Europe, the Mediterranean and the Arab Spring: Crisis as an Opportunity?

4 - 5 October 2012

The Mediterranean region is going through one of its most important transformations of modern times. The rise of new leaderships, the emergence of democracies and the persistence of violent conflicts represent a major challenge in one of the most dynamic regions of the world.

These challenges and the ways to reinvigorate Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the framework of the economic crisis in Europe were discussed at the EuroMeSCo Annual Conference 2012.

The plenary sessions focused on what economic policies should be implemented to promote development in the region and on the need to engage with new economic, social and political actors.  The role of research institutes and think tanks in guiding the policies and providing advice to governments and Euro-Mediterranean institutions was also discussed.

Three parallel working sessions explored the internal dynamic in countries of the Arab Spring and the role of civil society, the geostrategic consequences of the Arab Spring, and, finally, the role of supranational and international institutions to promote Euro-Mediterranean relations, including the Union for the Mediterranean.


day one

Opening Session

Yigit Alpogan Deputy Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)
Andreu Bassols Director General, European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed)
Alberto Virella Director for Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Spain
Alexandre Zafiriou Division for Regional Partnerships and Horizontal Issues, Directorate for Northern Africa, Middle East and Arabian Peninsula, European External Action Service

day two

Roundtable Discussion

Europe and the New Mediterranean: Crisis as an Opportunity
Mensur Akgün Director, Professor of International Relations GPoT – Global Political Trends Center
Angus Blair Founder, Signet Institute, Egypt
Claire Spencer Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House, United Kingdom

working session 1

Internal Dynamics in Countries of the Arab Spring and the Role of Civil Society
Mustapha Kamel Al Sayyid Executive Director Partners in Development
Ahmed Mohamed Abd Rabou Assistant Professor Cairo University

Working Session 3

How to Reinvigorate Euro-Mediterranean Relations? The Role of the Union for the Mediterranean
chair Alexandre Zafiriou Division for Regional Partnerships and Horizontal Issues, Directorate for Northern Africa, Middle East and Arabian Peninsula European External Action Service
Kristina Kausch Senior Researcher FRIDE

Plenary Session

Results and Recommendations of the Working Sessions
chair Andreu Bassols Director General, IEMed
Fouad Ammor Researcher, Groupement d’Études et de Recherches sur la Méditerranée, Morocco
Patrycja Sasnal Head of Middle East and North Africa Project PISM – The Polish Institute of International Affairs
Timo Behr Research Fellow, Finnish Institute for International Affairs, Finland
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