euro-Mediterranean relations touching upon different subjects as migration, intercultural relations and the European Neighborhood Policy.

2013: Enhancing education in the Arab transformation process.

"A well educated youth is and remains the backbone of every stable society." Against the background of ongoing uncertainties about the future development of the Arab transformation, this insight is especially significant, argued the Egyptian diplomat Jouman Nigmeldeen. Together with other Arab diplomats, currently conducting post-graduate studies at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) in Malta, she attended a  workshop, jointly organized by MEDAC and the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI). As part of the ongoing cooperation between ZEI and MEDAC, the workshop, held on April 24 and 25, 2013 at ZEI was focusing on basic matters of future collaboration between Europe and the Arab world in the field of education and research. Beside ZEI's own Master Fellows ("Class of 2013), the Arab diplomats currently studying in Malta and further scholars and diplomats from Germany, the Caucasus and Malta, led by MEDAC director Prof. Dr.Stephen Calleya and Prof. Dr.Monika Wohlfeld, representatives of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) attended the workshop.  The Honorary President of the Association of former European Parliamentarians, Prof. Dr. Uwe Holtz (SPD), presented the initiative of Europe's parliamentary elder statesmen in support of further democratization in the Arab neighborhood of Europe.

Additional discussions focused on the future strategic relations between the European Union and the Arab world, the Middle East conflict, the role of media in reporting about conflicts in the Arab world, and questions of energy security in Europe and in the Arab North Africa. The workshop - as well as the study tour of MEDAC which included visits to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and to German government institutions in Berlin - was made possible by the DAAD as part of its support for the "German Chair in Peace and Conflict Prevention" at MEDAC, held by Prof. Monika Wohlfeld.


Prof. Dr. Uwe Holtz, Honorary President, European Association of Former Parliamentarians


2012: Germany in the EU and the Mediterranean.

Freedom, democracy, and progress. In his lecture at ZEI on 7 February 2012, Tunne Kelam, Member of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, connected his personal experience torn between dictatorship, peaceful revolution and the start of a new era in Estonia and the current events going on in the Maghreb region in the so-called “Arab Spring“. Thereby he particularly pointed out the meaning of freedom as well as the wish and the fight for one’s own identity and sovereignty. At the same time, using the “Prague Spring” and the following slow revolution in Eastern Europe as an example, he explained that societal and political changes may take more than one generation until they make an impact.

Kelam’s speech marked the beginning of a joint workshop of ZEI and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) of Malta taking place from 7-10 February 2012. Under the title “Germany, the EU, and the Arab Spring” ZEI students and fellows as well as young students and diplomats of the Middle East, from the Caucasus region and some African countries who study at MEDAC, met at ZEI to discuss, exchange ideas and listen to different lectures. 

In addition to Kelam who, as member of the Committee in Foreign Affairs, actively follows what is happening in the Mediterranean region, other guest lecturers opened the conference: Barbara Wolf, Director of the department of the Broader Middle East and North Africa and Euromed Division, German Foreign Ministry, Hansjörg Lanz, Director of the department Middle East/North Africa, of the German political foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and H. E. Karl Xuereb, Ambassador of Malta to the Federal Republic of Germany.

During the week the participants also listened to lectures of Lt.-Col. Dr. Thorsten Weber of the Federal Ministry of Defense who talked about the German security and defense policy. Furthermore, the group from Malta visited the United Nations campus in Bonn and the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. One special event took place at the Deutsche Welle: in a joint event with the representation of the European Commission in Bonn (under the direction of Dr. Stephan Koppelberg), former EU Ambassador Christian D. Falkowski who had worked, inter alia, at the EU representations in Egypt, Jordan and Yemen, hold a lecture on “Europe: an ever-closer Union in view of growing global challenges?”. Another interesting topic was introduced by Valentin Hollain, researcher at EUROSOLAR, a non-profit-organization sitting in Bonn: Hollain talked about the energy change in Germany and its implications for other regions in the world. 

ZEI Director Prof. Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt and MEDAC Director Prof. Dr. Stephen Calleya expressed their gratitude to the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD) to have made the academic exchange possible in the context of the DAAD sponsored German Chair in “Peace and Conflict Prevention” held at MEDAC by Dr. Monika Wohlfeld.

MEDAC Februar 2012

Opening day: Gebhard Reul, DAAD, H. E. Ambassador Karl Xuereb, Barabara Wolf, German Foreign Ministry , Tunne Kelam, MEP, Dr. Monika Wohlfeld, MEDAC, Prof. Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt, ZEI


2011: Germany in the EU and the Mediterranean.

