What is MEDRESET?

MEDRESET is a consortium of research and academic institutions focusing on different disciplines from the Mediterranean region to develop alternative visions for a new Mediterranean partnership and corresponding EU policies. It aims at designing an inclusive, flexible, and responsive future role for the EU in the region based on the multiple perspectives of local and bottom-up actors.
MEDRESET is a project mainly funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation with a total budget of 2,497 million Euros. It will run for three years, starting in April 2016.

OBJECTIVES

MEDRESET’s double objective is to:
• reset our thinking, understanding, and definition of the Mediterranean: mapping a region which has changed substantially in terms of geopolitical dynamics and in key policy sectors (political ideas, agriculture and water, trade and energy, migration and mobility), identifying the old and new stakeholders, their interaction, and the major policy issues around which this interaction flows. This is based on an integrated research design and a multi-method approach that includes a substantive perception component of top-down and bottom-up actors through an elite survey, in-depth interviews, and focus groups with local stakeholders on both shores of the Mediterranean.
• reset EU policies in the Mediterranean: developing new flexible policy instruments which include a variety of crucial actors and respond to the needs and expectations of people on both shores of the Mediterranean and to the changing geopolitical configuration of the area. Country-tailored policy commendations will be given for four key countries for the EU in the region: Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia.

WORKPLAN

MEDRESET is organized in three phases and 10 work packages which build on one another.
Phase I (WP1 on EU Construction of the Mediterranean) will identify the EU construction of the Mediterranean and its own role in this process, as well as how the EU framing of the Mediterranean has translated into practice. This construction is contrasted by a mapping of the Mediterranean in Phase II.
Phase II (WP2–7) takes stock of the Mediterranean as it is today from the perspective of a broad range of top-down and bottom-up stakeholders on both shores of the Mediterranean. This phase will show how these stakeholders ‘talk’ and ‘practice’ ‘their’ Mediterranean into being on the geopolitical level and in the four policy areas.
• WP2 (geopolitics) aims at assessing how EU policies still match the changing geopolitical configuration of the Mediterranean area by examining the role, influence, and impact of rising major powers on the Mediterranean.
• This serves as a background to WP3 (elite survey) which will be pursued in Iran, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Lebanon. WP3 runs in parallel to WP4–7.
• WP4-7 (policy areas) will provide a bottom-up understanding and assessment of EU policies in the Mediterranean region across four key policy areas: political ideas; agriculture and water; industry and energy; and migration and mobility.
Phase III (WP8 on synthesis and policy) will integrate and evaluate the results of the research of WP1-7 to devise strategic policy options to reconstruct a new role for the EU in the region by working on the regional level with all relevant (clusters of) countries and on the bilateral level with policies tailored to the needs of the four target countries.
WP9 (advocacy and outreach) and WP10 (coordination and management) will run throughout the project.

OUTPUT

Publications: including Working Papers, academic articles, and a collective volume.
Policy-relevant documents and activities: policy briefs, an evaluation report of EU policies, a gender report, a final policy report, an infographic, a series of policy lectures, and a final policy briefing in Brussels.

Online activities and a knowledge-user community: website, bi-annual newsletter, contact database and a social media platform to disseminate information about the project. A knowledge-user community will be engaged not just as targets of research, but as part of the dialogue with researchers, notably through a close cooperation between MEDRESET and Jadaliyya.

Events: public conferences, workshops, policy lectures, and briefings will be organised in partner universities across the Mediterranean to reach stakeholders, practitioners, policymakers, civil servants, opinion shapers, think tankers, media NGOs, government academics, early career researchers, and students. Panels will also be organized at international academic conferences.
A young writers price: to engage students from the Mediterranean on issues related to the research of this project. The price will be awarded during the final conference of the project.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation under grant agreement no 693055.