Conferences and seminars

Young Voices - 1st Anna Lindh Foundation New Leadership Seminar
15-18 January 2019

The Seminar was co-organised by MEDAC and the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) in collaboration with the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid (CdM). This was the first of three seminars that will take place in Malta over the next 18 months. The participants were 20 outstanding emerging young leaders from the Euro-Med region, most of whom have founded NGOs and debating clubs in their own countries. The 5-day Seminars have the ambitious aim of preparing a new generation of dialogue leaders in the Mediterranean. The programme included interactive exercises on cultural intelligence, leadership skills training, training on how to communicate with the media and techniques of story-telling, as well as training on how to advocate effectively.

The participants themselves selected themes to focus on throughout the week – Education, Sustainable Development, Youth Participation and Migration and Mobility – and translated them into specific proposals they presented on the last day to a panel of senior leaders/policy makers. Special guest for the seminar, brought to Malta through CdM, was Former Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou. The line-up of trainers and speakers included outstanding international journalists from Europe and the Arab world, former politicians, academics, young policy-makers and NGO activists.
Transatlantic Relations and the Mediterranean Seminar organised by MEDAC
30 November 2018

A postgraduate MEDAC seminar on 'Transatlantic Relations and the Mediterranean' took place on Friday 30 November, bringing together experts from Europe, the United States and the Arab world in an effort to take stock of the current situation and look at ways forward. The seminar, organised by the German Chair for Peace Studies and Conflict Prevention at MEDAC and financed through funds of the German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, was opened by Amb. Walter Haßmann, German Ambassador to Malta together with the Director of the Academy, Prof. Stephen Calleya. Speakers included Mr. Josef Janning, Head of the European Council on Foreign Relations Berlin Office, Berlin; Dr Antonio Missiroli, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Brussels and Dr. Julie Shedd, Associate Dean, The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution(SCAR), George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. Working Group sessions allowed MEDAC's MA students to explore some of the issues in depth. The papers presentated at the seminar will be published in MEDAC's Med Agenda publication series.
'What Future for the Iran Nuclear Deal?' Seminar organised by MEDAC
5 December 2017

MEDAC organised and hosted a post-graduate seminar on the Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) from 2015) in Malta on 5 December 2017. The seminar entitled ‘What Future for the Iran Nuclear Deal?’, organised with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs brought together eminent experts from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London), the Institute for Development and Peace (University of Duisburg-Essen) and Fondation our la recherché strategique (Paris) who delivered talks on issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, Iran, and the impact such developments are having on the EU and the Mediterranean region. MEDAC academic staff and Masters students participated throughout the Seminar.

MEDAC participated on the 17th European Diplomatic Programme
17-19 May 2017

On behalf of the Maltese EU Presidency, MEDAC prepared and delivered the participants' programme during the 17th European Diplomatic Programme – Module IV 'Emerging Challenges and Global Issues in Current Diplomacy', in Malta, on 17-19 May. The module included a training programme for diplomats on the themes of Conflict/Security, Sustainability and Economy and Trade. MEDAC was also responsible for the preparation of training programmes on EU decision making, EU networking and on crisis communications, delivered by MEDAC visiting lecturer Dr. Paul Meerts and his colleagues Mara van der Meer and Hans Wurzer.The European Diplomatic Programme is a training programme promoting the idea of common European diplomacy. It is a common project between the EU member states and EU institutions, and is part of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy.
MEDAC at the MEDFORUM of the Anna Lindh Foundation
23-25 October 2016

MEDAC academic staff and students participated in the 3rd Mediterranean Forum of the Anna Lindh Foundation for Intercultural Dialogue which took place at the historic Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta between the 23 to 25 October 2016. The Forum has been acknowledged as a 'landmark event' in how intercultural dialogue can counteract conflict, extremism, unemployment, and the public discourse on migration and the refugee crisis.  It has helped establish a solid coalition of actors for intercultural dialogue which is now enjoying far-reaching institutional backing, including that of the European Union.
International Academic OSCE Conference
10 November 2015

'Helsinki plus 40: The Mediterranean Chapter and the Future of Mediterranean Co-operation' hosted by MEDAC

