EU – Middle East Forum (EUMEF) - Centre Jacques


EU – Middle East Forum (EUMEF) - Centre Jacques
EU – Middle East Forum
Critical Voices, Not Welcome?
Media, Politics, and Freedom of
Expression in North Africa
19th New Faces Conference
14–17 November 2013, Rabat
Conference Brochure
19th DGAP New Faces Conference
“Critical Voices, Not Welcome? Media, Politics
and Freedom of Expression in North Africa”
14–17 November 2013, Rabat
In cooperation with
German Council on Foreign Relations
EU – Middle East Forum (EUMEF)
Berlin 2013
Established in 1964, the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH is one of the
major German foundations associated with a private company. It
represents the philanthropic and social endeavors of Robert Bosch
(1861-1942) and fulfills his legacy in a contemporary manner. The
Robert Bosch Stiftung works predominantly in the fields of International Relations, Health, and Education. The EU-Middle East Forum, as well as its predecessors, the International Forum on Strategic Thinking (IFST) and the Forum European Foreign and Security
Policy, have been carried out in close cooperation between DGAP
and Robert Bosch Stiftung.
The Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, ifa) is an organization operating worldwide to promote
intercultural exchange and dialogue between civil societies. With
funds from the German Federal Foreign Office, ifa supports with
its zivik Funding Programme projects of German, international,
and/or local non-governmental organizations to support the transformation of the affected Arab countries from autocratic models
to functioning democratic systems reigned by the rule of law and a
constructive conflict culture.
Founded in 1991, the Centre Jacques Berque (CJB) for the development of humanities and social sciences in Morocco is a mixed unit
of French institute abroad (UMIFRE) which combines both an
operational structure of the National Centre for Scientific Research
(CNRS) – i. e. USR3136, and a French research institute abroad
(­IFRE) structure. The latter is under the General Directorship of
Ministry of Globalization, Foreign and European Affairs, represented in Morocco by the Department of cooperation and cultural
action of the French Embassy. Its research activity comprises
­academic programs, events and publications relating to the social,
economic and political dynamics of Morocco and the Maghreb. Its
research team is composed of French, Moroccan and international
Table of Contents
GERMAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (DGAP) .......................... 5
EU-MIDDLE EAST FORUM (EUMEF) ........................................................... 6
CONCEPT NOTE ............................................................................................. 8
AGENDA ......................................................................................................... 11
German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) is Germany’s network for foreign
policy. As an independent, non-partisan and nonprofit membership organization,
think tank and publisher, DGAP has been promoting public debate on foreign policy
in Germany for over 50 years. Among its over 2.500 active members are renowned
representatives from politics, business, academia and the media – as well as more than
70 companies and foundations which support DGAP’s work. DGAP’s goals are to
promote and contribute to foreign policy debates in Germany, to advise decision
makers from politics, business and civil society, and to inform the public about
foreign policy issues. DGAP comprises the think tank, the journal IP, the library and
documentation center and the platform Young DGAP.
DGAP’s think tank works at the junction between politics, academia and the economy.
Its work is interdisciplinary and policy-oriented and covers different areas of German
foreign policy in a globalized and rapidly changing world. The think tank’s activities
include research and publications, high-profile conferences and meetings as well as
programs for the advancement of Young Professionals.
The journal Internationale Politik (IP) appears in German as a bimonthly print magazine
and in English as an online magazine on German and European foreign policy. IP
Journal offers German perspectives on important foreign affairs issues as well as indepth analyses on central questions of German and European foreign policy by
renowned authors and experts in and outside of Germany.
The DGAP Library and Documentation Center (BiDok) is one of the oldest and most
significant specialized libraries in Germany that is open to the public. It holds
substantial collections on German foreign and security policy.
The Young DGAP is an initiative for members of DGAP under the age of 35. It aims
at encouraging more young people to take an active interest in foreign and security
policy through innovative events such as controversial debates and discussions with
senior decision-makers.
EU-Middle East Forum (EUMEF)
The EU-Middle East Forum (EUMEF) is one of the core programs for the
advancement of young academics and professionals at DGAP. The Forum
conceptualizes and organizes different conference formats in order to provide young
experts from North Africa and the Middle East as well as Turkey and Europe with a
platform for discussion, exchange and cooperation. EUMEF is carried out in
cooperation with its long-standing partner the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the German
Federal Foreign Office and the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa). The
program’s predecessors, the International Forum on Strategic Thinking (IFST) and
the Forum European Foreign and Security Policy, were also carried out in close
cooperation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
1. Topics
Since 2011, EUMEF has been focusing on the chances and challenges associated with
the current transformation processes in North Africa and on German and EU policies
in the framework of these developments. EUMEF addresses security questions as well
as sociopolitical and socioeconomic issues, including subjects like democratization,
human rights, education and migration.
