The cycle économique discussion series is the result of a consensus between intellectuals from the two shores of the Mediterranean on the need for dialogue regarding the pressing issues faced by the whole region. It consists in a working group that engages in a series of meetings, over an extended period of time. The group discusses challenges that are common to both sides of the Mediterranean in order to first 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 unique advantage of the cycle économique lies in the characteristics of the working group. The group is composed of individuals who are extremely knowledgeable on the MENA region; the participants invariably come from the countries implicated, have lived or worked there, or carry out research on the region, and thereby bring intimate knowledge and understanding of the particularities of the region. Furthermore, although the participants issue from governments, institutions, think tanks, universities and more, they participate in the series in an individual capacity, sitting down together as professionals and as scholars committed to the benefit of the MENA region.
What these characteristics allow for is a truly free and open discussion regarding even the most sensitive of topics. This is something that would be much more difficult, were the participants restricted by the constraints that their acting as representatives of their respective institutions may impose. Moreover, as well as being open in character, the participants are fully committed to the common good of the region and to finding solutions to its challenges.
The working group was formed in 2014 and has, so far, convened on two major themes: economic transitions in the Mediterranean, and violent extremism and development. Both cycles resulted in the production of the Economic Transitions in the Mediterranean and Violent Extremism and Development trilingual reports, in English, French and Arabic, containing the results of in-depth discussion between members of the working group: detailed analysis of the topics, followed by policy recommendations.
In the new phase of the cycle économique, the focus is being shifted towards the links between education and employability, and the opportunities that the young populations of the South should have to contribute to the development of the region and transform it economically and socially.
Violent Extremism and Development Economic Transitions in the Mediterranean