The contribution of local and regional authorities to regional integration in the Mediterranean
The study is conducted by CASE in partnership with the European Institute of the Mediterranean based in Barcelona for the Committee of Region. Whereas Mediterranean countries share a common history and similar culture traits, they remain politically divided and the level of economic integration is one of the lowest in the world. Therefore, there is a huge potential for further integration and this study will assess the contribution of local and regional authorities (LRAs) to regional integration of Mediterranean countries. The study is organised in four steps. Frist of all, experts will identify the main blocking points for the integration between the South-South and North-South regions on all governance levels. This work will focus on six dimensions: trade, infrastructure, governance, labour mobility, research and innovation and higher education. Then, with a stronger focus on South-South integration, an annotated bibliography will present the contribution of the LRAs to the regional integration process. The 5+5 dialogue experience between North and South Mediterranean countries will be assessed and experts will evaluate the contribution of LRAs in setting macro-regional strategies and strengthening collaboration between frames and modalities of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. Finally, the study will provide policy recommendations for the EU to support further South-South and North-South integration and will present how the LRAs can concretely support regional integration. The study will cover the following countries: Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Palestine, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Monaco, and Montenegro.