The increasingly evident link between European and Mediterranean security, the need for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE, to reaffirm the strategic value of its co-operation with its Mediterranean partners as well as Malta's recent proposal of an appointment of a Special Representative for the Mediterranean were the themes explored during a conference co-organised by MEDAC. The Hon. Dr George Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs and OSCE Secretary General Ambassador Lamberto Zannier delivered the keynote speeches at the start of the academic international conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act and its Mediterranean Chapter. Co-organisers with MEDAC were the New Med Network, a network of academic experts on the OSCE and the Mediterranean. The conference focused on the theme Helsinki plus 40: The Mediterranean Chapter and the Future of Mediterranean Co-operation. The conference, opened by MEDAC Director Prof. Stephen Calleya, was attended by more than a 100 participants, including former and current policy-makers and diplomats, academic experts from OSCE countries and OSCE Mediterranean Partner countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Israel), as well as the local diplomatic corps and representatives of other international organisations.

Secretary General of the OSCE Lamberto Zannier noted that 'I cannot think of a more suitable place than Malta to hold a discussion about the long-standing engagement between the OSCE and the Mediterranean.' He emphasised that 'from deploying counter-radicalisation strategies to addressing the refugee crisis, Mediterranean-based issues cannot be relegated to a separate chapter of our work.'

On his part, Foreign Minister George Vella shared an historic account of Malta's role in the inclusion of the Mediterranean Chapter in the Helsinki Final Act and insisted that the threats and challenges we are faced with today point not only to the relevance but also the need, of having a deeper Mediterranean focus within the work of the OSCE. He advocated for the necessary tools to be adopted which would assist in addressing the current threats. 'A Special Representative with a focus on the Mediterranean would bring much added value to our common work,' he said.

In the Helsinki Final Act, signed in 1975, the then CSCE states declared that 'security in Europe is to be considered in the broader context of world security and is closely linked with security in the Mediterranean area as a whole, and that accordingly the process of improving security should not be confined to Europe but should extend to other parts of the world, and in particular to the Mediterranean area'. This analysis, strongly supported by Malta at the time, was revolutionary. In view of the developments and fluid situation in the Mediterranean region today, these words appear more relevant than ever.

The Conference was also addressed by the representatives of Switzerland, Serbia and Germany (the past, current and future OSCE Chairmanship) and Italy on behalf of the New Med Network. The panels focused on the historic dimension of the Mediterranean Chapter of the Helsinki Final Act, the Mediterranean Region in Transition, and the Current State of the OSCE's Mediterranean Dialogue and Prospects for Future Co-operation.

The Conference was supported by the Foreign Office of Germany, the Government of Switzerland, Italy's Institute of International Affairs and the Compagnia di San Paolo International Affairs Program and the OSCE.

Regional Conference of the Outreach of the OSCE Code of Conduct
Tunis, 1-3 September 2015
From 1-3 September, MEDAC in collaboration with the governments of Switzerland, Tunisia and Germany, as well as the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) organised a regional conference on the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security. The conference took place in Tunis and was destined specifically for the countries of the southern Mediterranean region. Following upon the Malta conference of 2013, it marked the first ever conference on the OSCE Code of Conduct to be held in an OSCE Mediterranean Partner for Cooperation. Some 50 participants, mostly from southern Mediterranean countries, attended the Conference.

Participants included (high ranking) military and police officers, civil servants from the defence, interior and foreign ministries, as well as independent experts from think tanks and civil society organisations. Themes discussed at the conference included the OSCE Code of Conduct, in particular its potential role as an outreach instrument, as well as security sector reform and governance issues in the Mediterranean region. The conference was funded by the governments of Switzerland and Germany.

MEDAC Summer Training Course - Migration & Human Rights
9-17 June 2015
MEDAC's annual human rights summer school took place between 9 and 17 June 2015. The theme for this year's summer school was Migration and Human Rights. Topics explored and discussed during the summer school included key concept in human rights, international law and migration as well as case-studies on Malta, Jordan and Australia. As is customary with the MEDAC Human Rights Summer School the learning methodologies comprised a mix of formal lectures, seminars and interactive learning methods using art and drama. A visit to the Marsa Open Centre was also held as part of the summer school. At the Open Centre the participants were addressed by the staff and some of the residents.

