Tunisia is one of the key partners for Italian and European politics in the southern Mediterranean. At least, it should be so. The perception, on the other hand, is that most European partners have forgotten Tunisia. The reason is simple: the country had a relatively peaceful “revolution” if compared with other North African countries and five years after taking its path towards democracy this seems to be successfully launched. Unlike Libya or Syria, Tunisia is at peace.
The arrival in Sicily on May 13 of 898 migrants, mainly from Egypt, Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia, marked an important new development in migration routes from North Africa to Italy. Instead of taking the sea from Libya, as is usually the case, the two fishing vessels rescued by the Italian navy in international waters started the crossing from Egypt. After few minor cases in the last two months, this massive arrival is clear evidence that the Egyptian route has officially reopened.
It is well known that the oil and gas sector is the backbone of the Algerian economy, accounting for about 35 per cent of gross domestic product, and two-thirds of total exports; that the first commercial oil discovery was in 1956 and that production started in 1958 during the bloodiest anti–colonial revolt of national liberation in Arab history. And that Italy was at that time – and still is - in great need of this resource for its own development.
This Report is based on the International Workshop with academia, think tanks and media representatives entitled ‘Promoting Religious Freedom and Peaceful Coexistence’ held on 11 February 2013 at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome. The authors have not provided a simple summary of the proceedings but have constructed the report as a critical engagement and reflection of the workshop’s discussion in the context of the growing international attention given to the so-called international religious freedom agenda. As such the report reflects the authors’ personal and selective interpretations of the proceedings. It is offered for the consideration of policy-makers and various stake-holders as a contribution to the conceptual and policy debate on what is such a crucial issue for the future of a peaceful and multicultural international society. (...)