Islam and Democracy: The Construction of a New Mediterranean

8 July 2015. From 10:00 | Workshop | Catalan | Fundació Cat Dem, Barcelona
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The CatDem Foundation invites Senén Florensa, Executive President of the IEMed, to participate in this seminar which aims to collect different measures to make Islam compatible with democracy.

According to Florensa, a real democratic change in the Arab world must take place “from within, that is, countries must push for reforms in search of their own modernity.” In an intervention on the role of the European Union in the democratization of the Mediterranean area, Florensa warns that despite the lower political weight that the EU has in the Mediterranean in relation to other international actors, Europe can and must support the processes of democratic transition, such as that experienced by Tunisia. But he stresses the idea that profound changes must be made by the countries themselves to prevent external support from being perceived as interference.

Despite acknowledging certain successes of European policy towards the Mediterranean, through the Barcelona Process and the European Neighborhood Policy, the Executive President of the IEMed regrets that Europe “lacks resources and conviction” towards the Mediterranean, which is clearly reflected in the current refugee crisis.A regular contributor to the IEMed, Filiu has agreed with Florensa on the need to collaborate with Tunisia, whose democratic transition is the “nightmare of military dictatorships.” In his speech, Filiu refers to the dictatorships of the Arab world as “security mafias”, as they need terrorism to legitimize their actions, he explaines. “This is an ethical scandal because financial aid is being provided to them from Europe.” On the other hand, he advocates devoting more resources to the fight against terrorism in Europe.

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