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The EU's Constructions of the Mediterranean (2003-2017)


This report offers a critical discourse analysis of the EU’s conception of the Mediterranean since 2003. It attempts to display how the EU’s discourse on the region can be read as a boundary-drawing exercise; and how it produces and reproduces European and Southern Mediterranean identities and constructs the ideal European self against its imperfect Southern Mediterranean others. It also claims that the EU’s approach towards the Mediterranean is rather securitized, depoliticizing and technocratic. The report first looks into the shifts in the EU’s construction of the Mediterranean in terms of its region-building and boundary-drawing exercises. Second, it analyses how the EU securitizes the Mediterranean space and how this becomes an identity-construction exercise. Third, it inquires into the interplay between the EU’s norms and interests on the one hand and the European and Mediterranean identities that it constructs on the other. Finally, it attempts to demonstrate how the EU’s technocratic and depoliticizing policies on the Southern Mediterranean produce and reproduce subject and objects.

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