As Lebanon works to re-establish self-control after years of regional uncertainty, new Association Agreements with the European Union have come into effect. These cover political dialogue and security, economic relations, and cooperation in social, humanitarian and cultural matters. The country has been largely paralysed, politically, since the withdrawal of former powerbroker Syria last April.
To help encourage a culture of democracy, the EU is sponsoring the Samir Kassir Award for freedom of the press. It is named after a Lebanese intellectual who was murdered outside his home last year. The award is in recognition of his resistance — of words against weapons, against obscurantism; against cruelty.