Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

The Institute of the Mediterranean to promote economic growth through culture

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Wednesday, May 29th 2013 à 08:28 | Read 1097 times

The Institute of the Mediterranean is preparing a three year plan to kick-start culture as an economic sector in the Southern Mediterranean.

The Institute of the Mediterranean is setting out its new roadmap. Femise (the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Science Institutes), which has over the years become an expert in policy recommendations on Mediterranean countries, has responded to a European Union call for tenders to carry out economic research. It will have to wait until late 2013 to find out whether it has, for the fourth time, been awarded the mission by Brussels.

At the same time the Institute of the Mediterranean, in partnership with 10 other organisations including IEMED (the European Institute of the Mediterranean – Barcelona), is setting out its response to a European call for tenders on the subject of culture. According to Robert Fouchet, head of IMPGT (the Institute of Public Management and Territorial Governance), “there are currently large gaps in terms of cultural policy in Mediterranean countries” at an institutional level, and as a sector “culture is lacking in terms of infrastructure, managerial resources and training.

For Henry Roux-Alezais, president and co-founder with Jean-Louis Reiffers of the Institute of the Mediterranean, “we need to develop a new economics around culture to transform it into a motor for social and political cohesion and economic growth inspired by the appeal of the area. The problem is the shortage of projects!”

Lack of knowledge is a cause of conflicts

Culture must become a valid sector of the economy (photo GT)
Culture must become a valid sector of the economy (photo GT)
For the past five months the Institute has been working on a framework for a three year programme, which proposes enhancing the skills of cultural operators, setting up specific tools to manage cultural activities and identifying new ways to support and develop these activities.

To meet the objectives set by the scheme, namely good financial, administrative and human resource management, ensuring the sustainable impact of culture at the territorial level and sharing information and networks among cultural operators, the Institute of the Mediterranean will implement a three stage process.

The first stage will be observation. According to Henry Roux-Alezais, who will analyse the practice of seven countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine), “there is no list of what is in place”.

Next, there will be a process of assisted self-directed training during which training modules will be designed in collaboration with the participants.
Finally, an operational process will oversee the production of tools (marketing and an information-sharing platform) and the development of the cultural sector.

Lack of knowledge is a cause of conflicts. We can only open up to other communities through the younger generation. We must inspire a new confidence, make this a political issue. All big problems are political before they are financial” confirmed the president of the Institute of the Mediterranean.

In the words of Henry Roux-Alezais, it is the beginning of a “Femise focused on culture”.
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