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This report describes CMI’s approach to Mediterranean integration. Released in December, it discusses progress made and remaining obstacles, ending with specific recommendations to enhance integration, considering current challenges. First, the report suggests eliminating more tariffs and nontariff barriers to the trade of goods and services, with an emphasis on the trade of services because of their positive effects on productivity and job creation that spill over into agriculture and industry, including through information and communications technology.
Second, CMI’s approach recommends increasing the mobility of workers and the internationalization of jobs within the Mediterranean region through proactive migration policies and other human capital policies, for example, internationalization of education2 and e-learning.
Third, the report signals the importance of protecting the environment, threatened by climate change, and anchors regional solutions on the nexus water-energy-food.
Finally, the report suggests that promoting investments, private sector businesses, and partnerships involving parties from both shores of the Mediterranean will be critical to the socio-economic transformation of the region. It emphasizes that trade liberalization should be implemented not in isolation from other policies but in the context of a comprehensive policy package designed to achieve social and distributive goals in addition to efficiency. The overall approach aims at promoting growth through comprehensive trade reforms while also fostering worker mobility and encouraging foreign direct investment and cross-country public-private partnerships.
In parallel, provision of regional public goods that benefit the whole region, as well as targeted initiatives aimed at protecting vulnerable income groups (e.g., refugees, unprotected children, unemployed individuals) and less-privileged geographic locations (remote, landlocked) are highlighted as being necessary to reduce and eliminate income disparities, in line with the goals of achieving social inclusion and territorial cohesion.
Meanwhile, the CMI Regional Knowledge Events provide an in-depth presentation of the report and include renowned academic scientists, researchers, and research scholars to discuss its findings, as well as exchange and share their thoughts on all aspects of regional integration in the Mediterranean. The events include several virtual sessions, each in partnership with a key Mediterranean partner, that will give the voice to high-profile speakers to debate the most important regional integration issues identified in the report.
In this context, the CMI has organized so far two events:
New Dimensions of Regional Integration: From Trade to Deeper Integration