Established in June 2014, New-Med is a research network of Mediterranean experts and policy analysts with a special interest in the complex social, political, cultural and security-related dynamics that are unfolding in the Mediterranean region. The network is developed by IAI, in cooperation with the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna, the Compagnia di San Paolo of Turin, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the United States. At the core of the New-Med activities stands the need to rethink the role of multilateral, regional and sub-regional organisations, to make them better equipped to respond to fast-changing local and global conditions and to address the pressing demands coming from Mediterranean societies all around the basin. A priority of the network is to promote a non-Eurocentric vision of the region, featuring as much as possible views from the South and from other regions. The network also seek to provide a platform by which emerging researchers can put forward new perspectives about regional cooperation. By undertaking research and outreach activities, this “track II” initiative aims to foster the scholarly reflection on the changing scenarios in and around the Mediterranean and provide key input to the political dialogue taking place in policy fora, including in the context of the OSCE Mediterranean Dialogue.
A first brainstorming event in Turin on 4-5 June 2014 laid out the foundations of New-Med took. It saw the participation of some 20 among scholars and policy makers and focused attention on security dynamics in the Mediterranean in a global context. The seminar report and two papers are available (IAI working papers 14|09 and 14|10).
The international seminar “Towards Helsinki+40”. The OSCE, the Global Mediterranean and the Future of Co-Operative Security, organised by IAI and the OSCE Secretariat under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, of the Swiss Chairmanship of the OSCE and the Italian Presidency of the EU, was held in Rome on 18 September 2014. The seminar saw the participation of distinguished experts from Europe and the Southern Mediterranean countries, of some representatives of the 57 OSCE member states as well as of the six Mediterranean partners of the Vienna-based organisation (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and Jordan). The OSCE Secretary General formally launched the event on this occasion.
On April 24, 2015, the Center for the Migration and Asylum of Tunis co-hosted with IAI the third New-Med seminar entitled “Changing Migration Patterns in the Mediterranean Region”. About thirty experts from leading international institutions discussed the issue of migration in the Mediterranean basin and the potential ways of coping with the challenges that lie ahead.
On May 13, 2015, a New-Med workshop entitled “A multilateral approach to ungoverned spaces: Libya and beyond” was hosted at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), London. A selected group of leading Libya and regional experts and relevant high-level officials from Libya and the international community discussed the dynamics and policy options to address Libya’s ungoverned spaces. The workshop explored the regional and international dimensions and implications of the continuing crisis, including the humanitarian and refugee crisis; the rise of Daesh; rising energy insecurity; and the growing involvement of regional and international actors.
On 14 December 2015, a New-Med conference organised by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Centre for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) was hosted in Ankara. Invited participants, drawn from a mix of academics, researchers and policy-makers, convened in Turkey to discuss the pressing challenges of instability, sectarianism and radicalism in the Mediterranean region, examine its contemporary and historical drivers and debate means to curtail the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters travelling to join extremist groups in Syria, Iraq and other locations in the Middle East and North Africa.