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Civil Society Project
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This Project has been awarded in terms of the EDRC’s  status as a Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence.

Fifth Year (2009)

In its fifth and final year, the Civil Society Conference focused on the theme Malta in the European Union: 2004 - 2009.  The Conference took place on Friday, 15 May 2009 at the Radisson SAS Bay Point Resort, St Julian's.  Marking the fifth anniversary of Malta’s Membership of the EU, this Conference presents the vision of our political, economic and social leaders for the coming years, and also the recommendations of the twenty expert contributors to the Report.  The Civil Society Project has involved civil society in the process of analysing our first years of membership, and has itself contributed to the role of CSOs in Malta. 

The three main themes are:

1. Economic and Industiral Relations Policy
2. Public Administration and Legal Issues
3. Values, Society and Civil Society

The fifth Civil Society Project Report titled: "Malta in the European Union: Five Years On and Looking to the Future" has been published and was presented to all participants at the Conference.

Conference Programme [PDF]

Click here for CD:
Malta in the European Union: Five Years On and Looking to the Future

Fourth Year (2008)

In the fourth year, the Civil Society Project focused on the theme of The Fight Against Poverty.   The central objective was poverty in Malta, the Mediterranean, Europe and the World – its causes, its impact on our security and the values and mechanisms required to address the challenge of eliminating it.  The Project as a whole has been instrumental in creating the Maltese debates on major issues relating to the current and future European Union and its relations with its Member States and with its Neighbours.

The three main themes were:

  1. Setting the scene – the World, the European Union and the Mediterranean
  2. The Faces of the Poor
  3. Guiding principles in the Fight Against Poverty
The fourth Civil Society Project Report titled: “The Fight Against Poverty” was published in July.  This Report was the basis of the annual Conference held on 24th September 2008 titled:  “The Fight Against Poverty” where local and overseas experts advanced reflection and proposals for policy-making in the future.

Conference Programme [PDF]

All Conference participants and all European Documentation Centres worldwide received a follow-up CD containing the Report and the proceedings of the Conference.

Click here for CD:
The Fight Against Poverty

Third Year (2007)

In the third year, the Civil Society Project focused on Business Ethics in the EU and Malta.  The theme was set against the broad background of the Project to date namely the place and role of values in the Acquis Communautaire.  This year’s Project asked:  What shared values emerge within the EU and between the EU and its Neighbours in the sphere of Business and Civil Society?

The four main themes were:

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Values
  2. Corporate Governance (CG) and Values
  3. Business and Society, with special regard to Vulnerable Groups
  4. Civil Society and CSR and CG
A report was published to serve as the basis for the Conference held on 20th September 2007 titled: “The ‘Good’ Company: Business Ethics in the EU and Malta”

Conference Programme [PDF]

All Conference Participants and all European Documentation Centres worldwide received a follow-up CD containing the Report and the proceedings of the Conference.

Click here for CD:
Business Ethics and Religious Values in the EU and Malta - For a Moral Level Playing Field

Second Year (2006)

In the second year, the Civil Society Project focused on The Family in Malta, Europe and the Mediterranean.  The focus was on family values in the context of Malta’s role as a Member State and the possible impact of the Acquis, and our possible influence on it.  The perspective was a multi-disciplinary one involving participants from NGOs and academics specialising in different fields such as Law, Theology, Philosophy, Sociology, Anthropology, Public Policy and others.
The three main themes were:

  1. The Concept of the Family in Law, Sociology and  Religion
  2. Reconciliation of Work and Family in the EU; other Social Issues and Maltese Policy
  3. The Multicultural Society, Secularism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam - a false confrontation of values?

The second Civil Society Project Report titled: The Family, Law, Religion and Society in the European Union and Malta was published in July in time for the Conference participants to evaluate the state of affairs in Malta and be prepared for the Conference which took the debate forward, and examined policies and experiences at European level.
On 19th September 2006 a Conference titled: Family Values in the European Union and Malta was addressed by experts in the field including former and current members of the European Parliament.

Conference Programme [PDF]

Click here for CD:

The Family, Law, Religion and Society in the European Union and Malta

Workshop Results [PDF]

First Year (2005)

In the first year, the Civil Society Project focused on Anti-Discrimination, Inclusion and Equality in Malta.  Themes which were discussed in the Report and subsequently in the Conference included:

  1. Gender
  2. Religion
  3. Race and Ethnicity
  4. Disability
  5. Sexual Orientation
  6. Age

This Report served as the basis for the first Civil Society Conference held on 15th September 2005, titled: Working for an Inclusive Society which gave the participants the opportunity to analyse the present situation in Maltese society.

Conference Programme [PDF]

All Conference participants and all European Documentation Centres worldwide received a follow-up CD containing  the Report and the proceedings of the Conference.

Click here for CD:
Anti-Discrimination, Inclusion and Equality in Malta


This two-year Jean Monnet Project involves many contributors coming from different multi-cultural backgrounds, who however share the same objective that is, their aim to study intercultural dialogue and factors that enhance it.

The Project consists of the following four working groups, each coordinated by a partner University:

Working Group 1: Intercultural Dialogue and Human Rights, Civil Society and World Order Issues (co-ordinated by Prof. Marco Mascia - University of Padova)
Working Group 2: Intercultural Dialogue and Democracy (co-ordinated by Prof. Maria Karasinska-Fendler - University of Lodz)
Working Group 3: Intercultural Dialogue and EU-Med Partnership (co-ordinated by Prof. Peter G. Xuereb - University of Malta)
Working Group 4: Governing a Multi-Cultural Europe (co-ordinated by Prof. Constantin Stephanou - Panteion University)

Citizenship is a central theme of all Groups and it will be tackled from different perspectives such as international law, human rights, integration, and democracy.

