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[Webinar] Setting the Stage: A New Vision for the Mediterranean

  • Starts: Mar 30, 2021
  • Ends: Mar 30, 2021
  • Location: Virtual
  • By: CMI

    Enhancing Mediterranean Integration: Regional Knowledge Series

    Session 1. Setting the Stage: A New Vision for the Mediterranean




    Previous studies on regional integration across the Mediterranean highlighted a large underexploited potential of increasing the trade flow of goods and services, contributing to the economic and social cohesion of the region. 


    The idea was that countries could benefit from a large regional market while also encouraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and promoting the mobility of people across both shores of the Mediterranean. Yet, these three interlinked dimensions of regional integration—FDI, trade of goods and services, and, the mobility of peoples—seem to have fallen short of turning “the Mediterranean basin into an area of dialogue, exchange, and cooperation, guaranteeing peace, stability and prosperity”, an ambitious objective set by the pivotal Barcelona Declaration twenty-five years ago. 




    The CMI’s book “Enhancing Mediterranean Integration” examines the various dimensions of Mediterranean integration in today’s context and provides policy recommendations for integration approaches that look beyond trade agreements. 


    The book suggests comprehensive trade reforms that could help increase growth and foster workers’ mobility through regularized migration schemes, as well as encourage FDI and cross-country, public-private partnerships. 


    It also puts the spotlight on the need to reduce income disparities and promote social and territorial cohesion in the region. The book advocates for the provision of regional public goods that are beneficial across the region and encourages the creation of targeted initiatives that protect the more financially vulnerable groups such as refugees, unprotected children, and the unemployed, and that meet the demands of the less-favored non-central and non-coastal geographic areas.





    The CMI Regional Knowledge Series will provide an in-depth presentation of the book and will invite renowned academic scientists, researchers, and research scholars to discuss its findings and to share their thoughts on all aspects of regional integration in the Mediterranean. The series will include several webinars throughout 2021, each in partnership with a key Mediterranean partner and featuring high profile speakers who will be debating the most important regional integration points identified in the book, including: 


    • The new dimensions of regional integration
    • Integration through knowledge, education, and skills-building
    • A regional response to climate change to strengthen environmental resilience
    • An integration strategy for economic and social advancement in a post-covid world 


    The webinars will culminate in a face-to-face or hybrid event, to be held later in 2021.


    The first webinar on March 30th, 2021 will present an overview of the current economic situation in the Mediterranean basin and will propose several axes of discussion, including the form or forms Mediterranean integration could take, the potential structural obstacles that could thwart strong regional integration, and economic development, the possibility of developing an approach that directly involves essential actors of the North and the South Mediterranean


    Target audience


    The webinar will target the general public from the South, North, and East of the Mediterranean. It welcomes policymakers, the private sector, civil society, think-tanks, and all other actors from the Mediterranean actively playing involved in enhancing integration. It will consist of selected interventions by the discussants followed by a Q&A session allowing participants to interact directly with the speakers.


    The webinar will be held online.  If you wish to participate, please register here to receive connection details.




    Watch the recording of the event







    15:00-15:20: Opening by Blanca Moreno-Dodson (CMI) presenting the rationale of the CMI book, its main conclusions, and implications for a new Mediterranean vision.


    15:20-15:40: Intervention by Ishac Diwan (Paris Sciences et Lettres, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris, Paris Dauphine, and Economic Research Forum) providing a regional macro perspective and elaborating on prospects for integration of South-Mediterranean countries in the global economy.


    15:40-16:00: Intervention by Hippolyte Fofack (Chief Economist, The African Export-Import Bank, pending confirmation) discussing the worldwide changes in the worlds of technology and development, and how Mediterranean countries need to adapt.


    16:00-16:20: Intervention by Uri Dadush (Policy Center for the New South and Bruegel, Professor University of Maryland) discussing how domestic policies can be the main driver of successful integration.


