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WP2S 2.1

Agents of change in the Euro-Mediterranean space

Journée d’étude


Rencontre du


Oxford, 6 – 7 June 2008

European Studies Centre and Middle East Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford

Maison Française d’Oxford





Academic coordinators
Bechev, Raffaella Del Sarto, Kalypso Nicolaidis,
Kerem Oktem, Alexis Tadie, Leila Vignal, Michael Willis


Once the cradle of civilisation, nowadays the Mediterranean is both a bridge and a boundary between Europe and the societies of North Africa and the Middle East.  Over the years the member states and the institutions of the European Union (EU) have inaugurated, in partnership with the neighbours of the southern and the eastern shore, a series of political and socio-economic and cultural initiatives aimed at resolving conflicts, fostering integration, and encouraging dialogue amongst civil societies in the area. However, realities are rather sobering. Few would disagree that while schemes such as the 1995 Barcelona Partnership have embraced bold visions of a Euro-Mediterranean community, they have fallen short of their promise. It is the walls around Gaza or Ceuta rather than the talk of partnership in Brussels that convey a more realistic image of the present-day Mediterranean. Violent upheavals, socio-economic inequalities, politicised cultural, religious and ethnic identities, and the bitter legacies of the recent colonial past continue to draw dividing lines between the North and the South, between neighbours, and also within individual countries. 

In early 2007, during the French presidential campaign, Nicolas Sarkozy proposed the creation of a Mediterranean Union modelled on the EU. Though it is a subject of extensive discussions this idea is yet to crystallise into a full-fledged project.  All eyes are now on France’s Presidency of the EU Council coming in the second half of 2008. Yet questions remain concerning the difficult institutional choices, bargains and political constraints faced by the plan.


The conference will explore in depth the proposals for a Mediterranean Union from various vantage points, including historical legacies, current EU politics, political economy, and the study of social change in both the North and the South.  It will bring together practitioners and academics drawing on the RAMSES2, a Network of Excellence of Mediterranean Studies funded under the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme.




Friday, 6 June
Venue: St Antony’s College


12:00 – 12:45


12:45 – 14:00

Lunch and introduction

14:00 – 14:30

Coffee Break

14:30 – 16:30

Panel I:  Mediterranean Unions in a Historical Perspective


Prof David Abulafia, Cambridge (tbc)


Dr Nicholas Purcell, Oxford


Dr Jean-Frederic Schaub, Maison Française


Moderator: Dr Eugene Rogan, Oxford

17:00 – 19:00

Public Debate on the Union for the Mediterranean


Ambassador  Alain Le Roy


Dr Thierry Fabre, Aix-en-Provence




Saturday, 7 June
Venue: St Antony’s College

9:30 – 11:00

Panel II: Mediterranean Initiatives: Clash or Synergy?


Coffee break


Panel III:  Opportunities, Costs and Dilemmas: What Is to Be Done?




Panel IV:  Power, Identity and Recognition: Overcoming Cleavages?


Concluding Remarks


Annual Cocktail party at Maison Française



List of Participants

·  Prof David Abulafia, Cambridge (tbc)

·  Dr Dionigi Albera, Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l'Homme

·  Ambassador Yousef Amrani, Moroccan MFA

·  Dr Othon Anastasakis, Oxford

·  Dr Abdelmajid Arrif, Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l'Homme

·  Dr Karine Basset, Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l'Homme

·  Mr Andres Bassols, European Commission (tbc)

·  Dr Dimitar Bechev, Oxford

·  Dr Federica Bicchi, LSE

·  Dr Maryline Crivello, Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l'Homme

·  Dr Jocelyn Dakhlia, EHESS

·  Dr Hakim Darbouche, University of Liverpool

·  Dr Raffaella Del Sarto, Oxford

·  Dr Henk Driessen, Nijmengen University

·  Dr Thierry Fabre, Aix-en-Provence

·  Dr Jean-Pierre Filiu, Sciences Po

·  Prof Richard Gillespie, University of Liverpool

·  Prof Robert Howse, University of Michigan

·  Dr Mohamed Janjar, King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud Foundation (Casablanca) (tbc)

·  Dr Gema Martin Munoz, Casa Arabe (Madrid)

·   Dr Kerem Oktem, Oxford.

·  Dr Nicholas Purcell, Oxford.

·  Dr  Eugene Rogan, Oxford

·  Ambassador  Alain Le Roy

·   Dr Isabel Schaefer, Free University of Berlin

·  Dr Paul Sant Cassia, Durham University (tbc). Dr Jean-Frederic Schaub, Maison Francaise. Prof Alfred Tovias, Hebrew University

·   Dr Mohamed Tozy, University Hasan II, Casablanca

·  Dr Leila Vignal, Oxford

·   Dr Michael Willis, Oxford


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