Scenarios for regional integration and cooperation with the EU (Work Package 9)

Although, the Barcelona Process launched in the wake of the 1993 Oslo accords has been received with unprecedented enthusiasm, its results were not as expected. The political momentum appears to be stagnating and in this aspect, both shores share the responsibility. An understanding of the reasons behind this slow process is absolutely essential as an input to the foresight exercise. In its present form, the partnership has not been legally-binding and results-oriented. Drawing on the lessons from EU’s enlargement, experience shows that the basis for the continuation of reforms are to be found in the involvement of all actors. In contrast, uncertainties that may surround the prospects of the region, act as a comparative disadvantage affecting the dynamics at play. Moreover, the linchpin of the economic Euro Mediterranean Partnership, that is trade liberalization, has had little effect because efforts were mainly focused on North South relations while change was less important in the region. The future of Euro Mediterranean relations and its instruments of cooperation shaped under the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) should reflect these lessons. Consequently, issues such as regional geopolitical tensions, development of human capital, domestic production of goods and services, sustainability of resource management and environmental pressures are taken into account within this work package. The evolution of the aforementioned factors will translate into the retention of a number of scenarios built within this work package in order to provide a basis for further policy analysis aimed at closer cooperation with the EU under the UfM framework both broadly and per theme .

This work package is co-led by Dr. Frédéric Blanc, Prof. Jean Louis Reiffers from Forum Euro-Méditerranéen des Instituts Economiques (FEMISE) an Euro-Mediterranean forum on economic research in the region and by Dr. Rym Ayadi from the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).