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At the initiative of academics from both the Northern and Southern Mediterranean who are convinced that there is a common destiny for the nations and peoples of this region, a working group met to consider the transitions underway in the Arab nations. This initiative was launched in November 2013 and is facilitated by the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI).
Over the last four years, Southern Mediterranean societies have been set in motion, with all the upheaval, difficulties and potential for progress inherent in any major change. At the same time, Europe has been struggling to regain its self-confidence and define its future. Together, these factors make for a radical shift in relationships between Northern and Southern Mediterranean countries.
Constitutions are being drafted in the South (primarily in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt), and the Arab revolutions are exploring new rules for the political governance of societies. They have not yet properly tackled issues around new economic and social models and the international relations, particularly with Europe, required in order to support political transition.
These are the areas in which the working group has sought to provide policymakers with an interpretation of the situation in the Southern Mediterranean, highlighting the potential for progress and limiting factors, and suggesting areas in which new relationships between North and South could be jointly developed for mutual benefit.
Taking the reduction of youth and women unemployment as a priority and guiding thread of all the actions, the group proposes to increase the attention of Europe on the following 4 axes which are closely interrelated: 1/ progressively conceiving Euro-Mediterranean value chains through co-productions involving the Northern and Southern Mediterranean; 2/ fostering the development of the knowledge economy; 3/ supporting the rural economy and regional development; 4/ securing the mobility of individuals legally residing in the common space.