All group co-ordinators addressed a first Conference in Padova on 24th and 25th March.

Conference Programme [PDF]

In order to examine the most important concepts related to Intercultural Dialogue and the EU-Med Partnership, Prof Xuereb split the members of Working Group 3 into three workshops:

  1. Evolution of Citizenship and Fundamental Rights under the Partnership
  2. The Nurturing and Development of Civil Society
  3. The Mobilisation of NGOs in the Partner Countries, their roles, relations with European NGOs and their engagement in global NGO networks.

The culmination of this Project is a Conference in Padova, Italy at the beginning of March 2007, and the publication of all the participants' papers in an extensive Report, in preparation for 2008 - the year dedicated by the European Commission to Intercultural Dialogue.

The participants in these workshops have extensive experience and expertise in EU-Med research, and most of them have also previously contributed to the EDRC's EU-Med Project.



The Malta European Studies Association (MESA) in conjunction with the European Documentation and Research Centre (EDRC), University of Malta was awarded a subsidy from the European Commission for setting up a Regional and Transnational Research Group.  The duration of the project was for two years from 15th December 2002 to 31st December 2004.


The Project studied the process of regional integration in and between the EU, and the Mediterranean in the context of EU Enlargement, the Future of Europe, the creation of the EU-MED Free Trade Area, and the objectives of security, stability and sustainability.

The research group decided to style itself the “EU-Med Transnational and Regional Research Network”. Its core was composed of a mix of senior researchers including a number of Jean Monnet Professors and young researchers. The Project co-ordinator was the Malta European Studies Association (which operates for these purposes through the European and Documentation and  Research Centre of the University of Malta) and the EDRC itself. A consortium of National ECSAs and Jean Monnet Centres of Excellence was formed.

List of Consortium Partners and Participants [PDF]

The group worked on EU-Med adoption of the Acquis. It has produced five volumes of studies for wide dissemination via CD ROM and via all ECSAs.  This project widened the focus of the group to cover the wider impact of Enlargement and Regional Integration – both North-South and South-South.

Against the background of the focal themes of the Project as set out above, the researchers focused on key policy areas by reference to most of the following:

  • Enlargement of the Single Market to the Mediterranean region
  • The EU-Med Single Market Concept
  • The Search for a Political Economy Model for EU-Med Integration
  • The Contribution of the Mediterranean to the formulation of EU Policy-making and Policies
  • Constitutional Issues in the EU and the Mediterranean
  • EU Public Policy Issues
  • Institution-Building in and through the Euro-Med Partnership Process
  • Immigration Policy
  • Democratisation including Minority Rights
  • Social Policy
  • Regional Policy
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Economic and Industrial Restructuring
  • Trade Policy
  • The Euro-Med Agreements as a tool for Integration
  • Monetary Issues and relations
  • Competition Law, Intellectual Property, and Company Law
  • Looking Forward beyond Enlargement to the Future shape of the Euro-Med Partnership
  • Suggested reforms in the Euro-Med Partnership and MEDA  Environmental Policy and the Sustainable Development Plan
  • Civil Society, Gender, Language, Culture, Education

Other issues that were also addressed included the implications of the many new and foreseen developments in the Union Acquis, the Euro-Med Acquis included, in the context of Enlargement, and even the Future of Europe. Moreover, The shifting geo-political, geo-economic and legal scenarios on the variegation or otherwise of EU-Med and Med-Med relations were and still are of primary concern.

The background work done by many participants on the phenomenon of ‘reception’ of the acquis under past scenarios offered an excellent springboard to analyse the impact of the forces at work in the present contexts. A systematic approach focusing on the main theme and sub-themes set out above is intended to lead to a coherent picture of the interplay also of the various forces at work and will enable us and policy-makers to come to conclusions regarding the potential of a developing Acquis to work as a force for heightened (to an unprecedented degree) stability, prosperity and democracy in the Euro-Mediterranean Region.


1. The Mediterranean's European Challenge - Vol I
2. The Mediterranean's European Challenge - Vol II
3. Euro-Mediterranean Integration - The Mediterranean's European Challenge - Vol III
4. Euro-Med Integration and the 'Ring of Friends' - The Mediterranean's European Challenge - Vol IV
5. The European Union and the Mediterranean – The Mediterranean’s European Challenge – Vol. V

Peter G. Xuereb (Professor)
Project Co-ordinator
Professor of European and Comparative Law
Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law and European Integration
President, Malta European Studies Association
Chairman, European Documentation and Research Centre, University of Malta.

EU-Turkey deal and the impact on refugee children
Professor Michelle Pace will present her contribution in a book entitled Syrian Refugee Children in the Middle East and Europe: Integrating the Young and Exiled. Professor Pace, together with Somdeep Sen is a co-editor of this publication which will be published in March 2018

Declaration of Authenticity
Please include the Declaration of Authenticity with every assignment you submit to the Institute for European Studies. The Declaration should be printed and filled-in at home, beforehand.

The form can be downloaded directly by clicking here.

Last Updated: 6 December 2012

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