2. Participants
Participants of EUMEF’s different conference formats come from the North-African
countries Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, from Turkey, and from Germany, France,
Italy, Greece, Spain and the United Kingdom. EUMEF targets students and young
professionals from academia, politics, civil society, the media and the corporate sector.
Participants are recommended by a network of experts available to the Forum.
3. Conference Formats
EUMEF organizes three consecutive conference formats. This three-pronged
approach enables EUMEF to bring together future leaders at different stages of their
career and to establish a sustainable network.
International Summer Schools (ISS)
Every summer, the International Summer School invites 30 highly qualified students
at the end of their studies or recent graduates (with 1–2 years of work experience) to
Berlin for two weeks. The participants come from the fields of Political and Social
Sciences, Economics, Law and Media and Communication Studies. Apart from
lectures by internationally renowned experts, discussions, working groups and
workshops on a variety of topics, inter-cultural dialogue and social activities are also
part of the program. This allows students to get to know each other and to jointly
reflect on different perspectives of current political issues.
New Faces Conferences (NFC)
Each three-day New Faces Conference (NFC) brings together 20 young experts with
two to four years of work experience. Participants are young professionals from
academia, politics, civil society, media and the corporate sector. EUMEF organizes
two NFCs per year (in spring and autumn), usually in cooperation with partner
institutions in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia or Turkey. Each NFC focuses on a specific
sub-topic of the Forum’s overall theme. The NFCs provide a forum to discuss current
political issues with peers from a variety of backgrounds, as well as with senior experts
from the respective fields. At the same time, the conferences enable participants to
expand their network and to initiate joint projects.
Alumni Conferences
Biennially, EUMEF invites all former ISS and NFC participants to reconvene in
Berlin for three days. The Alumni Conferences allow for a strengthening of the
network and an exchange among the alumni. Subjects addressed during these
conferences are derived from up-to-date political and security challenges and topics of
former conferences and summer schools. Participants also get the chance to present
their own initiatives and projects and to explore opportunities for cooperation with
other alumni. The next Alumni Conference is planned for autumn 2014.
4. Objectives
Reflection and analysis of political and security challenges and the sensitization
for effective solutions and policies on a national and EU level
Exchange of know-how and experiences
Promotion of intercultural dialogue to increase understanding and trust between
young potential policy makers from Arab countries, the EU and Turkey
Promotion of a pluralistic, tolerant and respectful debating environment
Establishment of a network of high calibre future actors from North Africa, the
EU and Turkey
5. Team
Head of Program: Sarah Hartmann [email protected]
Program Officer: Henriette Heimbach [email protected]
Program Assistant: Anja Runge [email protected]
Program Assistant: Julia Schöpp [email protected]
Concept Note
I. General Outline
During the past few years, the field of media and communication has seen rapid
developments and change – not only in North Africa, but all over the world – with
regard to new technologies, availability of access and forms of usage. A new kind of
transnational public sphere has evolved, providing unprecedented freedom of
expression and channels of information which are much harder to control and censor
by illiberal regimes than the traditional media.
The important role of new media and social networks as tools for the exchange of
information, awareness-raising and mobilization during the Arab uprisings and
revolutions of 2010 and 2011 has already been emphasized in academic and public
debates. Traditional mass media, i.e. TV, radio and newspapers, have nevertheless
remained the most important sources of information and entertainment for large parts
of the populations. While many of these channels and publications are statecontrolled or affiliated to political parties, North Africa has also seen a surge in the
number of private and independent media in recent years. Furthermore, the
boundaries between traditional and new media are becoming increasingly blurred.
The ongoing power struggles in North African countries are reflected in competing
narratives and in fierce struggles over representations, terminologies and “truth”. In
Egypt and Tunisia, many argue that the polarization of the political class and the
population has been accompanied by a similar polarization of the media, and
accusations of bias and unbalanced reporting abound on all sides. In Morocco,
although the new constitution of 2011 grants greater freedom of expression and the
media, the state still retains considerable control, and self-censorship of journalists
remains widespread when it comes to sensitive topics.