Sixteen participants, from across the Mediterranean region and beyond, attended the Summer School. Countries represented included Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan,  Albania, Kosovo. Germany, Italy, Spain , Romania, Australia, Hong Kong and Nigeria. Apart from the very diverse geographical spread the participants also had varied professional backgrounds with diplomats, civil society representatives and postgraduate students discussing human rights issues in an informal environment.

During the evaluation on the final day of the programme all the participants they remarked positively on the diversity of the group, the interactive learning methods, the varied topics addressed as well as the competence and diverse backgrounds of the lecturers.
MEDAC 25th Anniversary International Conference
The Mediterranean in Transition
3 December 2014
The Hon. Dr George Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta today delivered the keynote speech at the start of an International Conference to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies. The Conference debated the theme 'The Mediterranean in Transition'. In his speech Minister Vella spoke of Malta's commitment towards the Mediterranean, declaring that 'Malta will continue to support Mediterranean initiatives, it will continue to be an advocate for the region and it will continue to stress that there can be no stability in Europe without stability in the Mediterranean'.

As the current situation in the Mediterranean continues to be fluid with conflict in Libya and Syria and a resurgence of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Mediterranean retains its significance in Europe and beyond.

MEDAC was established in 1990 as a joint undertaking between the governments of Switzerland and Malta and the University of Malta. Support over the years has been forthcoming from Italy, the European Union and the Commonwealth Secretariat amongst others. Germany currently funds a Chair in Peace Studies and Conflict Prevention.

Around a 100 delegates attended the Conference; these included the Diplomatic Corps, contributors to MEDAC for the past 25 years, current students of the Academy as well as a number of alumni. Dr. Joe Borg, former EU Commissioner and current MEDAC chairman and Professor Stephen Calleya, MEDAC director welcomed the delegates. Three panels discussed the Mediterranean in transition, Euro-Mediterranean Relations and Regional Dynamics in the Emerging Mediterranean respectively. Speakers included Dr. Michael Koehler, Director, EU Neighbourhood Policy, DG DEVCO; Professor Bichara Khader, from the University of Louvain; Professor Ludger Kuhnhardt, from the University of Bonn and Dr. Noha Bakr, from the American University in Cairo.

During the past 25 years MEDAC has been playing a vital role when it comes to promoting confidence building measures in the Mediterranean. MEDAC has developed into a centre of excellence focusing on Mediterranean affairs. Some 700 graduates of the Academy are today diplomats representing their countries in other countries and international organisations. Alumni have come from over fifty countries, mainly North Africa and the Middle East but also from Eastern Europe, the Caucuses and Africa.

MEDAC Summer Training Course - Human Rights, Faith and Belief
10-18 June 2014
The Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in collaboration with 80:20, Educating and Acting for a Better World (Ireland) and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation are organizing a summer school to introduce and explore key ideas concerning human rights, faith and belief. The overall aim is to provide participants with a structured opportunity to discuss and debate the issues arising from human rights, faith and believe and to use drama and art as a means of exploring human rights issues.
Change and Challenges in the Southern Mediterranean Civil Society, Dialogue, Media and Governance Conference
Funded by the European Commission
Between 5 and 8 December 2013 MEDAC hosted an experts' meeting that brought together a number of parallel, intersecting and mutually reinforcing strands of thought on the impact of civil society on the developing democracies of the Southern Mediterranean. Discussions and exchanges revolved around how to help move forward the development of mechanisms for structured dialogue across the region between civil society and governments, civil society and EU institutions and among civil society organisations themselves. Around 80 civil societal, governmental and EU Commission experts attended the meeting which was addressed, among others, by Commissioner Stefan Fule - EU Commissioner for Enlargement and the Neighbourhood, Ambassador Joe Cole – Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malta, Dr Joe Borg – MEDAC Chairman and Dr Michael Koehler - Director for EU Neighbourhood Policy, DG DEVCO.

