The Mediterranean Strategy Group is a platform and network activity of theGerman Marshall Fund of the United States’s Mediterranean Policy Program, launched in 2008. The program is conducted in cooperation with the Italian Institute for International Affairs (IAI) and with the support of the Compagnia di San Paolo, ENEL, the OCP Group, the CalousteGulbenkian Foundation, and the Luso-American Foundation. The Seminar which was the third of the Group’s meetings, brought together 50 leading officials, experts, entrepreneurs and opinion leaders from both sides of the Mediterranean and both sides of the Atlantic.
The UfMS was represented by Yigit Alpogan, Deputy Secretary General of the Secretariat, who during his intervention, exposed the cooperation efforts in the Euro-Med region regarding the subject and gave information on the recent developments regarding the set-up of the Secretariat.
During its five- session meeting the Group discussed several issues regarding maritime commerce and security in the Mediterranean. In the geo-political discussions, the Mediterranean region was analyzed together with the East (less controllable) and West (more stable), whereas in the economic domain, focus was on the North- South dimension.
With regards to geo-politics, the rising role of Turkey in the region was underscored by many of the participants. In the economic sphere, especially in the sea transport sector, the role of extra-regional players such as China was emphasized. The participants discussed the necessity of creating a Mediterranean identity focusing on its integrating and disintegrating effects on the society. As to transatlantic relations, The Mediterranean is perceived as a wider region, with implications in the Atlantic, Red Sea and the Black Sea. The high-seas piracy and the security of the maritime fleets were other topics which were discussed at length.
With regards to maritime commerce, there were three briefings on the Tanger-Med (Morrocco), Seattle (US) and Piraeus (Greece) ports. The Mediterranean Motorways of the Sea (MMoS) projectbeing a priority area of the UfM, was supported by the participants for it promotes door to door transport with less bureaucracy, more security and more environmentally friendly approach.