What has been the role of both conventional and new media, not only during the
protests and revolutions of 2010-11, but also during the volatile transformation phase
that the region is currently experiencing? What impact have political developments
and power struggles had on the situation of the media and on freedom of expression
in the respective countries?
This three-day conference aims to explore current developments in North African
media and communication, with a special focus on Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. It
will enable cross-country comparisons and exchange of experiences, also with other
countries of the wider region such as Turkey, and bring together academics,
practitioners and activists working in this dynamic field.
II. Topics
Contributions may address, but are not restricted to, the following topics and
1) New Media and Social Networks
Facebook, Twitter and other social media have been in the focus of scholarly and
public debates since the beginning of the uprisings in North Africa in 2010-11, and
they are believed to have had a significant impact on these events. In authoritarian
regimes, where freedom of expression and the media are restricted, new media are
usually less vulnerable to censorship and state control and can serve to create an
alternative public sphere. On the other hand, influential bloggers, too, face the risk of
being persecuted and arrested. Furthermore, new media and social networks are no
longer the domain of pro-democracy activists only. Governments, political parties and
organizations across the political spectrum have recognized the significance of these
tools and started using them for their purposes.
Are new media freer than the traditional mass media? To what extent can they avoid
censorship or break taboos? Has their role changed since the uprisings in 2010-11? Is
a commercialization of new media taking place? Are the voices of bloggers and
internet activists actually being heard and by whom? How democratic are the new
media really and what are their limitations, e.g. regarding access and social class?
2) Al-Jazeera and Satellite TV
The number of satellite TV channels broadcasting in Arabic has multiplied from less
than 60 in 2000 to more than 500 today. Being available across the region, they have
become very influential, and especially the two major news channels, Al-Jazeera and
Al-Arabiya, have changed the way news are broadcasted and discussed in the Arab
What has been the impact of Al-Jazeera and other Satellite TV channels on freedom
of expression in the Arab countries? What is the role of smaller channels which target
specific audiences (e.g. Islamic channels)? Do they challenge state-owned or dominated broadcasting? What are the political agendas and taboos that Al-Jazeera
and Al-Arabiya themselves are bound by? What role have they played during the
uprisings and what role are they playing in ongoing conflicts and power struggles? To
what extent have they helped to facilitate the exchange of information between Arab
countries and to establish a pan-Arab and transnational public sphere?
3) Censorship, Self-Censorship and Freedom of Expression
Expectations were high that the media would be freer and more independent after the
beginning of the so-called “Arab spring”. Nevertheless, human rights organizations
have been warning that the new governments are continuing or reverting to the
practices of the old regimes with regard to censorship and intimidation of journalists.
Even if freedom of the media has officially been granted, many challenges remain, as
journalists and bloggers are not only threatened by state authorities but also by nonstate actors and charges of libel are often used to suppress critical voices.
Have the expectations of more freedom of speech and information in Tunisia and
Egypt been fulfilled after the fall of Ben Ali and Mubarak? To what extent have they
been enshrined in the new (draft) constitutions? What has been the role of the state
media of the old regimes during and after the uprisings? And how has the situation of
Moroccan media and journalists developed during the past three years? Which (new)
taboos and “red lines” exist today and are these being challenged? What are the most
important dangers for the freedoms of expression and information today?
4) European Media and the Transformations in North Africa
The democratic uprisings that started in 2010 and 2011 have challenged deep-seated
stereotypes and assumptions about the populations of Arab countries in Western
media and public opinion. Responses alternated between the enthusiastic “discovery”
and embracement of a new generation of internet-savvy and democratically-minded
North African youth on the one hand and fears of an Islamist takeover and the
establishment of Islamist theocracies that would endanger not only the affected
countries but also Europe, on the other hand. Since then, Western media have often
been criticized for superficial or one-sided coverage of events in the transformation
How have the Arab uprisings and subsequent developments been portrayed in
Western, and especially European, media and how has this image changed over the
course of the past three years? What obstacles are there for balanced reporting? What
strategies do the conflicting parties in North African countries use to promote their
particular narratives and political agendas?
5) International Cooperation and the Role of External Actors
Various European and Western organizations are active in North Africa with the aim
of supporting the establishment of free and independent media, offering professional
trainings for journalists and monitoring the state of freedom of the press.
