The 2nd Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (Palermo, 1994)

3rd- 6th December 1994: over 250 participants from Mediterranean public televisions, European and international intergovernmental bodies and UN agencies met in Palermo to reflect on the topic: “The audiovisual cooperation within the Mediterranean basin: problems, resources, prospects”. The choice of this focus arose from the awareness that in the modern Information Society the risk of widening the gap between the North and the South of the Mediterranean could increase. Hence, the urgent need of a multilateral permanent cooperation.

Within this general framework, a policy of cooperation in the audiovisual field becomes a strategic issue, as stated in the Final Resolution of the Conference: “it is the Media and the cultural industry that must contribute in a tangible way to rendering the Mediterranean a basin for cultural exchange, economic co-operation, peaceful cohabitation, understanding and reciprocal acceptance of different ethnic, political and religious realities (..)”

Mr. Piccarollo, from the European Commission, has underlined that “the EU Renewed Mediterranean Policy is working in the direction of a cooperation policy among audiovisual operators, institutions and Media from the Mediterranean countries” and that “the EC MED-MEDIA Programme, set up in 1992, is one of the concrete examples of this new approach (..)”

One of the main results of the Palermo session was that this Conference reached a permanent standing, with the name of Permanent Conference of the Audiovisual Operators (COPEAM), because “Cooperation means, first of all, the creation of an intra-Mediterranean organic structure and the settlement of permanent and organized relationships between the homologues of the two shores” (Mr. Mohieddine Hadhri, President of CETIMA (Centre d'Etudes Méditerranéennes et Internationales).