EUNIC MENA regional seminar
The latest EUNIC regional seminar took place in Amman, Jordan on 7 & 8 March 2022. Colleagues from 10 out of the 13 clusters in the MENA region and invited Focal Points from EUNIC members headquarters met for two days of rich discussions and exchanges. The regional seminar was followed by a dedicated workshop with the EUNIC Jordan cluster.
On 7 & 8 March 2022, colleagues from EUNIC clusters in the MENA region including Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco (Rabat & Casablanca), Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia as well as EUNIC Focal Points from AECID and Arts Council Malta met in Amman, Jordan for the first live EUNIC regional seminar in two years. Co-hosted by EUNIC Jordan, the seminar took place in the premises of Instituto Cervantes Amman.
The regional meeting was empowering, unifying and stimulating and I think the Jordan meeting we had is a very positive turning point for our cluster in Amman.Summer Xia Country Director Jordan & Levant Cluster Lead, British Council Amman
The workshop was an opportunity for colleagues to meet and to re-connect after two years of mainly online activities due to Covid-19 restrictions. Aiming to support and strengthen clusters in the region, participants were given an overview of the wider EUNIC network and its recent developments, not least with regard to its strategic partnership with the EU. Good practice examples from the region and the worldwide cluster network were shared to explore possibilities of cluster governance, and upcoming funding opportunities such as the yearly Cluster Fund and recently launched 3rd Call for Ideas of European Spaces of Culture were presented.
Using parts of the recently published resources on fair collaboration, participants discussed crucial values for successful and equal collaboration within clusters as well as with partners, and sought solutions to common dilemmas in the realm of international cultural relations projects. All resources on fair collaboration can be found here.
Exchanging on emerging themes and priorities of each individual cluster allowed to identify some shared social and cultural developments and pressing topics across the region. These include among others the use of (shrinking) public space, freedom of expression, gender equality, social cohesion, youth (engagement, unemployment, capacity building), migration & refugees, sustainability (environment, climate crisis, urbanism/architecture), digitalisation & use of digital space after Covid-19, security.
In a region regularly facing conflicts, the topic of cultural relation's role and possibilities in fragile contexts was also part of the discussion, enriched by a presentation by Jordi Baltà, author of a study commissioned by EUNIC, ifa and British Council on Cultural Relations - Key Approaches in Fragile Contexts. In line with the recent developments and the war in Ukraine, colleagues also discussed the EUNIC statement on Ukraine and possible meaningful actions to take as EUNIC cluster.
In a moderated panel discussion, colleagues from the EUNIC clusters in Tunisia and Palestine presented their projects in collaboration with the respective EU Delegation, sharing inspiring practices for other colleagues as the group looked at possibilities for cooperation with EU partners in line with the Joint Guidelines: EC - EEAS - EUNIC partnership.
Upon the kind invitation of the Belgian Ambassador to Jordan, the final reception of the seminar allowed the regional participants to meet colleagues from the local Jordan cluster as well as representatives from the EU Delegation in Jordan.
On Wednesday, 9 March the EUNIC team organised a dedicated workshop for and with the EUNIC Jordan cluster and a representative from the EU Delegation to Jordan. Such workshops can be organised upon request for different occasions and tailored to individual needs. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org