Southern Mediterranean

Panel Discussion

Southern Mediterranean and the promise of regional integration

Countries on all the shores of the Mediterranean today face the same serious challenges: external pressures, internal divisions, economic uncertainty, a lack of prospects for young people, migration, extremism and radicalisation. In this context of global instability, and yet of immense regional opportunities, the value of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership is at its highest.

There is scope and a need for more multilateralism and, even more importantly, for more integration in the South. At the moment, for example, only 1% of trade in the Euro-Mediterranean region flows between the Southern partners. How can meaningful regional cooperation be bolstered? Which good practices can we build on? And, above all, is the South ready?

There is growing consensus that security and stability – prerequisites of progress – can only be dealt with by addressing ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ security issues in parallel: a positive agenda for youth; intercultural and interfaith dialogue; human rights education; academic mobility, joint research, and job creation. Which lessons learned could be applied and what are their limitations?