American University of Beirut

MEDRESET - A comprehensive, integrated, and bottom-up approach to reset our understanding of the Mediterranean space, to remap the region and to reconstruct inclusive, responsive, and flexible EU policies in it.

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Background

A reset in both thinking and policy making is now more needed than ever. As policy makers are searching for new solutions, research on Euro-Mediterranean relations is currently not in a position to come forward with such solutions since it has also remained Euro-centric. While it has been critical of EU policies, this critique has remained largely within the framework set by the EU; in other words, it has tended to assess EU policies by its own standards. A relatively new literature which is questioning these standards is evolving since the Arab uprisings, but while it presents a more fundamental critique, it also fails to incorporate the different perspectives of local and bottom-up actors in the region and does not come forward with alternative policy proposals. Thus, the aim of this project is to develop alternative visions for a new Mediterranean partnership and corresponding EU policies, designing a future role for the EU as an inclusive, flexible, and responsive actor in the region.

Objectives

  • Reset our thinking, understanding, and definition of the Mediterranean: mapping a region which has changed substantially in terms of geopolitical dynamics and in key policy sectors (agriculture and water, trade, migration and mobility), identifying the old and new stakeholders, their interaction, and the major policy issues around which this interaction flows. This is based on an integrated research design and a multi-method approach which includes a substantive perceptions component of top-down and bottom-up actors through an elite survey and in-depth interviews and focus groups with local stakeholders on both shores of the Mediterranean. 

  • Reset EU policies in the Mediterranean: developing new flexible policy instruments which include a variety of crucial actors and respond to the needs and expectations of people on both shores of the Mediterranean and to the changing geopolitical configuration of the area. Country-tailored policy commendations will be given for four key countries for the EU in the region: Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. 


  • PI: Jad Chaaban
  • Co-PI: Ali Chalak
  • Project Manager: Tala Ismail​


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