OSCE Conference, Malta
11-13 September 2013
MEDAC co-hosted an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Regional Conference on the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security for the Mediterranean Region. The seminar took place 11-13 September in Malta, and brought together around 50 participants from 20 countries of the Mediterranean region. For the first time OSCE's Mediterranean Partner States  took part in an event of this kind. Malta's Foreign Minister H.E. George Vella, several Director-Generals, Ambassadors, and high ranking representatives of Foreign and Defense Ministries took part in the event, which has made great inroads into discussing co-operation on matters related to the role of the security sector in democratic societies.

Women's Rights and Gender Identities Summer Training Course
3-11 July 2013
The 2013 Summer School is organised by the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in collaboration with 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World (Ireland) and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Building on the experience and assessment of the previous 14 summer schools (involving participants from over 15 countries) the aims of the 2013 Summer School were to introduce and explore key ideas concerning human rights and the role of women's rights in the broader human rights story; and to use drama and art as a means of exploring human rights issues especially within the above mentioned context.

Civil Society and Democratization in Societies in Transition
15 March 2013
Financed by the German Academic Exchange Service through means of the German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Human Dimension Program at MEDAC
A one-day seminar for MEDAC students on 'Civil Society and Democratization in Societies in Transition' was organised by the German Chair for Peace Studies and Conflict Prevention and funded by the German Academic Exchange Service through means of the German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs and MEDAC's Human Dimension Programme.

The seminar, held on 15 March 2013, was opened by MEDAC's Director Prof. Stephen Calleya and featured a panel of distinguished speakers, namely the Tunisian Ambassador to Malta H.E. Ms Souad Gueblaoui, the Special Representative for Dialogue of Civilizations and Public Democracy at the German Federal Foreign Office Amb. Heinrich Kreft, as well as Prof. Tom Lodge, Ms Natasha Shawarib, Dr Colm Regan, Prof. Fouad Ammor, Dr Francis Piccand, as well MEDAC's Dr Wohlfeld and Dr Grech, who all engaged in extensive discussions with the students.
The speakers and students considered a number of case studies, spoke about the challenges facing societies in transition, and the contribution civil society makes to this process.
Confidence Building and Networking in the Mediterranean
EUROMED Information and Training Seminar

9-12 November 2012
The thirty-second Euro-Mediterranean Information and Training Seminar took place in Malta between 11 and 14 May 2012. The four days of proceedings provided a unique opportunity to reflect upon and discuss openly the historic transformation that has swept across the southern Mediterranean throughout the past eighteen months. The Seminar focused on recent developments in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, now referred to as the Union for the Mediterranean. Particular attention was dedicated to identifying the progress registered in implementation of the Union for the Mediterranean agenda and EU policy decisions towards the Mediterranean since commencement of the 'Arab Spring'.

This Euro-Mediterranean Seminar is brought together diplomats from the majority of the twenty-seven European Union member states and the Mediterranean Partner countries that signed the Barcelona Declaration in November 1995 and Union for the Mediterranean partner states, including for the first time participants from Libya. The Seminar is organised by the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies of the University of Malta under the auspices of the European External Action Service who assist in coordinating this official Euro-Mediterranean confidence building initiative.

Throughout the four-day seminar academic specialists and other professionals from Europe and the Mediterranean presented a series of lectures on developments pertaining to political, security, economic, financial, and the socio-cultural and human dimensions of contemporary Euro-Mediterranean relations. Participants were also able to take part in a simulation exercise that focused on recent EU policy decisions towards the Mediterranean.

Specific attention was dedicated to topics that include: Perspectives and Prospects for Political Change in the Mediterranean; An Evaluation of progress registered to date when it comes to political reforms as a result of the upheavals in the Arab world; will also take place. An Assessment of the main Economic Challenges in the Mediterranean; the Challenge of Energy Security; and the Role of Civil Society in the transformation of the Euro-Mediterranean region was also discussed.

The Euro-Mediterranean Information and Training meeting for diplomats, or Malta Seminar as the distinguished gatherings have become more commonly known, was addressed on Friday, 11 May 2012 by the Hon. Dr Tonio Borg, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta. Dr Borg emphasised the important role that Malta has consistently been playing as a champion of confidence building mechanisms in the Mediterranean, including the Euro-Mediterranean Information and Training Seminar for diplomats that has been taking place since October 1996.