How do journalists, activists and policy-makers perceive the success of these projects
and what are the main challenges? What opportunities and obstacles are there for
increased exchange and cooperation between North African and European media
outlets and journalists?
We welcome contributions addressing these and other issues related to the media, the
public sphere and freedom of expression in North Africa.
Friday, 15 November
09.30 – 10.30
Opening of the Conference
Sarah Hartmann, Head of EUMEF, DGAP
Baudouin Dupret, Director, Centre Jacques Berque
10.30 – 12.00
Plenary Session: “Media and Freedom of Expression in
Souleïman Bencheikh, Journalist (TelQuel and L’Express)
Jamal Eddine Naji, General Director of the High Authority
of Audiovisual Communication (HACA) (tbc)
12.00 – 12.30
Coffee Break
12.30 – 14.00
Working Group Session
Group I: Facilitator: Hind Arroub, Political Scientist, Director
of I.H.A.R.E (Hypatia of Alexandria Institute for Reflexion
and Studies)
Input Presentations:
The New Media and Freedom of Expression in Morocco
Social and political changes taking place through the new media in the
Moroccan context
Friday, 15 November (continued)
Group II: Facilitator: Enrique Klaus, Postdoctoral Researcher,
Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain (IRMC),
Input Presentations:
Mediating the Moroccan ‘Exception’: Freedom of Expression in New
The bitter sweetness of youth podcasts in Morocco
14.00 – 15.00
15.00 – 16.30
Working Group Session
Group I - Input Presentations:
The legal framework applicable to the Tunisian media: Time for reform
Post-revolution press code: (self) censorship in Tunisia
Group II - Input Presentations:
From the “wait-and-see” attitude towards “democratic maturity” in
Tunisia – Pre-, In- and Post-Revolution Role of the Channel Al Jazeera
On the “Al Jazeera effect”, audience representation and the “Super
Mario” generation
16.30 – 17.00
Coffee Break
17.00 – 18.30
Plenary Session: “Political and Economic Challenges for
Media in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt Today”
Fatima El Issawi, Research Fellow, Department of Media
and Communications, London School of Economics
Saturday, 16 November
09.30 – 11.00
Plenary Session: “Investigative
Journalists’ Education”
Maâti Monjib, Political Analyst, Human Rights Activist and
Historian, University of Mohammed V-Rabat, Director of the
Ibn Rochd Center for Studies and Communication in Rabat
11.00 – 11.30
Coffee Break
11.30 – 13.00
Working Group Session
Group I - Input Presentations:
Media War, War on Media and War in Media: Egypt’s lost truth in
light of an overview of the media scene 2012-2013
Group II - Input Presentations:
The changing role of Twitter and Facebook in Egypt
Mapping online interactions among social network activists
13.00 – 14.00
14.00 – 15.30
Working Group Session
Group I - Input Presentations:
Obstacles to reporting on the ground in Egypt
Italian Media and the Arab Uprisings: Preventing the North African
Wave from Reaching the Northern Shores
Group II - Input Presentations:
Attention is Power: Morsi Meter to Dustur al-Shaab
Comics and Sarcasm on Social Media in Egypt
15.30 – 16.00
Coffee Break
Saturday, 16 November (continued)
16.00 – 17.30
Plenary Session: “Graffiti and Art in Public Space as a
Medium of Communication”
Soraya Morayef, Founder of the Blog “Suzee in the City”,
Sunday, 17 November
09.30 – 11.00
Working Group Session
Group I - Input Presentations:
From Arab Spring to Arab Fall: Explanatory attempt of the converted
German media coverage of North Africa and the Middle East
Global Representations of Revolts in Egypt and Tunisia
Group II - Input Presentations:
The accessibility of local and social media for outsiders: Borders of
understanding the North African public
A revolution in the revolutions: The new methods to assess the new media
landscape from abroad
11.00 – 11.30
Coffee Break
11.30 – 12.15
Working Group Session
Group I - Input Presentation:
Building recognized, accessible and sustainable channels for the “ignored”
in Turkey: The case of the Independent Communication Network (BIA)
Group II - Input Presentation:
Media censorship, the depoliticization of the public sphere, and resisting
citizens: The cases of citizen dissidence in Egypt and Turkey
13.00 – 14.00
14.00 – 15.00
Working Groups – Summing Up
15.00 – 16.30
Plenary Session – Presentation of Working Group
Summaries and Evaluation
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