Deepening Euro-Mediterranean Integration: What Future for the EU-Maghreb Partnership?

Written by | Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
@Eubulletin

The Mediterranean region is increasingly unstable, which makes it a fertile ground for multiple crises. However, this region has also seen the birth of Europe’s history and culture, it features numerous resources and skills and boasts all the necessary assets to become an important hub in our globalized world. The Mediterranean could assume its role on the world’s stage through obvious complementarities among the region’s countries, such as demography, collective preferences or natural resources, but it could also offer opportunities for cooperation through common challenges, such as youth unemployment, migration, productivity gains or climate change.

The most viable platform for the development of such regional cooperation is the 2030 Euro-Mediterranean convergence imagined by IPEMED, a leading Euro-Mediterranean think-tank, in collaboration with regional organizations and Mediterranean public and private institutions. This integration platform can be driven either by Europe or by a new Southern economic dynamic, which could eventually lead to a rapprochement with European economies.

A Euro-Mediterranean convergence coupled with job creation can only be achieved when all countries join in. This also requires a geographic redistribution of production and the sharing of added value (coproduction dynamic), the development of complementarities and the implementation of industries in order to boost competitiveness in the region. Moreover, the regional cooperation should also seek to redistribute wealth, standardize norms and implement the four freedoms of the EU – movement of goods, capitals, services and people.

On top of the above, the Mediterranean integration requires the implementation of reforms in the North African countries, for which Turkey could serve as a good example. Ankara, in an effort to comply with the demands of the EU accession process, engaged in a number of reforms – including the reform of commercial and economic policies, making public administration and judicial system more efficient and the implementation of Copenhagen criteria – that in turn transformed the country and triggered economic growth.

Especially Morocco and Tunisia, where this process has already started, could get inspired particularly in the following areas: empowering private sector as a driving force of the process, synchronization between political and economic reform, the reforms of the regulatory environment aimed at establishing quality standards, promoting export high-quality products, developing efficient industries and maintaining the rule of all, all of which must be carried out together with reforms to sustain macroeconomic stability.

‘Ten Years Building the Mediterranean World of Tomorrow’ – a Report by Gu?l Ertan O?zgu?zer and Ce?cile Jolly – L’Institut de Prospective Economique du Monde Méditerranéen – IPEMED (The Mediterranean World Economic Foresight Institute)

(The study can be downloaded here)

 

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