Institute for studies on the Mediterranean (ISMed)
Direttore SALVATORE CAPASSO
Phone number: +39 081 6134086 237
The Mediterranean is a space of relations and, simultaneously, a border between cultures, civilisations and economic systems. Those elements of fragmentation and conflict that scatter the history of the Mediterranean have also facilitated, over time, the development of dense trade relations and intense cultural exchanges. It is true that in recent decades, divergent growth paths in the two shores of the basin have widen the gaps in terms of demographic growth, socio-economic development and quality of institutions, yet a longer-term perspective identifies clear and solid elements of homogeneity and common features among Mediterranean regions. Hence, in the long run those differences causing imbalances and disharmony may contribute to generate complementarity and spur growth and development for all countries in the area. For this to occur, however, one needs targeted policy interventions, the willingness to cooperate and collaborate among national governments, the involvement of European institutions and the rethinking of the objectives and instruments of the European Union's Euro-Mediterranean Policy.
The mission of the Institute for Studies on the Mediterranean is to study the dynamics and nature of the growth and development processes of the countries in the area. The regional focus hinges on the strategic centrality of the Mediterranean, both geo-economic and political. At the intersection of three continents, this sea is the centre of gravity of trade in goods, energy resources, men and technology between North and South and between East and West. On a geopolitical level, the dialogue between Europe and the Mediterranean is essential to support the closely linked political transition taking place in the countries on the southern shore, the fight against terrorism and the management of migration flows. The reading of such a complex and rapidly evolving reality requires multidisciplinary analyses that intersect historical, economic, geographical and sociological models and methodologies with the aim of un