Marc Jan Eumann, State Secretary for European Affairs in the Northrhine-Westphalian Ministry for Federal and European affairs, called for a clear continuation of a pro-active European policy of Germany. Euro bonds would be one of the necessary means to organize solidarity among all members of the EU in order to prepare for future currency crisis. State Secretary Eumann expressed his critical view that Germany was currently not up to its role as a model and driving force of European integration. Germany should get back to working on common strategies instead of trying to dominate decision making and fighting for its own interests. It would be of utmost importance that Germany accepts its responsibilities to work for a united Europe and to become a model again.

The State Secretary spoke at the opening of a workshop jointly held by the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI) and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) Malta on January 17, 2011 at ZEI in Bonn. The workshop brought together ZEI Fellows and researchers with more than a dozen young diplomats from Arab, Caucasian and African countries currently studying at MEDAC.

Other speakers at the workshop included Dr. Andreas Marchetti, ZEI Fellow, and Karl Xuereb, Ambassador of Malta to the Federal Republic of Germany, who discussed the current developments of the Union for the Mediterranean; Lieutenant Dr. Thorsten Weber, from the Federal Ministry of Defense on Germany’s security and defense policy and Dr. Gerhard Sabathil, Director for Strategy, Coordination and Analysis, DG External Relations from the European Commission who informed about the European External Action Service, which is in force since the beginning of the year 2011. ZEI Director Prof. Dr. Kühnhardt and MEDAC Director Prof. Dr. Calleya expressed their gratitude to the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD) to have made the academic exchange possible in the context of the DAAD sponsored German Chair in Peace and Conflict Prevention held at MEDAC by Prof. Dr. Monika Wohlfeld. The current crisis in Tunisia was a continuous topic of interest during the workshop that underlined the commitment of ZEI to academically focus on Mediterranean issues and their impact on Germany in the EU.

Further information...

MEDAC Januar 2011

ZEI and MEDAC participants at the workshop "Germany in the EU and the Mediterranean" with Dr. Gerhard Sabathil, Director for Strategy, Coordination, and Analysis, Directorate-General External Relations, European Commission (center).


2010: The European Union in the Mediterranean.

Jointly with the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) at the University of Malta, the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI) organised a workshop on February 2-3, 2010 on the role of the European Union in the Mediterranean. At the beginning of the workshop, the Minister of State in the German Foreign Office, Dr. Werner Hoyer, addressed the participants. Minister of State Hoyer made it clear that the institutional debate in the EU has come to an end and needs to be replaced b y strong strategic thinking and concrete actions. In essence, the EU needs to strengthen its position in the age of globalization. As far as the Middle East conflict is concerned, Hoyer called upon all parties involved to move from procedural efforts to reactivate the peace process to a comprehensive approach that tackles the central status matters related to a two-state solution. MEDAC-Director Prof. Dr.Stephen Calleya appealed to the European Union – and especially to Germany – to actively take up a lead role in reactivating the Middle East peace process. ZEI Director Prof. Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt underlined the long-standing commitment of ZEI to deal with the Mediterranean dimension in EU integration. ZEI will continue with this focus of its work that has accompanied the agenda of ZEI since its beginning in 1995.

The workshop was attended by more than a dozen students of MEDAC, mostly young diplomats from Arab countries. Jointly with ZEI Fellows of the Master of European Studies Program and ZEI scholars they discussed the breadth and depth of the Mediterranean agenda. A simulation was aimed at finding an early solution to the Middle East conflict. In cooperation with Deutsche Welle, the participants looked into the future of the Euro-Arab dialogue. A discussion group to this effect was attended by Maltas Ambassador to Germany, John Paul Grech, Ibrahim Hussein of the United Nations Volunteer Programme and ZEI scholar Dr. Andreas Marchetti. Ambassador Grech warned of a “clash of ignorance” between Europeans and their Arab neighbours.


ZEI and MEDAC participants at the workshop "The European Union in the Mediterranean" with Malta’s Ambassador to Germany, Dr. John Paul Grech (center left).


2008: The Mediterranean between Continuity and Change.

The French initiative that led to the founding of the “Union for the Mediterranean” in July 2008 has been central in evaluating established approaches and has opened new paths for their enhancement. During the EuroMeSCo Annual Conference that took place on 16 and 17 October 2008 in Amman, participants from the EMP countries discussed the challenges to common approaches within the Mediterranean. In one of the six working groups ZEI Research Fellow Andreas Marchetti presented parallels and differences between the EU’s Mediterranean policy and its approaches in Southeast Europe. Participants agreed that a successful policy will have to strengthen the spirit of cooperation and common ownership.


