Back then the direction was clear for countries on the fast lane to democracy. In the case of the Arab Spring, the situation differs as you go from one country to another''. Maurizio Massari, the Special Envoy of the Italian Foreign Ministry for the Mena area, has been speaking in Naples about the situation in countries on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, as part of a congress organised by the Mezzogiorno Europa (European South) Foundation on the subject: ''One Year on from the Arab Spring: Italy and the Countries of the Southern Shore''. Mr Massari continued: ''The degree of success a country has in its transition depends on that country's ability to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of its people and not just the interests of an elite: this is even less than in Western countries''. The theme of transition was in fact central to the meeting, which included contributors from Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia as well as the Moroccan Ambassador to Italy, Hassan Abouyoub.
''Democratic transition in very fragile nation states is an extremely complex process: we are just at the beginning'' the Ambassador said. It is this frailty that provides the West with its role: according to Umberto Ranieri, MP for Italy's Democratic Party and Chair of the Mezzogiorno Europa Foundation, ''Embarking upon democratisation in a country is not an easy matter and one year will certainly not suffice. We think of the difficulties in Egypt, where the first Islamic president has been elected democratically, even if not everybody is convinced that the election was a completely fair one.But then Parliament has been dissolved. The USA and Europe should not let Europe feel alone during this phase: they should not make the mistake of believing that change is not possible, or that things really were better before''. The West's role during this phase has to be that of contributing to forming the new political classes in the countries of the Arab Spring. This is why the day in Naples organise by the Foundation along with Italy's Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Federico II University has included a look at the subject ''Expanding the process of conscious participation: political movements, formation of a political class, mobility and social inclusion''. Participants included political figures from Italian parties such as Annamaria Parente, head of political education with the Democratic Party, and Nicola Formichella, deputy head of training with the PDL. It was from Naples that the idea of exchanges and involving universities first came, inviting students from the South who are interested in participating in political education courses in Italy. ''We want to strengthen all these possibilities for collaboration in the field of training, study, research between Italy and young people, university students working in countries on the southern shore'' Ranieri said. The day was also linked to an exhibition with the title: ''Culture and Training in the Mediterranean - Roots and Development of Italian Commitment'', set up in the Chrurch of Saints Marcellino and Festo by the headquarters of the congress, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Italy's Geographic Society in collaboration with the Luce Institute and RAI Direzione Teche.
The show includes documents, films and photographs of Italian efforts in the Maghreb on archaeological missions, missions of cultural cooperation and major cultural events.The show will transfer to Rome. (ANSAmed).