Recommendation 1590 (2003)[1]

Cultural co-operation between Europe and the south Mediterranean countries


1. The Parliamentary Assembly recalls its Resolution 1313 (2003) on cultural co-operation between Europe and the countries of the south Mediterranean.

2. It recommends that the Committee of Ministers consider such co-operation as one of the Organisation’s priorities, and as far as possible involve the countries of the south Mediterranean in the work of the Council of Europe, and in particular:

i. organise campaigns on religious tolerance and understanding;

ii. provide the southern countries with expert assistance, programmes and material to combat illiteracy and develop co-operation in the fields of school textbooks, diplomas, vocational training, language learning and the use of audiovisual learning methods;

iii. promote and organise an approach to the interpretation of history with historians from both sides, bringing together shared elements to write a history of the Mediterranean in order to ensure that history textbooks express an inclusive rather than exclusive vision of the past, and, in this context, study the advisability of setting up a Mediterranean history-teaching observatory;

iv. re-examine the idea of setting up a geographically decentralised Euro-Arab university which would have faculties in the South and the North, but would be unified by means of a virtual campus providing all the advantages of networked universities;

v. develop joint projects in the fields of archaeology and protection of the architectural heritage;

vi. promote encounters and permanent partnerships between men and women working in the cultural field on both sides, seeking mutual recognition of values, traditions and cultures, based on human rights and fundamental freedoms;

vii. organise encounters and exchanges between writers, philosophers, intellectuals and opinion leaders;

viii. encourage interactivity among the various museums in the Mediterranean as permanent cultural activity centres;

ix. promote encounters among youth organisations from both sides, using the facilities of the Strasbourg and Budapest European Youth Centres;

x. give fresh impetus to the Euro-Arab youth dialogue;

xi. support, as far as possible, the extension of the Barcelona Process youth programmes to all Council of Europe countries: the Action Plan on Dialogue between Cultures and Civilisations, the Tempus programmes, Netd@ys, and EuroMed Youth;

xii. organise a think-tank made up of scientists and humanists, in order to analyse the ethical implications of scientific progress;

xiii. instigate ongoing relations with organisations operating in the South such as Alecso, Isesco, the Arab League, the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture and the Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs with a view to pragmatic institutionalisation of genuine dialogue between civilisations and cultures;

xiv. encourage accession by southern countries to the Council of Europe conventions which are open to non-member states of the Organisation, especially in the cultural field;

xv. study the preconditions for granting Council of Europe Observer status to south Mediterranean countries.


[1]. Assembly debate on 28 January 2003 (3rd Sitting) (see Doc. 9626, report of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education, rapporteur: Mr de Puig, Spain).

Text adopted by the Assembly on 28 January 2003 (3rd Sitting).