The Key Powers' Construction of the Mediterranean

The geopolitics of the Mediterranean region has been changing rapidly in the twenty-first century, partly as a result of local state dynamics and partly as a product of transformational changes at the international and broader regional levels. The European Union is therefore no longer the dominant or key actor in this region and it now has to balance its policies and interests against the perceptible influence of a range of major and regional powers. The major powers exhibiting clear influence are the United States, China and the Russian Federation, each pursuing its own set of interests in this area. Alongside them are a number of regional powers, several of which are relative newcomers that bring with them very different priorities for and narratives about the Mediterranean region: Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. And then there are the “resident regional powers” of Turkey and Israel which have considerable presence in the Mediterranean and which also have longstanding relations with the European Union. Analysis of how these eight powers perceive the Mediterranean, interact with and within it, and conduct themselves in pursuit of their interests, forms the backbone of this policy report, aimed at shedding new light on the areas of divergence and competition, as well as the basis on which the EU can cooperate with one or more of these influential states.

Roma, IAI, September 2017, 20 p.
Policy Paper 2
Publication date: 

Introduction: How Non-EU Key Powers Frame the Mediterranean
1. Diverse Imaginations of the Mediterranean
2. The Eight Key Powers and the Mediterranean in the International System
3. Actors and Policy Instruments
3.1 Actors
3.2 Policy Instruments
Conclusions and Policy Implications

Research area