AGENDA

18 June

08.30 – 09.00

Registration

09.00 – 10.00

Welcome Remarks

10.00 – 11.30

Plenary Session 1: Taking the Pulse of Civil Society and Social Movements in the Euro-Mediterranean Region

Over the last years, a number of social movements hit the roads and/or the social networks in a number of countries both north and south of the Mediterranean. This plenary session will explore in a comparative perspective their impact, their approaches, their main actors, and their possible connections. Beyond these visible movements, the session will also examine other issues related to the situation of civil society in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

11.30 – 12.00

Coffee break  

12.00 – 13.30

Plenary Session 2: Engaging with Civil Society in the Southern Mediterranean: Assessing Policy Responses to Civil Society and Social Movements

The spectrum of how governments have been dealing with social movements and civil society is broad. In some cases, the civil society effervescence that prevailed at the beginning of the decade was partly rolled back. In other cases, governments have realized their potential and influence and have tried to factor them in. The European Union has continued not only to encourage contacts between civil societies from both shores of the Mediterranean but also to support and involve civil society in southern Mediterranean countries.

13.30 – 14.30

Lunch

14.30 – 16.30

Parallel Working Sessions

Working Session 1: The Spatiality of Social Movements: Cities at the Frontline

While social movements in the Euro-Mediterranean region may have in many cases a strong local dimension, they acquire most of their salience through urban expressions and become the epicentre of such movements. Cities across the Euro-Mediterranean region have not only hosted these movements, they have also represented as such an object of contention as illustrated by the “right to the city” slogan. Various forms of urban movements have challenged the governance of public spaces. In a comparative Euro-Mediterranean perspective, this session will explore these different aspects and will address among other questions:
What are the various forms of urban activisms?
What are the common features of those movements in northern and southern
Mediterranean?
To what extent are they connected?
What sort of governance issues does it raise for authorities?

Working Session 2: Civil Society and Online Connectivity

The growth of digital space has unleashed the potential for increased activism of civil society across the Euro-Mediterranean region. The virtual connectivity through a number of online platforms enabled civil society to join forces and advocate for changes. At the same time, the digitialisation brought new questions, of a need to re-define the public sphere and to review the social contract. While optimism prevails, many argue that the digital space has also allowed the governments to enhance their control over civil society and social movements. Against this background, the session will explore civil society activism online and address the following questions:
To what extent online activism translates into changes on the ground?
Are there any limitations to online activism?
How could governments exploit the online space to embrace the civil society in the policy
making?

Working Session 3: Civil Society’s Role in Promoting Migrants’ Rights and Inclusion

Due to the rapid increase of migration flows to Southern Mediterranean countries and Europe over the last years and the shortcomings of policy responses, civil society has been at the frontline in promoting migrants rights in migration policies (including at the EU level) and in acting accordingly be it in rescue operations or in addressing needs in terms of reception and inclusion. The session will explore the attitudes and responses of civil society in the Euro- Mediterranean countries to the migration phenomena and address the following questions:
What has driven the increased engagement of civil society towards the migrants?
To what extent the actions of civil society have impacted the policy responses?
How could civil society actors and national/sub-national administrations better cooperate
towards addressing challenges related to the integration of migrants and refugees?

16.30 – 18.30

Plugged-in sessions: Discussing latest developments in the region

19 June

09.00 – 11.00

Plenary Session 3: Civil Society as a Driving Force of Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation and Integration

Connections between civil societies on both sides of the Mediterranean have intensified as a result of a various factors such as the constitution of civil society and subnational networks, the role of diasporas, digitalisation and the emergence of common causes and agendas. Therefore, its potential to push for innovative both political and sectoral solutions and be a driving force of regional cooperation and integration is largely untapped, raising the question of its involvement in current Euro-Mediterranean institutional frameworks. As such, civil society can represent an antidote to growing divisions and conflicts in the region.

11.00 – 11.30

Coffee Break  

11.30 – 13.00

Presentation of results of the EuroMeSCo research groups

The Role of Russia in the Middle East and North Africa. Strategy or Opportunism?

Climate Security in the Sahel and the Mediterranean: Local and Regional Responses

Cooperation with Religious Institutions as a European Policy Tool

13.00 – 14.30

Coffee Break  

14.30 – 16.30

Kick-off meetings of the new set of EuroMeSCo research groups

The Role of China in the Middle East and North Africa. Beyond Economic Interests

Infrastructures and Power in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa. The Crossroads of Regional and Global Geopolitics

Water Security in the Middle East

16.30 – 17.30

Closing Session