Conference of Ministers of Culture of the Mediterranean

For the first of many planned summits, the group signed a joint declaration aimed at identifying culture as a factor for peace, as a driving force for sustainable growth and the green transition. For this, a “Capital of Culture in the Mediterranean” will again be awarded.

A document “binding and demanding, jointly”: The first one ends with this promise to make a common front Conference of Mediterranean Ministers of Culture, two intense days at the Royal Palace in Naples, where delegations from 30 countries that gravitated more or less around the Mediterranean were gathered (although the representatives in hybrid format reached 40 with the participation of NGOs and European institutions). On 16 and 17 June – introduced by Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini, Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio and curator of this year’s Venice Biennale of Art Cecilia Alemani – ministers and ministers from across Europe and the Middle East will gather in the Neapolitan city to identify a specific cultural diplomacy in the region and plan joint actions to protect and strengthen a common culture with one Declaration formula (from 12 pages). To welcome the event, a Naples was unanimously recognized as a gateway to the sea and a major crossroads of cultures: for this reason, it could become the first Mediterranean Capital of Culture, a role announced by Minister Franceschini at the end of the working session. The Mediterranean Capital of Culture, to be decided on criteria yet to be determined but in the rule of geographical change, will host initiatives of major importance as early as 2023, in the wake of the lesson on Naplesappreciated by all not only for its beauty, Franceschini said, but also because “it represents a crossroads of cultures and traditions that are respected in their diversity“.


The summit – which addressed some of the issues that Franceschini had already raised a few days ago at the opening of the new Museum of Saved Art in Rome – covered the key issues on the table through a series of panels and open discussions: protection of cultural heritage from the damage caused by international crises, the fight against illegal trade, combating climate changethe role of culture for one sustainable economic development, training of artists and cultural professionals in full mobility and attention to digitization. To emphasize what was said in plenary, the meeting – attended by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, International Museum Council President Alberto Garlandini and representatives of Palestine and Israel to Finland, from Jordan to Greece and France – decided a political nature, given that Di Maio defined it “the natural continuation of last year’s G20 “ and Franceschini had already emphasized how it was “a milestone in the development of Euro-Mediterranean relations, where culture will be the protagonist of the dialogue needed to build the foundations of a space of peace and prosperity, where goods, people and ideas will travel from one coast to another; second of this sea“. To meet the requirements of conservation, growth and sustainability, including in the wake of theUN 2030 Agenda, the renewed alliance aims to promote a more connected and brighter future for the cradle of Western civilization. For this reason, Franceschini said, countries are encouraged to invest in cultural cooperation, also thanks to initiatives such as Naples process, which promotes a permanent dialogue between the Ministers of Culture of the European Partnership for the Mediterranean.


The Italian proposal“Franceschini said in plenary Minister Franceschini,”is that each year one is identified Mediterranean Capital of Culture to continue this initiative for cultural diplomacy. All too often, the Mediterranean is identified as a place of trouble and tension, but in the future it will be relentlessly a lake of peace – to use a prophetic definition that is dear to Giorgio La Pira – with countries that surround its basin with different traditions and cultures, but which have a common destiny. Starting with the culture is a very important thingA strong signal, especially in such a difficult time for Europe.

– Giulia Giaume

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