Economic Integration And Co-Development: Recipes For Shared Progress In The Mediterranean Region

4 October 2018- 5 October 2018 | Conference | English | Roma
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Ten years have gone since the Paris Declaration of 2008 announced the launching of the Union for the Mediterranean. Guided by the search of peace, stability and security, the UfM builds on the legacy of the Barcelona Process, from which it inherited the commitment to promote a space of dialogue and shared prosperity in the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, its first steps were hindered by a particularly unstable backdrop: violent extremism, migrant crises, reconstruction efforts, poverty, unemployment and missing integration still remain among the main challenges to be faced.

Notwithstanding, the principles set by the Barcelona and Paris declarations are far from having lost any validity. The Euro-Mediterranean political agenda is to be driven by stronger economic cooperation between Northern and Southern countries, increased exchanges and dynamic investment flows. Economic cooperation and regional integration are powerful tools for growth, job creation and sustainable development. However, for it to be possible, political commitment and structural economic reforms are essential factors to be met.

The role of Mediterranean stakeholders that endorse our common and shared challenges is key for such a process. To that extent, the growing community of binational citizens and the diaspora from both shores of the Mediterranean should not be left aside. Their economic involvement and integration in affairs of common concern might become essential catalysers of a renewed approach to co-development.

The new edition of the annual conference on the Mediterranean organized by the European League for Economic Cooperation (ELEC) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas on such challenges by engaging major experts from the region that share their expertise and nourish the debate on the way towards a better, common, Mediterranean future.