I am happy to present the first newsletter of the Marseille Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI). One of a kind, the CMI was created by various partners to become a real hot-bed of ideas for public policy in the Mediterranean.
During my years at the World Bank I worked a great deal on the Maghreb and Western Africa and I came to believe that sustainable development cannot take place without integration. The national paradigm is, of course, very present in these regions, but today we are increasingly interdependent. I am convinced that we can no longer master development without mastering integration and we definitely have to abandon the old idea that technical assistance from someone who has answers to someone who doesn’t is the model.
The CMI’s ambition is thus to become the place where we can ask questions and find answers … jointly. By bringing together networks and studies which already exist we can give them greater impact, allowing us all to better understand our neighbour’s situation and, by the same measure, provide evidence for better public policy choice.
The CMI should be an instrument for everyone, through the five main themes which have been deemed crucial for the future of the Mediterranean region: urban and spatial development; water and the environment; transport and logistics; skills, employment and labor mobility; the knowledge economy, innovation and technology.
Sharing knowledge is also the aim of this newsletter which we regularly publish in Arabic, English and French to provide an update on the work conducted by the Centre and the seminars organized around the five working themes.
The initiation of a network of prosecutors and investigators to track down boats polluting the Mediterranean is a first such example. The week on employment and mobility which took place in Marseille in March 2010 is another such example. As is the seminar on youth in Arab countries which has just taken place.
Full of contributions from specialists from both sides of the Mediterranean, these meetings have strengthened our role as a network of networks and our drive towards greater integration in the region itself and, as a result, the rest of the world.
Director of the Marseille Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI).