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Economic Transitions in the Mediterranean: Response to the European Union Consultation for Defining a New European Southern Neighbourhood Policy

  • The CMI has responded to the European Union consultation for the defining of a new European Southern Neighbourhood Policy.


    At the initiative of intellectuals from the two sides of the Mediterranean who are convinced that there is a common destiny uniting the nations and peoples of this region, a working group met to reflect on the transitions underway in the Arab countries.


    Over the last five years, Southern Mediterranean societies have started moving forward again, with all the upheavals, difficulties and potential progress inherent to any major change. These upheavals in the South are simultaneous with Europe struggling to regain its self-confidence and define its future. Together, these factors make for a radical shift in relationships between Northern and Southern Mediterranean countries.


    With the South being in a period of constitutional times (mainly in Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt), the Arab revolutions are sketching out new rules for the political governance of society. They are however struggling to tackle issues around the new economic and social model and the international relations (particularly with Europe) required in order to support these political transitions.


    These are the areas in which the working group has sought to provide an interpretation of the situation in the Southern Mediterranean, highlighting the potential for progress, the hindering factors and the risks, and suggesting areas in which jointly developed new relationships could be established between the North and the South for mutual benefit.


    The group considers that the new regional impetus must come from the South. International cooperation headed by the European Union should encourage Tunisia to carry this momentum given that it embodies the hopes for a democratic solution.


    Taking the reduction of youth and women unemployment as a priority and guiding thread of all the actions, the group proposes to increase the attention of Europe on the following 4 axes which are closely interrelated: 1/ progressively conceiving Euro-Mediterranean value chains through co-productions involving the Northern and Southern Mediterranean; 2/ fostering the development of the knowledge economy; 3/ supporting the rural economy and regional development; 4/ securing the mobility of individuals legally residing in the common space.


    Read the report in French, English and Arabic.