Regional cooperation and energy resource development in the Eastern Mediterranean
The project aimed to analyse and define the influence of heterogeneous political interests on energy dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean, and vice versa, in light of the recent discovery of large hydrocarbon reserves and its potential impact on political stability within the region. It focused on the dilemma between the need to start the process of stabilisation and integration in the region, and the impact these new discoveries could have, either as a stimulus for new and more successful cooperation or as a driver that may exacerbate existing tensions. Thus, the project discussed the distribution of resources and the major discoveries, such as the Zohr, Leviathan and Aphrodite fields; the role of open or latent conflicts, such as those between Cyprus and Turkey or Lebanon and Israel; domestic obstacles, such as Egypt’s rising demand for gas; and the opportunities for cooperation, as reflected in the emerging trilateral partnership between Cyprus, Israel and Greece.
The project was run by the Italian Center for Peace in the Middle East (CIPMO) and IAI with the support of Eni, and has resulted in an international conference, held at the Italian Senate of the Republic on the 19 October 2016, and the publication of two background papers.