Economic Integration in the Euro Mediterranean Region: Past And Future14 March 2019. From 18:30 | Workshop | English | IEMed, Barcelona
None of the milestones set nearly 25 years ago in the launch of the Euro-Mediterranean Process in Barcelona have been met. The process, which was born with the aim of converging the European Union and the Mediterranean Arab countries and Israel in political, economic and social terms, has not achieved any of the goals endorsed at the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona in 1995 due to the transformations with which Euro-Mediterranean policy has been adapted to the various scenarios that followed in the Mediterranean (attacks of September 11, 2001, persistence of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Arab Spring and conflicts open in Syria and Libya, refugees and immigration …) and that changed both the initial starting point of 1995 and the interests of each group.
Richard Youngs, an EU foreign policy expert, believes that the original vision of full integration and cooperation across the region has been abandoned, “a vision that now seems out of place in an era dominated by conflict, violence, instability, human tragedy, and resistance to democratic reform in the Middle East today”, where security cooperation, containment of immigrant and refugee flows, and bilateral relations prevail.
Coinciding with the conference, Youngs explains in an interview his vision of the evolution of Euro-Mediterranean relations but also comments on the role of the European Union in the conflict in Syria, which on March 15 entered its ninth year, and in the ‘open transition stage in Algeria as a result of massive demonstrations rejecting Abdelaziz Buteflika’s candidacy for a fifth term as President of the Algerian Republic.