From 24 to 29 April the 6th Euro-Arab Youth forum took place in Fez, Morocco hosted by the European Youth Forum, the League of Arab States and the Council of Europe. 36 participants from Europe and 80 from the Arab Region gathered to discuss the main goal and topic of the forum: “Overcoming hate speech together”. Therefore, various expert speakers and workshops were planned to address this matter.
Lukas Findeisen (AFS Germany) member of the EFIL Pool of Representatives, attended the event. Here are his impressions of the event.
For me it was the second time being at conference in north Africa and I am extremely impressed by the cultural diversity and the contrast which can be found in every aspect of life as well as politics. During the conference, I could further experience this through the workshops, the speeches as well as personal exchanges with youth representatives from the Arab countries and the European ones.
We discussed what hate-speech can be, how it is affecting us – especially through social media – and how to counter it without giving a justification to its origin. The challenge of hate-speech is a shared concern around the world and the only way to overcome it is acting together. This was the main conclusion everybody agreed on.
As an outcome, a list of 18 recommendations pre-drafted by the Council of Europe and partly referring to the ones from the last Euro-Arab Forum held in Strasbourg in 2015, was adopted. The full list can be found here.
Furthermore, the EU is getting increasingly involved in Mediterranean youth cooperation; the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini supported by the European Youth Forum and the Anna Lindh Foundation, has launched the Young Mediterranean Voices Plus Program (Young Med Voices+). We hope that all the initiatives in the field will work in synergy.
by Lukas Findeisen
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