45 the Mediterranean, mostly Christian, and the South with a Muslim majority, an in- crease in the economic and social imba- lance between the northern and southern shore of the Mediterranean basin could create serious problems for the Euro- pean Union including a massive exodus towards the “ rich” north. 7. Western Stats and the Arab World A new type of relationship between the Western world and the Arab world can- not but pass through a commitment to the economic, cultural and social revival of countries that are extremely in need of exchanges and western technologies. This is a perspective that must be pur- sued by Western governments. In short, an authentic economic development of the southern Mediterranean countries should be fostered, without giving in to the temptation to create artificial needs for the exclusive benefit of rich countries. In this same area, pressure will have to be placed on the authorities of Western countries to demand the application by Muslim countries of UN resolutions with regard to human rights, freedom of reli- gion and conscience, and equality betwe- en citizens. Only with an intervention of this type will it be possible to make the distinction between a modern socio-eco- nomic order and a religious perspective understood, thus putting an end to the misunderstanding that leads to identifying the West with Christianity. Helping Muslims to understand the ne- cessary distinction between religion and secularism, between faith and civilization, between political Islam and the Muslim faith, is now more necessary than ever. This is why we need to help in the most appropriate way all those movements that are fighting for democracy and economic development. In this way it will be possible in fact to show that the needs of a perso- nal religiosity (but also community) can be lived in a society in which pluralism is re- spected. It is vital, moreover, to concretely support those who fight against fundamen- talism and against all forms of violence, and to encourage the voices that demand the progressive interpretation of the sharia as opposed to its literal application more adapted to the historical conditions of the Arab world as it existed a millennium ago. This is an indispensable premise for the construction in Arab countries of a climate of mutual respect among the Believers in the 'One God without any discrimination. Mutual knowledge, personal testimony, relationships between states: on these three levels the possibility of a new mee- ting between the two shores of the Medi- terranean is played out. Only in this way will Christians, Muslims and Jews explore the new frontiers of dia- logue, moving together in the 21st century.