    16:20-16:40: Intervention by Jean-Louis Reiffers (Honorary Dean, Faculty of Economics, University of Aix-Marseille) discussing the need for a new Mediterranean vision that places youth and their skills at

    the center of the transformation.



    Moderator: Constantin Tsakas (CMI)


    16:40-17:10: Q&A session with the discussants


    17:10-17:30 Concluding remarks by Blanca Moreno-Dodson (CMI)













    Blanca Moreno-Dodson is the Manager of the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), a partnership between the World Bank and several national, regional, and local authorities from around the Mediterranean, as well as international financial institutions and civil society.


    She has over twenty-eight years of experience as a World Bank development economist, including several positions as Lead Economist, mainly for the Global Tax Team, the West Africa Region, the Investment Climate Department, and the Office of the Vice-President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. As a Senior Economist, she previously worked at the World Bank Institute, the West Africa Region, and the Corporate Strategy Group of the World Bank. Her regional experience includes the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia (China, India, and Indonesia).  She started her career as a Robert Shuman scholar at the European Parliament and as a junior economist at the European Commission, before joining the World Bank Group.


    Moreno-Dodson authored and co-authored five books throughout her career including “Enhancing Mediterranean Integration” (CMI, 2020), “Winning the Tax Wars, Tax Competition, and Cooperation” (Wolters Kluwer, 2017), “Is Fiscal Policy the Answer? A Developing Country Perspective” (World Bank, 2013), “Public Finance for Poverty Reduction.  Case Studies for Africa and Latin America” (World Bank, 2006) and “Scaling Up Poverty Reduction” (World Bank, 2005). She has also been published in several internationally renowned economic journals, such as the Bulletin of Economic Research, Hacienda Pública Española, the USA National Tax Association Journal, and Banca d'Italia Annual Volumes.


    She is a member of the Alumni Strategic Council of the Aix-Marseille University, France, and of the Steering Committee of the Navarra Center for International Development, Spain, and a guest lecturer at Duke University, the USA, and Aix-Marseille University, France.


    Moreno-Dodson holds a Ph.D. as well as a Masters (Diplome D’Etudes Approfondies) in International Economics and Finance from the University of Aix-Marseille, France, in addition to a Masters (Licenciatura) in Economics from the University Autonomous of Madrid, Spain. Originally from Zaragoza, Spain, she is fluent in Spanish, French, English, and Portuguese.











    Pr. Ishac Diwan is a Lecturer in Public Policy and the director for Africa and the Middle East at the growth lab of the Center for International Development. Diwan received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught international finance at NYU's Business School from 1984-87. In 1987, he joined the World Bank in the Research Complex, where he focused on international finance, trade, and macroeconomics. In 1992, with the coming of the Oslo Agreements, Diwan joined the Banks Middle East department, first as the country economist for the West Bank and Gaza and later as a regional economist. He contributed to the Economic Research Forum and the Mediterranean Development Forum. Most recently, Diwan lived in Addis Abeba (2002-07) and Accra (2007-11), as the Bank's Country Director for Ethiopia and Sudan first, and then for Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, and Guinea. Diwan led several ambitious initiatives, such as Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net, Ethiopia's Protection of Basic Services Program, and in West Africa, initiatives to support commercial agriculture, natural resources development, and jobs for the youth. Diwan will be directing the Africa Growth Project from the CID and the Economic and Political Transformation group at the ERF.









    Dr. Hippolyte Fofack is the Chief Economist and Director of Research and International Cooperation Department at the African Export-Import Bank. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of economics and finance. Prior to joining the African Export-Import Bank, he worked for the World Bank Group in Washington DC for over 18 years in various functions, including Senior Country Economist and Head of the Macroeconomics and Growth Programme. Dr. Fofack is the Founder of the Nelson Mandela Institution for Knowledge Building and the Advancement of Science and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa, an independent ground-breaking African initiative to enhance the development of Africa through the promotion of excellence in science, engineering, and their applications. Dr. Fofack holds an Advanced Degree in International Economics and Finance from France, a master’s degree in mathematical statistics, and a Ph.D. in Applied Statistics and Economics from American University, Washington, DC. Dr. Fofack has published extensively and is a member of some leading professional and scientific organizations, including The African Academy of Sciences and the American Economic Association.