Human Rights, Protest & Change Summer Training Course
4-12 July 2012

The 2012 Summer School organised by the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies aimed:
  • to introduce and explore key ideas concerning human rights and how human rights practice has helped deliver political change through active citizenship. The overall aim is to provide participants with a structured opportunity to discuss and debate the issues arising from human rights, protest and change.
  • to use drama and art as a means of exploring human rights issues especially within the above-mentioned context.

Confidence Building and Networking in the Mediterranean EUROMED Information and Training Seminar
11-14 May 2012
The thirty-second Euro-Mediterranean Information and Training Seminar took place in Malta between 11 and 14 May 2012. The four days of proceedings provided a unique opportunity to reflect upon and discuss openly the historic transformation that has swept across the southern Mediterranean throughout the past eighteen months. The Seminar focused on recent developments in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, now referred to as the Union for the Mediterranean. Particular attention was dedicated to identifying the progress registered in implementation of the Union for the Mediterranean agenda and EU policy decisions towards the Mediterranean since commencement of the 'Arab Spring'.

This Euro-Mediterranean Seminar is brought together diplomats from the majority of the twenty-seven European Union member states and the Mediterranean Partner countries that signed the Barcelona Declaration in November 1995 and Union for the Mediterranean partner states, including for the first time participants from Libya. The Seminar is organised by the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies of the University of Malta under the auspices of the European External Action Service who assist in coordinating this official Euro-Mediterranean confidence building initiative.

Throughout the four-day seminar academic specialists and other professionals from Europe and the Mediterranean presented a series of lectures on developments pertaining to political, security, economic, financial, and the socio-cultural and human dimensions of contemporary Euro-Mediterranean relations. Participants were also able to take part in a simulation exercise that focused on recent EU policy decisions towards the Mediterranean.

Specific attention was dedicated to topics that include: Perspectives and Prospects for Political Change in the Mediterranean; An Evaluation of progress registered to date when it comes to political reforms as a result of the upheavals in the Arab world; will also take place. An Assessment of the main Economic Challenges in the Mediterranean; the Challenge of Energy Security; and the Role of Civil Society in the transformation of the Euro-Mediterranean region was also discussed.

The Euro-Mediterranean Information and Training meeting for diplomats, or Malta Seminar as the distinguished gatherings have become more commonly known, was addressed on 11 May 2012 by the Hon. Dr Tonio Borg, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta. Dr Borg emphasised the important role that Malta has consistently been playing as a champion of confidence building mechanisms in the Mediterranean, including the Euro-Mediterranean Information and Training Seminar for diplomats that has been taking place since October 1996.

Background information on the Euro-Med Seminars
In the course of the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership process, the necessity for shaping a culture of dialogue and cooperation among the European member states and its Mediterranean Partners has continually been emphasised. As one of the results, the European Commission has entrusted the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies to run a semi-annual Information and Training Seminar for Euro-Mediterranean desk officers of the 39 partner countries.

The Euro-Med seminars consisted of a series of presentations with a primary objective of familiarisation with the Euro-Mediterranean Process. Subject areas examined were: the EU institutional setting and decision-making patterns, the question of how to deal with the EU in practical terms, and the selected aspects of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and its implementation.

For more information visit the EuroMed seminars website.
Euro-Med Information and Training Seminar
11-14 November 2011
Background information on the EUROMED Seminars
In the course of the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership process, the necessity for shaping a culture of dialogue and cooperation among the European member states and its Mediterranean Partners has continually been emphasised. As one of the results, the European Commission has entrusted the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies to run a semi-annual Information and Training Seminar for Euro-Mediterranean desk officers of the 39 partner countries.

The Euro-Med seminars consisted of a series of presentations with a primary objective of familiarisation with the Euro-Mediterranean Process. Subject areas examined were: the EU institutional setting and decision-making patterns, the question of how to deal with the EU in practical terms, and the selected aspects of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and its implementation.

For more information visit the EuroMed seminars website.

https://www.um.edu.mt/medac/conferencesseminars