FUNCI at the annual meeting of the Anna Lindh Foundation

The XIV meeting of the Spanish Network of the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) was held on 22 May at the Pedralbes Royal Palace in Barcelona. The Islamic Culture Foundation, as a member of the Network, was represented by Francisco Martín. Andreu Bassols, Director General of the IEMed (European Institute of the Mediterranean) – the institution coordinating the Network and also headquartered in Barcelona – welcomed attendees and moderated the discussions throughout the meeting. Ernest Urtasun, Advisor to the Secretary General of the UfM (Union for the Mediterranean) briefly explained the three new regional cooperation projects undertaken by the UfM: support for women entrepreneurship, good water governance and logistical capabilities of the Mediterranean ports. The Pedralbes Royal Palace is precisely the headquarters of the UfM. Vera Cerbara, Programme Officer at the ALF, presented the current work of the ALF, with emphasis on the turning point marked by the ALF Forum 2013 in Marseille at the beginning of April, which has provided a major boost for Euro-Arab dialogue. Several Spanish organisations which also attended the Forum in Marseille agreed with Vera on the dynamism and added value of it.

Collaboration with Morocco

The Maghribian country was also one of the cornerstones of the meeting. First, the common action Spain-Morocco was outlined, an initiative that gathered 25 youth of both countries in Seville last March. The aim was to reinforce joint action of organisations from both countries, and in view of the current bonds and formulation of joint projects. As a consequence of such good outcome, the intention is to maintain cooperation with Morocco in 2013-2014. To this end, Mohamed Fahmi, ALF Head of Network in Morocco, proposed to the attendees a new common action consisting in an intercultural festival to be celebrated in Southern Morocco in spring 2014. Finally, the meeting discussed several coordination issues of the Spanish Network itself, such as, among others, the presentation of a triptych and changes on the website of the Network, the launching of an electronic bulletin with the latest news and developments from the member organisations, the presentation of the audited accounts of the period 2010-2011 and, lastly, it was agreed that the organisations that form part of the Executive Committee – AIPC-Pandora, Asociación civil Jarit, Aula Universitaria del Estrecho, Fundació Interarts and Fundación Promoción Social de la Cultura – renew their mandate until Autumn 2014. We certainly congratulate the five organisations as well as IEMed for the work they carry out.