    Uri Dadush is a non-resident scholar at Bruegel, based in Washington, DC, and a Senior Fellow at the OCP Policy Center in Rabat, Morocco. He is also Principal of Economic Policy International, LLC, providing consulting services to the World Bank and to other international organizations, as well as corporations. He teaches courses on globalization and on international trade policy at the OCP Policy School and at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Dadush works mainly on trends in the global economy and on how countries deal with the challenge of international integration through flows of trade, finance, and migration. His recent books include WTO Accessions and Trade Multilateralism (with Chiedu Osakwe, co-editor), Juggernaut: How Emerging Markets Are Transforming Globalization (with William Shaw), Inequality in America (with Kemal Dervis and others), Currency Wars (with Vera Eidelman, co-editor) and Paradigm Lost: The Euro in Crisis. Uri Dadush was previously Director of the International Economics Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and, at the World Bank, Director of International Trade, as well as Director of Economic Policy, and Director of the Development Prospects Group. Based previously in London, Brussels, and Milan, Dadush spent 15 years in the private sector, where he was President of the Economist Intelligence Unit, Group Vice President of Data Resources, Inc., and a consultant with McKinsey and Co. His columns have appeared in leading publications such as the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and L’Espresso. He has a B.A. and M.A. in economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. in business economics from Harvard University.








    Pr. Jean Louis Reiffers is Honorary Dean at the Faculty of Economics of Aix-Marseille University. He was Professeur Agregé » in International Economics at the University of Toulon-Var and Associate Professor at Euromed Management. His past affiliations include being president of the Second Chance School (Marseille), president of the Scientific Council of Institut de la Méditerrannée, and coordinator of the FEMISE’s scientific council. Jean Louis Reiffers was born on September 26th, 1941, and obtained his Ph.D. in international economics and finance in 1969. He then became “Professeur Agregé” in 1970 and Dean as well as Vice President of the Aix-Marseille II Faculty of Economics. In 1970 and for the next 10 years Prof. Reiffers was Director of the Centre of Economics and International Finance (CEFI/CNRS). He was also an adviser to the French Minister of Education, Mrs. Edith Cresson. With the help of Marseilles’ regional authorities, he created the “Institut de la Méditerrannée” in 1993 of which he became president of the scientific council in order to contribute to the definition of the wide euro Mediterranean region. In 1995, he is appointed by the European Commission as president of the working group on education and training. He then contributed to the setting of the first Europe’s Second Chance School as he had already proposed in the white paper on education. In 1997, in collaboration with Cairo’s Economic Research Forum, he created the FEMISE network of which he was president of the scientific council until 2016. He is the author of numerous books and reports on the Mediterranean.










    Dr. Constantin Tsakas joined the CMI in 2020 as Senior Policy Analyst / Fundraising Consultant. He contributes to the Center’s fundraising & partnerships strategy. In addition, he produces policy-relevant research feeding into the CMI’s knowledge creation component. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was the General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée working for the emergence of sustainable models of development and for greater involvement of civil society in public policies. As General Secretary of the FEMISE think-tank network (2014-2020) he also worked on the reinforcement of dialogue and research on economic and social issues in the EuroMediterranean region. As a lecturer at SciencesPo (2013-2020), Dr. Tsakas taught at the campus of Menton on « Openness, Growth, and Crisis in the South Mediterranean countries ». His thematic interests and publications include issues related to Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, Education, Women Empowerment, Climate Change, and Trade Integration. He holds a Ph.D. in International Economics from Aix-Marseille University (France).