The Center for the Study of European Politics and Society at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was chosen by an interministerial government committee to represent Israeli academia in a new Mediterranean research network.
The network will operate under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and will include Israel, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.
The committee appointed the center’s chairman, Sharon Pardo of the department of politics and government, to serve as Israel’s “scientific focal point.”
“The idea is to create a parallel and complementary path to the political dialogue between the OSCE and its Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation, which will be comprised of researchers from the region,” said Pardo.
According to Pardo, the network will aim to focus on the dynamics and changes in the Mediterranean and will promote dialogue based on OSCE’s experience and the Helsinki Process. In addition, it will aim to initiate ideas to promote the political dialogue, support multilateral discussions and encourage a comparative dialogue in the Mediterranean region.
The research network met for the first time last week in Turin, Italy, with the official launch set to take place in September in Rome, Italy, under the sponsorship of Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini.
Earlier this year, Pardo was awarded the prestigious Jean Monnet Chair, one of the highest awards the European Commission can bestow on a European studies scholar, which recognizes the “outstanding caliber” of Pardo’s research and teaching on the European integration process.
In addition, the center became a National Jean Monnet Center of Excellence this past summer and was recently recognized as one of the top 20 centers for European studies in the world by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Union.