Strengthening ties across the Mediterranean Sea


North Africa is still recovering from the political instability and stark economic downturns following the Arab uprisings of 2010. In this context, the EU-Southern Mediterranean relationship has become even more important, not least in light of external diplomatic turbulences such as the one recently provoked by Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. These concerns, but also the hope of strengthening the relationship were present at the annual conference of the second Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies (EMNES), which this year took place in Cairo. EMNES is a Commission-funded research network of which CEPS is an integral part. The network has published extensively on the EU-Southern Mediterranean relationship, ranging from trade issues to entrepreneurship and finance. This year’s conference allowed high-level policy-makers from the region, among them notably Ministers and Members of Parliament, to engage with scholars from the region and the EU. The highlight of the conference was the award ceremony for the best original paper from young scholars of the region. This conference clearly showed that in turbulent times, exchanges such as these provide a pillar of stability and a positive perspective for the future.