The Center for Mediterranean Integration
The CMI’s “Cycle économique” is the result of a consensus between intellectuals from the two shores of the Mediterranean on the need to address the pressing issues faced by the whole region. It consists in a working group of multidisciplinary individuals that engages in a series of meetings, over an extended period. The group discusses challenges that are common to both sides of the Mediterranean to better understand those problems and subsequently produce policy recommendations for concrete actions that can drive the region and its populations towards lasting, regionwide solutions.
The working group was formed in 2014 and has, so far, discussed two major themes: economic transitions in the Mediterranean, and violent extremism and development. Both cycles resulted in the production of trilingual reports in English, French and Arabic, containing the results of the in-depth group discussion: detailed analysis of the topics under a multi-disciplinary perspective, followed by policy recommendations. The reports were successful in influencing policy-making at the regional level: the economic transitions report, for example, was instrumental in the elaboration of the New European Southern Neighborhood Policy by the EU in 2015 and inspired the World Bank’s MNA strategy.
This third phase of the Cycle économique will focus on the links between education, labor mobility and employability as a means to empower the youth into becoming the engine for change in the region.
Youth in both the North and the South of the Mediterranean have wide-ranging aspirations on economic, educational, personal and cultural levels, yet they face numerous shared challenges.
Young populations throughout the region are experiencing a threefold exclusion on the economic, social and political levels, with high unemployment and a lack of opportunities to take part in civic and political life or to influence decision making. Moreover, with the youth bulge predicted to explode, poor quality education that has inadequately prepared students for entrance into the labor market, and an obsolete social contract with a lack of trust in governments and institutions, the challenges can only be expected to be further exacerbated. Possible negative consequences of youth exclusion include large numbers of informal workers, the risk of vulnerable individuals embracing extremist ideology, and increased irregular migration as young people attempt to escape their situation.
The ultimate objective of the series is to compile and disseminate a policy-oriented report, which will contain a number of recommendations that can ultimately be integrated into developmental strategies and concrete public policies. The content and format of these recommendations will be determined by the participants themselves as the series unfolds over the year; a decision designed to reflect and safeguard the consensus achieved during this process.