Date: Monday, December 13th, 2021
Meeting Location: European Parliament committee in Rome
Format of the meeting: Online

Representatives from Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Israeli and Palestinian communities met on December 13, 2021, with local academic and institutional authorities on the occasion of the international conference “The Mediterranean: a River with Many Tributaries. Identity, Religious Dialogue, and Sustainability”, to discuss the creation of the Centre for Higher Education and Science Diplomacy on Sustainability at the Turtledoves’ Villa (Villa delle Tortore) in Ponza, particularly aimed at Mediterranean women and youth. The qualified speakers expressed their enthusiasm about the creation of the planned Centre Pontine Archipelago, as well as their gratitude to the Lazio Region, owner of the Villa. This place will become an European symbol of sustainability and a project tool fighting the gap in the skill-labour mismatch, an issue that Mr. Giuseppe Provenzano, Senior Expert on research and innovation at the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), particularly highlighted.
The Italian Network for the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue (RIDE) and Mediterranean Perspectives (a RIDE member), together with the PRIMA Foundation, the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) and the Representation of the European Commission in Italy, co-organised the event, with Dr. Enrico Molinaro, RIDE’s Secretary-General and Mediterranean Perspectives’ President, together with Ms. Greta Spreafico, Assistant Coordinator of the Italian ALF network, who chaired the debate.
The debate took inspiration from the UNFCCC COP26, which adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact on November 30, 2021, in the Scottish city. The Pact underlines the urgency of cooperation between different religious communities and local government in the field of sustainability.
After the institutional greetings, the first panel on “Collective identities, local governments and religious communities”, led the discussion to the recent creation of the European Union Alliance for Science Diplomacy at the second panel on “Culture, Innovation and Science Diplomacy”, where academic and institutional representatives highlighted the role of science diplomacy in the sustainability challenges.

Names of the attendees:

  • Almotaz Abadi, Managing Director, Water, Environment, and Blue Economy Secretariat, UfM
  • Gaetano Armao, Vice President, Sicily Region
  • Dan Bahat, an Israeli Archaeologist specialized in the Jerusalem’s Holy Places
  • Giorgio Benigni, Head, institutional relations, Mercato Circolare srl
  • Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence (message)
  • Mario Bolognari, Mayor, Taormina
  • Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Co-Director, Ecopeace
  • Angelica Edna Calò Livne, Lecturer, Tel Hai College; General Manager, Beresheet LaShalom Foundation
  • Silvia Costa, Commissioner for the Restauration of the Bourbon Penitentiary at the Santo Stefano Island in Ventotene
  • Giulio Disegni, Vice-president, Union of the Jewish Communities (UCEI)
  • Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome
  • Enrico Fink, President, the Jewish Community of Florence
  • Paul Gallangher, Secretary for the Relations with the States, the Holy See (message)
  • Giovanni Gentili, Mayor, Pitigliano
  • Eleonora Insalaco, Head of Operations and Intercultural Research, Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF)
  • Fadwa Khawaja Al-Shaer, Head, ALF Palestinian Network; Chairperson, Jerusalem Center for Women
  • Gladys Morales Guevara, Senior Innovation Adviser, Change Delivery & Innovation Unit, IFAD
  • Joseph Levi, former Chief Rabbi of Florence and Siena; Director, Shemah, School for Jewish Studies and Culture, Margulies Levinas, Florence
  • Grammenos Mastrojeni, Senior Deputy Secretary-General, Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)
  • Adel Nasr, Founder, New Humanity
  • Leoluca Orlando, Mayor, Palermo
  • Antonio Parenti, Head, Representation of the European Commission in Italy
  • Muli (Samuel) Peleg, Head, ALF Israeli Network; Director, International School, Oranim College
  • Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch, Jerusalem (message)
  • Giuseppe Provenzano, Advisor for research and innovation, UfM
  • Desirée Quagliarotti, Researcher, CNR-ISMED (RIDE member)
  • Abdellah Redouane, Secretary-General, Islamic Cultural Centre of Rome
  • Giovanni Roncari, Bishop, Pitigliano-Sovana-Orbetello-Grosseto Diocese, Tuscany (RIDE member)
  • David Rosen, International Director of Inter-religious Affairs, American Jewish Committee (AJC)
  • Gerardo Santomauro, Mayor, Ventotene Island
  • Gabriele Segre, Director, Vittorio Dan Segre Foundation
  • Giovanni Stanghellini, Santa Chiara Lab, Siena University; Italian Secretariat, PRIMA Foundation
  • Davide Tassi, Head, Sustainability and CSR ENAV Group; President, Sustainability Italiae, Cultura Italiae (RIDE member)
  • Loredana Teodorescu, Head, European and International Affairs, Istituto Luigi Sturzo
  • Alexandra Valkenburg, Head, EU Delegation to the Holy See, Order of Malta, UN Organisations in Rome, Republic of San Marino
  • Giovanni Zanolo, President, Inter-religious Studies Academy (ISA, RIDE member)


  • Enrico Molinaro, Secretary-General, RIDE; President, Mediterranean Perspectives
  • Greta Spreafico, Acting Secretariat Coordinator, RIDE; Assistant Coordinator, Anna Lindh Foundation in Italy