The EuroMeSCo Annual Conference on “Changing Euro-Mediterranean Lenses” took place in Rabat on 12- 13 July 2018. It gathered representatives of 106 institutes that are members of the EuroMeSCo network (the largest Euro-Mediterranean network of think tanks dealing with political and security issues), alongside a number of practitioners, diplomats, policy makers and young researchers.
Following this conference and ahead of the next meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Union for the Mediterranean to be held in Barcelona on 8 October, EuroMeSCo is eager to reach out beyond circles of experts or policy makers and contribute to public debates, too often dominated by eurocentric reflexes on the European side, and recriminations on the southern Mediterranean side.
Too often, in the European public debate, the southern part of the Mediterranean is portrayed as the source of problems facing the European Union. Misinformed and misleading public debates on violent extremism and migration have exemplified this. Violent extremism tends to be presented as an import product, ignoring thereby the European own responsibility in the surge of the phenomenon. Similarly, Europe tends to be portrayed as a continent under siege by migrants, ignoring thereby the migration challenges posed to countries of the southern Mediterranean.