International Relations, Culture and Politics
Edited By Emmanuel Godin and Natalya Vince
Jean-Yves Moisseron and Manar Ezzat Bayoumi - The Mediterranean: A Contested Concept 19
Jean-Yves Moisseron and Manar Ezzat Bayoumi The Mediterranean: A Contested Concept Over the past five decades, the Mediterranean has become the central refer- ence for European public policy. The reinforced Mediterranean policy, the Barcelona Process, the New Neighbourhood Policy, and more recently the Union for the Mediterranean, all use and function within this geographical framework which appears to be obvious and completely organic. However, in contrast with the overall scope and depth of integra- tion achieved by the EU over the past fifty years, Euro-Mediterranean regional ambitions seem to have been thwarted by recurring dif ficulties and the results remain rather modest, if not outright disappointing. The reasons for this slow Euro-Mediterranean regional integration are widely documented1 and it is not the objective of this chapter to discuss them any further. Rather, this chapter will seek to demonstrate that a partial responsibility for this failure finds its precise origins in the way in which the Mediterranean has been conceptualized, represented and used as a legitimate geographical framework to structure European public policy. It is our contention that the way the Mediterranean is conceptualized, as an obvious, given and organic geographical framework to determine and organize the parameters of European initiatives and policies, is based on a myth. As such, it acts as a veil, masking and obstructing the region’s fundamental issues and making it dif ficult to find realistic and operative solutions to these challenges. In particular, to rely on such a Mediterranean myth often leads decision-makers to ignore the...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.