Education, Intercultural Learning and Youth

Anna Lindh Forum BarcelonaAs result of the work developed before and during the Anna Lindh Forum in Barcelona, please, find below the final presentation of the Agora workshop dedicated to Education, Intercultural Learning and Youth.

Agora Workshop 1


The Workshop gathered approximately 280 people within two days from different cultural background, ages, genders, representing different components of civil society.

The sessions were the space to experience intercultural dialogue and in particular inter-generational, dialogue between formal and non-formal education, which were the challenges and at the same time opportunities for learning and indeed gave to the workshop an added value and richness.

Our first challenge was the understanding of the geographical scope we are working in. EuroMediterranean is not only the countries of the Union for the Mediterranean, but it is a broader EuroMed, taking into consideration all the countries influencing the European Union and South and East Mediterranean countries.

Many times it was said: “Education is a KEY, youth is a KEY and civil society is the main supporter”. It proves us that education not only has been, but will be the priority field of the Anna Lindh Foundation and that Youth will be and should be one of the priority target groups.


“Education cannot achieve the change alone; it should be supported by various policies: cultural, youth, educational… ”.

“Education should be strategic, transversal and integral. The outcomes of the projects and actions should be shared, evaluated and visualized”.

We need a coherent and coordinated strategy on youth within the euro-med partnership in order to face challenges of employment, gender inequality, sustainable development, migration and other.

ALF should continue its EuroMed sectorial coordination efforts to guarantee synergy, complimentarity, avoiding duplication and working together for the same purpose. This coordination should be formalized with European Commission.

The South countries should be encouraged to have independent youth councils which will serve as interlocuters and managers of local programs and influence and lobby for youth interest in Meda countries.

The countries of the South are encouraged to contribute financially to EuroMed Youth and Educational programs in order to avoid Eurocentrism.

Youth should be recognized as one of the most important group and partner for change. “Youth is a part of reality today and if you think of it as future, you undermine the impact it can have now”.

The open debate of the Workshop on Education, Youth and Intercultural learning, identified the following guidelines to take into account when developing educational programs:

  • Education should be close to community needs and targeting the community directly, not only focusing on civil society professionals

  • Involving specific groups, such as migrants, minorities, less privileged youth, recognizing specific approaches and needs; especially new migrants as bridge between cultures

  • We would like to underline the importance of work with the families and parents.

  • Developing values and attitudes, such as critical thinking, empathy and curiosity

  • Using creative and innovative tools and approaches

  • Linking education with Arts and Media

  • Creating multipliers, people who are motivated to pass further their competences and share their experience

  • Using Social Media tools (e-education, e-recourse centers, e-campaigns, short films, blogging etc.)

  • Promoting Life Long Learning, working on the perception that learning should and can continue through all the life and in all ages

  • Linking formal and non formal education

  • Formal education has leading position towards non formal, but it does not always prove its efficiency, especially when developing competences in diversity and intercultural dialogue. We should reconsider the importance of the non-formal education, promote and recognize it.

-We would like to stress the importance to long-term sustainable and flexible projects, open to change and improvements.

– ALF should keep on working on Capacity building

  • Training of teachers, trainers and youth workers, developing not only their knowledge, but as well skills and values (holistic approach to education)

  • Empowerment of teachers

  • Creation of the network of teachers working on intercultural dialogue in order to exchange best practices.

Mobility – “Nothing compears face-to-face contacts; personal experience in encounters is extremely important”.

  • To find ways to facilitate youth mobility between South and North and between South and South

  • Make efforts to influence the simplification of the visa procedures for youth to participate in youth programs

  • To enhance the visa mechanism engaging embassies and embassy stsff in intercultural dialogue activities

  • Visibility of the youth programs as the way to increase mobility

  • Creation of Euro-Arab Found for mobility of youth for educational purposes

-Support creation of physical places of encounter, such as youth centers for youth to develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes and provide spaces for intercultural dialogue

– In terms of usage and development of tools, we recommend that tools:

  • Should be accessible, translated to many languages

  • Creation of database of existing tools and provide mechanism for exchange and feedback

  • Internet supporting visibility and dissemination: best practices must be shared and serve as empowerment

  • Revise existing tools and assess them regarding sustainability and effectiveness

  • Social Media (such as blogging) is the new way of participation, which does not have borders and does not require visas.

I would like to thank all the Task Force people, the chairs of the sessions, the speakers and participants and especially the team of reporters.

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