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Dear Presidents,

each one of you endeavoured to promote dialogue among cultures, especially in the Euro-Mediterranean space.

President Berlusconi, you distinguished yourself for the opening to those countries non-adherent to the Barcelona Process, Libya first of all, and it is properly this country the hotbed of the recent clashes, nourished by the behaviour of a Minister of your government.

President Prodi, as head of the European Commission, you distinguished yourself for the constitution of a “High Level Advisory Group” – Predrag Matvejevic’ is among its members – as guide for dialogue between cultures: a strong commitment not fulfilled by the current President of the European Commission. The few programmes drown therefore in bureaucracy which bar the development of concrete actions.

The substantial programme of the “Unione” and the synthetic one of the “Casa delle Libertà” don’t deal with the “Alliance of Civilizations” and with dialogue between Europe and the Mediterranean.

Since 1994 our Foundation anticipated everything has happened and, once again, over the past days – on the eve of the Libyan events – presented the “Manifest for Alliances among Civilizations of the Greater Mediterranean”. This Manifest we are asking you to subscribe, was signed by a large number of supporters, and this shows the urgency to solve the problem.

Italy, a natural bridge of Europe in the Mediterranean, is one among the few countries in which it is possible to think European and to breath Mediterranean. It should be able to give a warm welcome in the respect of different faiths and cultures as you, Presidents Prodi and Berlusconi, strongly  affirm.

What shall we do?

The day in which you, president Prodi, open in Naples the “Ulivo” election campaign with the slogan “Meet Ourselves”, and one month before your visit to Naples, President Berlusconi, which will close the “Casa delle Libertà” campaign, we desire to address you this appeal.

The Mediterranean, Europe and Islam have a crucial interest in following a path different from the imposition of external forms of government and to resort of terrorism and violent subversion. Collaboration, understanding and solidarity are the only ways forward for all the three.

In this context, Italy is the only country which can carry out a politics of solidarity and cooperation, which can help to remind that European civilization has a great debt to Islam, since Western Europe owes its Renaissance in large part to the writings and technology of Islamic civilization.

The destiny of Islam and Europe are more connected than believed.

In this mood of confusion and of ignorance, it is important to be capable to give concrete answers to these problems and, above all, to the most important one: that of inclusion in diversity.

Dialogue among cultures proved ineffective and, especially in Europe, we need to face, among the others, two main issues:

·         Being able to integrate communities of different countries, in order to become more cosmopolitan

·          Being capable to welcome Turkey, when it will become a complete democracy

In our opinion the solution must not be searched outside Europe but inside it by overturning the problems: Turkey must be able to join the European Union, but at the same time Europe must be able to welcome and integrate Turkey.

We spoke about welcoming, and not about tolerating Turkey.

A cosmopolitan society, as that European should be, doesn’t need the concept of “tolerance”, which in recent times produced fratricidal wars and irreparable damages.

It is necessary today to state the concept of inclusion in diversity, to whom associate that of “hospitality”, which is more extensive. The other should be integral part of the same “house”, in the respect of the rules of behaviour and, at the same time, this “house” should be able to welcome him without prejudices.

We all together have to create a great coalition of shared values and interests.


Dear Presidents,


Italian politics should provide for the constitution of a special “Ministry for the Mediterranean”: we already stated it ten years ago and we repeat it now.

The task of this portfolio should be the construction of “Alliances among Civilizations”, which means to promote dialogue and shared development.

This particular item should constitute, because of its urgency, the common denominator of your coalitions’ programmes. As it has happened during the emergency of Bank of Italy – through Governor Draghi solution, shared by everyone – it is now essential to consider the current crisis of the Mediterranean and the crisis between Islam and the West as an emergency which requires solutions shared by all.


Dear President Prodi, Dear President Berlusconi,

you should abandon this mood of strengthened contest in order to give a higher signal to the Country and to the whole world.

The “Unione” and the “Casa delle Libertà” – which obviously have different programmes – should present just one common point with a shared line: promotion of dialogue among the various cultures of the Euro-Mediterranean area through the valorisation of those organizations and institutions which devoted themselves to these action for a long time.

These institutions should be coordinated by a special “Ministry for the Mediterranean”, guided, in this case, by a worthy and qualified Minister belonging to any political coalition, a person who has the capacity of sailing in the turbulent Mediterranean waters, in order to face the emergencies under the guidance of North, South, East and West, and no more under those of “right” and “left”.

The criteria to research institutions and professionalisms capable of concretely demonstrating their unquestionable expertise are not lacking.



Michele Capasso

President of the Fondazione Mediterraneo


Predrag Matvejevic’

President of the Scientific Committee of the Fondazione Mediterraneo       




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