A new agenda for the Mediterranean: Are the EU tools and means of action up to its ambitions?

7 June 2022 | Corporate news
The Southern Neighbourhood (SN) of the European Union (EU) remains in what appears to be a state of permanent turmoil.

Similarly, the rift in Euro-Mediterranean relations seems to be growing, as exemplified by reactions to the Russian aggression on Ukraine across the Southern Neighbourhood region and despite a window of opportunity the pandemic offered to relaunch cooperation between both sides of the Mediterranean.

The Joint Communication on a ‘Renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood: a New Agenda for the Mediterranean’, released in February 2021 and endorsed by April 2021 European Council conclusions, is an attempt at addressing both the above-mentioned rift, and the multitude and magnitude of challenges facing societies and economies of the Southern Neighbourhood countries.

Against this background and at the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Cohen-Hadria, Director of the Euro-Mediterranean Policies Department (IEMed) and Katarzyna Sidlo, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Department (CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research), have co-authored a study that considers whether the Joint Communication is well-fitted to achieve its goals.

Accordingly, it first undertakes an analysis of the geopolitical trends and megatrends, of the political, and socio-economic situation in the region, and the state of Euro-Mediterranean relations. Subsequently, it looks into the text of the Joint Communication and the accompanying Economic and Investment Plan, exploring their potential for launching a new phase in this relationship in the areas of green and digital transitions, promotion of ‘inclusiveness’, migration, trade, and peace and security.

The study concludes that more than a year after its adoption, many question marks remain in relation to the implementation of the Joint Communication, and a truly comprehensive and strategic framework to guide the EU’s relations with its SN is still missing.

The study can now be downloaded from the European Parliament Think Tank:
A new agenda for the Mediterranean: Are the EU tools and means of action up to its ambitions?

Presentation at the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs

On 15th June, the authors of the study presented their assessment of the lack of traction of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership in the last few years, according to their research, in a session of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs. They both pointed out some recommendations stemming from the study to lay the ground for a renewed engagement of the European Union and the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood with the partnership.