Policy Meeting 4 May 2017

In the framework of the Eastmed Erasmus+ Project, we organised a special policy meeting at the premises of Ca’ Foscari University on Thursday, 4th of May. Dr Sara De Vido introduced the participants to the subject of the project and coordinated the discussion.

The discussion and the summary of the content of the speeches can be summarised as such:

  • Ms Susanna Tonetto from the Municipality of Venice provided data on migrant flows towards Italy and the port of Venice. She focused on the fact that the Balkan route must be considered. She also emphasised the important aspect of integration, which, as she witnessed, can be extremely challenging. She said that Italy is a good country to ‘obtain documents’. She also proposed concrete examples of requests for refugee status.
  • Mr Lorenzo Colantoni from the Istituto Affari Internazionali (Institute Foreign Affairs, Rome) proposed the main achievements of a research that he is conducting. Please refer to the link above.
  • Mr Paolo Pellizzari from the Ca’ Foscari University suggested that the EASTMED MOOC should strike a balance in delivering complex and sensitive content to users of possibly different background, level and age. The material way the MOOC is taught is also pivotal to reach the objectives of the project. We should give a brief and personal history of the MOOC era and examine several definitions of what a MOOC is, starting from the well-known contrast between connectivist and “more traditional” x-MOOCs. We should also explore some of the uncountable ways in which video materials can be blended and embedded in common learning activities, flipping experiments and take advantage of sound learning platforms and clear planning. The MOOC should also aim at multiplicity (and the point is compelling for EASTMED): technological innovations now allow for the creation of learning commodities (for concreteness, think to brief videos of 8-12 minutes but there are many other similar learning objects). A commodity is a u seful or valuable thing, such as water or time that could and should be used to generate a multiplicity of other (learning) objects, to be tailored to different needs. Some of the possible uses include:
    • (trivially) the creation of courses at a reduced cost;
    • the award of credits to those who are entitled to them;
    • the alignment of students with different knowledge/background;
    • the provision of highly specialized notions, often required by few students or in cases where standard courses are impractical or too expensive;
    • the supply of teaching material for face to face lectures or used to activate forms of non-standard learning (brainstorming, group work...);
    • the presentation of research and info pills to foster discussion among the general public.

Such a multiplicity of outcomes can be obtained exploiting the nature of commodity of the LO and, say, the same video presenting basic facts about migration flows can be used in different ways:

  • as a unit in a four-weeks long EASTMED MOOC (assuming, for instance, that no credits are given);
  • to provide background material and motivate an essay/assignment in a formal (for credit) academic course;
  • to brief officers and workers involved in a professional development program or training activity.

Mr Paolo Pellizzari also underscored that multimedia commodities and MOOCs are indeed useful or valuable things, such as water or time, beneficial ingredients for institutions who can use them to create carefully planned educational programmes.

  • Mr Fabio Pranovi from the University Ca’ Foscari argued that our life style totally depends on the energy availability, but many other several aspects are indirectly linked with energy. Within this context, energy represents one of the main driver for our society, in terms of supply, consumes and reservoirs/production. Energy can also be considered a key issue of the unsustainability of our presence on the Earth. From an ecological perspective, indeed, the human species represents an ecological exception, being a Primate that became extremely abundant on the planet and uses more than 35% of energy available at the global scale: a clearly unsustainable condition. The results of this not sustainable behaviour are clearly visible at many distinct levels. All this calls for the implementation of the concept of integrated sustainability, which is the need to overload the three spheres paradigm towards a real integration of the environmental, social and economic issues, by adopting a holistic approach. To achieve environmental objectives, indeed, it is necessary to directly involve people, also taking into the account the economic issues; on the other side, in order to gain aims as equality, stopping hunger and poverty, it is necessary to solve the critical environmental issues threatening the Planet. The urgency of the present situation is well represented by the Agenda for Sustainable Development launched by the United Nations for 2030 (Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, September 2015). The agenda identifies four major areas of interest: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace. The action is declined according to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and 169 targets. “They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental”.
  • Luisella Pavan-Woolfe from the Council of Europe, office of Venice,mentioned three pivotal reports prepared by the Council of Europe, namely the report on Populisms, the reports by Tomáš Boček, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees, and the most recent report by the CoE human rights commissioner.
  • Mr Lauso Zagato from the Ca’ Foscari university summarised the most important acts existing at EU level regarding migration law. In particular, we are facing the third generation of acts, connected to the Package of 2016 which envisaged the possibility of adopting a regulation. He outlined the importance of a human rights-based approach to the issue, and to stress the aspect of integration of migrants.

Based on the above discussion, we concluded to the following recommendations

1) As for the contents, to include an important part on human rights law, in particular on the jurisprudence of the European Court on Human Rights

2) To address the challenges of the agreement (declaration which is in the end an agreement) between the Eu and Turkey

3) To outline the evolution of EC now EU law with regard to migration, stressing this current third stage which is highly controversial

4) To include the paper of Lorenzo Colantoni among the references of the MOOC

5) To include the reports of the COE among the references of the MOOC

6) To deal with the issue of energy and migration in a holistic approach following the objectives of the Agenda 2030. With regard to migration, to include a part on integration of migrants, also in the cities.

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