2007: Human Rights in the Mediterranean.

This year’s Annual Conference of the Euro-Mediterranean Study Commission (EuroMeSCo) took place from 3 to 4 October 2007 in Lisbon. It mainly focussed on human rights as a shared concern in the entire Euro-Mediterranean area. In case studies and workshops participants highlighted the outstanding importance of human rights for the development of the region but also for the relations between the European Union and Mediterranean partner countries. The conference also addressed the implications of the French proposition of a “Mediterranean Union”. On behalf of ZEI, Research Fellow Andreas Marchetti participated in the EuroMeSCo Annual Conference as well as in the EuroMeSCo General Assembly.


2004: The role of the enlarged Europe in the Near East conflict.

The parties directly involved in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict would like to see the EU getting more involved in solving the conflict. On the other hand, both sides criticize the EU for its perceived role in the conflict, which seems to them less of a mediator than of a directly interested party. These were the main points highlighted by a workshop that took place in the framework of the long-term cooperation of ZEI with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, held on 12 and 13 June 2004 in Amman.
The workshop brought together high-ranking government officials and scientists. They judged the present prospects of achieving a two-state-solution as difficult. Even though the Quartet’s Road Map is the only feasible approach at this moment, it currently lacks the support of the United Sates, whose forces and interests are largely bound in Iraq. However, a chance to revive the Peace Process can be seen in the upcoming US-elections and the formation of a new EU-Commission at the end of this year. With the re-election of Russian President Putin in March 2004, the three central players of the Quartet will share a continuity in administration. This could be used as window of opportunity for the efforts to solve the Middle East Conflict.
Doubts about the future engagement of the EU caused by Eastern enlargement might be justified, however, with enlargement, the EU has become more aware that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is – also geographically – of vital interest to the EU. This will lead to an intensification of Europe’s efforts. After enlargement, the Middle East no longer plays only a role within the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, but is also central to the EU’s New Neighbourhood Policy.


2004: Europe's Role in the reconstruction of Iraq.

The workshop was held in March 2004 and addressed particularly the role of Europe in the reconstruction of Iraq. The workshop was chaired by Dr. Peter Weilemann, Director of the KAS European Office in Brussels, and Prof. Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt, Director at ZEI. Important policy advisers, diplomats, and academics from Europe, the United States, and the Arab world, including Iraq, discussed the various aspects of the issue.
There was general agreement that the stabilization of Iraq in political, economic and security-related areas is crucial for the prospects of bringing change to the whole region. Consequently, a failure of these efforts might lead to a setback of developing and implementing new concepts for the Greater Middle East.


2003: Internal Need for Reforms is freely discussed.

Urgent political and economic reforms in Arab countries have a central meaning for the conceptual and strategic development of the “Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue”. Intensive discussions about the results and implications of the “Arab Human Development Reports” in all Arab countries are a positive sign that support the notion that many of those topics which have hampered Euro-Arab relations have so far or were taboo for either side. Discussing such issues freely could lead to better political and economic conditions in the Arab world. The idea is spreading in the Arab world that deep structural reforms towards democracy and market economy are inevitable and should be practiced from within in order to prevent lasting external pressure. These were among the key findings of intensive and remarkably open discussions at a workshop, which the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI) has conducted in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the University of Damascus. Leading scholars, politicians – among them the Vice-President of the Syrian Parliament – and political advisers from various Arab and European countries joined for this occasion on December 13 and 14, 2003 in Damascus as part of the long-term cooperation project of ZEI with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation on the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue. For the first time, the findings of the “Arab Human Development Reports” were discussed publicly in Syria during this workshop. The reports discuss the urgent need for reforms in the Arab world, most importantly with regard to political freedom. Deficits in the development of a knowledge-based society, the relationship between democracy, human rights and the role of law on the one hand and political and economic reforms on the other hand, specificly the need for changes in the education sector and the role of media, including satellite TV channels, which have emerged all over the Arab world have been discussed intensively and controversially. Comparative reflections on European and Arab experiences and challenges added stimulation and substance to the deliberations.


2003: Professor Guido de Marco, President of Malta. The future of the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue.

