Upcoming event: “Europe and Democracy in the Arab World: A Liberal Dialogue”


Thursday, 13 February 2014, 12.00 – 14.00h

Three years after the initial uprisings, the Arab world has yet to come to rest. Celebrated initially as the “Arab Spring”, the people in that part of the world and observers in Europe prefer to use less favorable epithets today when referring to the evolving situation in our continent’s Southern neighborhood. While the Arabs are struggling on an uncertain path to a better future, Europe also seems undecided as to how to deal with developments in the Middle East and North Africa. And where in all this are the liberals? May we assume a liberal movement exists in the Arab world? How does Arab liberal thought relate to Western ideas and concepts? Are we in the end one liberal family? 

In May 2013, Cairo hosted the first “Arab-European Liberal Forum on the Basics of Liberalism”. One hundred delegates from both sides of the Mediterranean gathered for discussions on basic liberal values in the course of history, the role of religion in their respective societies and liberal economic programs to tackle the challenges of a globalized world.

The title “Bridging the Gap” was chosen with hindsight: the objective of this political dialogue was to identify where Liberals from Europe and the Arab world agree and where this is not the case. The papers presented at this international conference have been published in a book in English and Arabic in Cairo. We are presenting this publica-tion now to an interested audience in the heart of Europe.


Hans Stein
Regional Director European Institutions & North America (EINA),
Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Brussels

12.15 – Panel Discussion with Authors
Dr. Hala Mostafa
Political Commentator, Al-Ahram Foundation, Cairo

Prof. Dr. Aristides Hatzis
Associate Professor of Philosophy of Law & Theory of Institutions,
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Dr. Ronald Meinardus
Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Cairo

13.30 – Small Lunch Reception

In cooperation with the European Liberal Forum (ELF) cordially invite you to the Book Launch and Panel Discussion.

Kindly register for this event before 12 February 2014 at