On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Process, this report examines the various dimensions of Mediterranean integration in today’s context and provides policy recommendations for enhancing Mediterranean integration, beyond trade agreements. The report suggests enhancing growth through comprehensive trade reforms, while also fostering the mobility of workers through regularised migration schemes, as well as promoting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and cross-country public-private partnerships.
In parallel, the provision of regional public goods that benefit the whole region as well as more targeted initiatives aimed at protecting vulnerable income groups (refugees, unprotected children, unemployed, etc.) and less-favored geographic locations (remote, landlocked) will be necessary to reduce income disparities, in line with the goals of achieving social inclusion and territorial cohesion.
Regarding the publication’s key findings, Blanca Moreno-Dodson, Author and Manager of the Center for Mediterranean Integration, explained that “never before was Mediterranean integration more needed than it is now. The region faces a unique opportunity to fulfil its historic mandate to bring together its peoples, cultures, resources and assets”. Mrs. Moreno-Dodson urges to focus on the Mediterranean regional context rather than the national context to address, for instance, post COVID-19 challenges: “The book outlines a co-development framework. It goes beyond trade and includes critical sectors such as mobility, education, energy or water. There are many actors involved. Many lives will benefit from this integration. Now is the time to move forward”.