Culture in Mediterranean Countries

Topics: Russian language, European Union, Slavic languages Pages: 6 (1930 words) Published: September 25, 2012
This shift in mutual perceptions is backed up by a series of objective findings and generally accepted analyses which all challenge the fear of the Mediterranean partnersthat "intensive labor production will be shifted from the current EU Member States tothe new members, and no longer to the Mediterranean partner countries, in order tobenefit from salary differentials". The first of these findings is that, in trade relations, themost worrying challenge that the Mediterranean countries will face will come essentiallyfrom the liberalization of multilateral trade, which will further increase competitivepressure and the erosion of preferential access to the European market. The secondfinding, on foreign investment flows, shows that the Mediterranean's real competitors arenot the new Member States but Latin America and, beyond that and in the long term,China, India and most other Asian countries.For these reasons, therefore, and not just because of the increasingly rapid ageing of thepopulation of the enlarged EU or the demographic differential with the southernMediterranean, Europe will continue both to be an attractive destination for would-beimmigrants, and to call on the migration potential of its neighbors itself. In terms ofmigration, enlargement of the Union does not necessarily mean that there will be large"internal" migratory movements from East to West. It may be that the new MemberStates, where the population is ageing more rapidly as a result of sometimes-negative demographic growth rates, will in turn become host countries for migrants from thesouthern Mediterranean. The conjunction of these future migratory flows and the entry ofnew nations into the EU is a multidimensional issue with many social, demographic andeconomic - and above all cultural - implications. EU enlargement can and must set anexample of building on cultural affinities to extend to – or rather to share with – theMediterranean region and migrants from that region, an example in which it is necessaryto differentiate values, shared to varying degrees, from belief systems. With enlargement,the dialogue of cultures on the territory of the EU (and with its Mediterranean neighbors) will change in substance but not in form:– First of all, the enlarged EU will move beyond the traditional relationship betweenWestern Judeo-Christian culture and Islam by incorporating people of Orthodoxreligion and culture: in addition to strengthening the role of Orthodoxy within the EUand beyond, this incorporation will transform the dialogue into a "trilogies".Furthermore, Orthodoxy sometimes leads to behavior which is surprisingly similarwith that of Islam – particularly in relation to secularization – which will have a majorimpact on, even radically change, the relationship between the enlarged Union and theArab-Muslim world, and more broadly the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue. Suchsimilarities could raise awareness of their long history and common destiny, whilehelping to relativize and then transcend differences.– Secondly, enlargement in the longer term to Bulgaria (where 10% of the population isMuslim), and then to the Balkans (including Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has aMuslim majority), and finally to Turkey (combining a secular political regime withthe Muslim religion, with 80 million inhabitants at present), will lead to the inclusionof a "historically" European Islam. This, combined with the presence in Germany andAustria of populations of Turkish rather than NorthAfrican origin, will contribute tothe diversification of Islam in Europe.These two future developments will have a number of positive effects on the prospect for immigration and on the place of Islam in Europe. First of all they will show that aEuropean Islam has come into being, thus dispelling the image of a rampant Islamisationof Europe. This European Islam is developing its own characteristics which increasinglydistinguish it from Islam as lived in...
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