International Conference and Call for Papers: Revisiting Euro Mediterranean Cooperation in an Age of Uncertainty

Marking the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Declaration, this call invites academics and experts in the field to submit proposals for papers related to the Euro Mediterranean process of cooperation. The selected contributors will have the opportunity to engage in a conversation with other academics and policymakers on the challenges, tensions and contentions involved in the realisation of the Barcelona Process, and to reflect on the potentials for future regional cooperation and integration.

The 2-day conference will take place in April 2021 at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference is organised by the Centre on Conflict Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (IHEID), in partnership with the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano (USI), Middle East Directions Programme and the Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies at European University Institute, and in close collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of Foreign Affairs and regional Civil Society.

Background

November 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the first Euro-Mediterranean Conference and the adoption of the Barcelona Declaration, which launched an extensive cooperation programme between the European Union (EU) and the countries of the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Despite the on-going efforts to establish a Euro-Mediterranean partnership for regional collaboration and exchange, the Barcelona process and its rejuvenated versions have failed to achieve their declared objectives. Since the mid-1990s, collaborative visions for Euro-Mediterranean partnership have fallen short in the implementation process.

Today more than ever, the Mediterranean region is hampered by economic crises and political instability, putting into question the prospect for future regional integration. Implicit tension between the EU mandate and the ambitions and interests of certain member states, coupled with imbalanced power relations between the North and South of the Mediterranean overshadowed the longed-for collaboration and cooperation. Whereby the EU claims to have a comprehensive vision for the region, trade and economic cooperation continue to take precedence alongside security over questions of democracy and human rights presenting a real challenge for national and regional development. Beyond Europe, the situation on the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean has seriously deteriorated Since the Arab Spring, hindering the prospect of subregional South-South cooperation and ultimately larger Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. A civil war menaces the very existence of the Libyan State. Authoritarian regimes are prospering in Algeria, Egypt and Turkey. Syria is far from recovering from a ten-year civil war, and nobody sees a light at the end of the tunnel for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while recent conflicts over natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean are threatening the stability of the entire region. This raises questions to whether Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and partnership, at least in its current form, is possible at all and eventually to which extent and on which basis?

About the call for papers

This call invites academics and experts to reflect on the challenges, tensions and contentions involved in the realisation of the Barcelona Process, and the potentials for future regional cooperation and integration.

Several policy-oriented studies and conferences discussed good practices and successes, while others reflected on the reasons for the failure to achieve the objectives of the Barcelona Process. This conference aims to introduce a different angle to the discussion. Rather than debating what worked, and what did not work, the contributions are expected shed light on what this cooperation means and how it functions at multiple levels: political, socio-economic, cultural, environmental, including specific items related to security, migration, economic trade, investment, and sustainable development.

Specifically, the call invite academics and experts to reflect on the relational processes, practices and forms of knowledge through which first, the partnership was developed and shaped as an idea, policy and intervention and, second the way international commitments, policies and plans were translated and implemented in practice. The contributions are expected to reflect upon and shed light on both internal EU mechanisms and dynamics and the relationship between the EU and the countries of the Mashriq and Maghrib. The call also asks contributors to reflect on the challenges in the processes described and the possibilities to address these challenges in governing the Mediterranean region and transforming the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. Selected papers will serve to inform the debates and discussions with other experts and EU and regional policymakers

Submission process

For the full concept note and further information about the research themes, questions and the submission process, please click here. For any quires related to the call for papers or conference, please send an email to euromedconference@graduateinstitute.ch

Organising Committee: Dr. Souhail Belhadj, Dr. Ibrahim Saïd, Prof. Riccardo Bocco and Dr. Federica Frediani.

Deadline for submission is 30/1/2021.