RISS expert Tatiana Voronkova comments on the concept of the broader Mediterranean region developed by France several decades ago.
The analyst noted the main problems in the region paying particular attention to the recent escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
- The current regional situation is worse, at various levels, than it was in 1995. The Mediterranean is marked by growing demographic and economic imbalances between its northern and southern shores, combined with frozen and ongoing military conflicts, two failed states (Syria and Libya), irregular migration, rising geo-economic competition over the energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and the increasing presence of China, Russia and Gulf states in the region.
- The trend with regard to the Euro-Mediterranean ties is not promising. The crises provoked by the pandemic may bring social upheavals, violence or the collapse of state services and institutions. Seen from Europe, the south may be perceived as a space that contains numerous threats. Extra-regional powers will continue increasing their presence pushing the regional countries closer to them. The new EU agenda for the Mediterranean may not be enough to strengthen Euro-Mediterranean relations as the EU member states still have a number of contradictory priorities in the region.