Guido de Marco, President of Malta, gave a key-note speech on the future of Euro-Mediterranean relations and the vision of Malta. The public lecture in the auditorium of the University of Bonn opened the 4th meeting of the Mediterranean Forum. Scientists, political advisors and members of the European Parliament met to discuss the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership beyond the Iraq crisis. The conference on October 14-15 2003 was hosted by ZEI and the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation.
According to the three pillars of the Barcelona process – political dialogue and security, economic partnership, social and cultural cooperation – President de Marco was in favor of a Mediterranean Charter of Stability. While demanding that Europe should not forget its own roots, President de Marco noted that security in Europe and in the Mediterranean region are to be regarded as the two sides of the same coin. Therefore the lasting conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is a permanent and vital threat to European security. Inevitably, Europe "has to have a deeper insight and a better understanding of the Mediterranean.“ To this effect President de Marco suggested a Council of the Mediterranean corresponding the Council of Europe to establish a forum of exchange in order to create a "Euro-Med forma mentis,“ which is necessary to complete the presently strong identity in being with an equal identity in doing.


2003: Conference on the Mediterranean Dialogue.

The war in Iraq has required the European Union to broaden her perspective beyond the traditional Euro-Mediterranean policy approach (Barcelona Process) and to look onto the strategic relevance of the Greater Middle East as the southern neighbouring region of Europe. It will be important to realize a multidimensional approach which will add strategic issues to the traditional European means of cooperation and development aid. These were the key conclusions of a workshop on 10 July 2003 which the Center for European Integration Studies held in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation as part of the multiannual cooperation scheme between the two institutions on the issue of Mediterranean Partnership. Three months after the cease fire in Iraq, questions of permanent instability and unforseeable consequences of the domestic situation of Iraq were the main focus of interest. Representatives from Iraq (among them highly renown personalities like the President of the Iraq Institute for Democracy, Hussain Sinjari) and other observers of the latest developments (such as the Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Nawar [Arab Press Freedom Watch, London]) commented on corner stones of a post-war order in Iraq and discussed possible consequences of the end of the Baath party. The workshop brought together members of the European and the German Parliament, several ambassadors accredited to the EU, high-level policy advisers from the European Commission and the European Council to talk about difficulties resulting from the democratization of Iraq. There was also left room for discussion for posible effects on the security situation in the wider Near East after the Iraq war. The participants agreed that the USA has to play a central role in restructuring Iraq and that the EU should strenghten its participation in stabilizing the Iraq based on an UN mandate. There was also consensus among the speakers at the conference that the economic recovery of Iraq has to be based on securing the separation of church and state.


2001: Does Culture Matter?

There has been a 'renaissance' in the study of culture within the Social Sciences. Apparently, norms of trust and social capital that are embedded in one or another cultural setting and are determined by tradition are thought to be important for understanding political life. While some see cultural factors behind divergent political styles, others discount cultural explanations and look at ways in which rational action is reflected by different institutions. A workshop organized jointly by ZEF and ZEI and sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation on June 19-20, 2001, discussed the relevance of culture for the functioning of institutions. It focused on the Mediterranean region due to its cultural and institutional diversity, using as a backdrop the EU's explicit policy of promoting its institutions in that region. Scholars from the Mediterranean, Europe, and USA and policymakers from the region met in Bonn and exchanged ideas. The participants focused on conceptualizing better working definitions of concepts and examined concrete cases drawn from the Euro-Mediterranean area, drawing out implications for policy. Prince Hassan el Talal of Jordan, President of the Club of Rome, called for an intensified dialogue among cultures.
Several other publications of ZEI examine different aspects of the Euro-Mediterranen Partnership. ZEI receives guest researchers from southern partner states of the Euro-Meditteranean Dialogue on a regular basis.


1999-2004: Mediterranean Forum.

ZEI organized an annual "Mediterranean Forum" sponsored by the Thyssen Foundation with high-ranking representatives of politics and academia, which was part of a larger cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation during 2002 to 2004. From 1999 to 2005 the following "Mediterranean Fora" were held at ZEI:

  1. Mediterranean Forum: Stock-taking after the Foreign Ministers Meeting in Stuttgart in the context of the Barcelona Process (1999).
  2. Mediterranean Forum 2001: Managing asymmetric interdependencies within the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.
  3. Mediterranean Forum 2002: German Mediterranean Politics post 9/11.
  4. Mediterranean Forum 2003: Euro-Mediterranean Partnership: Beyond the Iraq Crisis
  5. Mediterranean Forum 2004: The CSCE as a Model for the Greater Middle East


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