Mediterranean trends 2030/2050. A prospective approach to the Southern neighbourhood

Documento de trabajo
22 septiembre 2021 / nº 110/2021

Mediterranean trends 2030/2050. A prospective approach to the Southern neighbourhood

Launched a quarter of a century ago, the Barcelona Process began a process of reflection and unification regarding Spanish and European Union (EU) policies towards the Mediterranean. However, this has not always translated into coherent, prudent, and timely policies given the changing structural conditions that occurred in the region, such as the 2010/2011 anti-authoritarian revolts. A more anticipatory approach needs to be applied to policy-making, re-examining both the vision and policies. This document undertakes an in-depth foresight analysis of the Southern Neighbourhood, with a view to the medium- and long-term horizons of 2030 and 2050 respectively. Consequently, it aims to contribute towards developing long-term, proactive strategies both nationally and within Europe, which commit to developing coherent and responsible policies that could help the region’s societies develop inclusively, sustainably, and democratically.

As such, this exercise aspires to identify the paths, realities, and phenomena that can lead to somewhat sustainable and friendly scenarios for the affected populations in the future. The work identifies of these scenarios. This involves reporting six megatrends in the nine dynamics. Based on available data and knowledge gleaned from interviews, they can define the evolution and range of possible directions in which the Southern Neighbourhood countries are heading.

This document profiles and compares two of them: one positive, characterised by the appeasement of social conflicts, the adoption of good governance practices, and greater regional stability; and a second scenario that will bear witness to a worsening of political, social, and economic issues and conflicts, within a context marked by the stiffening of authoritarian trends and a deepening of social inequalities. The difference between each scenario resides in the will of Southern Neighbourhood countries to adopt measures aimed at better governance and the adoption of more multilateral action frameworks that favour cooperation. Both scenarios offer a set of opportunities, applicable mainly to the Southern Neighbourhood countries, with Spain and the EU eventually joining them on the process. These opportunities point to areas of particular importance in order to achieve a sustainable future for the region’s societies.

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