Transformation of a Sea: The Next Phase in Mediterranean Cooperation

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Transformation of a Sea: The Next Phase in Mediterranean Cooperation

in Ocean Yearbook Online


2. In Maho�net et Charlemagne (published in 1937, two years after his death, it has been re-printed several times by different publishers and is available online: ) Henri Pirenne had famously argued, in line with his cherished theory of the primacy of economic causality in history, that the decline of Rome was not due to German invasions but rather to Arab hegemony in the 8th century AD Mediterranean. He therefore held that, as a result, Mediterranean countries reverted to subsistence agriculture, destroying seaborne trade and commercially-based economies.

3. The E.U. was conceived as a process, evolving into a community, the EEC, and subsequently into its present structure. Whatever the "votaries" of the Mediterranean Union wish to predict, there appear to be considerable obstacles to having that Union emulate completely the E.U., since its roots are radically different. For example, the Ghaddafi vision of an African Union Defense Force has, per se, clear cohesive advantages, getting African countries closer in a common endeavor; but one has to see to what extent such a "defense" endeavor can be common in the African context. Nonetheless, there is undoubtedly merit-with potential advantages to both the Mediterranean and European regions-in the eventual creation of an African Union, even by the very circumstance that important African countries themselves recognize such a need, embracing a vision, which, somewhat hazy at this stage, may become sharper and lucid in years to come, a process which a Mediterranean Union, with its inclusion of North African States, may itself help to foster. Germany's Chancellor Merkel seems to be lukewarm toward the Sarkozy initiative.

4. A recent book by W. Rosen, Justinian Flea: Plague, Empire and the Birth of Europe (London: Cape, 2007) argues that modern Europe was really born as the result of the bubonic plague, which, decimating in the mid-sixth century Justinian's Constantinople, removed Roman Imperial hegemony and ushered instead the formation of Western Nation States, while facilitating the rise of eastern Islamic communities. 5. Libyan leader, Colonel Ghaddafi, has repeatedly urged that all African countries should emulate European countries in forming their own "Union." However, African realities eschew, for the time being, the birth of such a Union except as a distant ideal. See n. 3 above.

6. The recently set up Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the dialogue between cultures, in Alexandria seems, unfortunately, to lack vigor. 7. The creation of a Mediterranean Banking Network, through a Malta-led initiative, was, in the 1990s, a good initiative. But this was simply a loose network, useful in the forging of economic nodes but no substitute for a robust Mediterrane- an Development Bank advocated by the first author since the 1980s. The first author had argued for the creation of such entities as follows: (1) S. Busuttil, "The Future of the Mediterranean," (Malta, Foundation for International Studies 1995), p. 42, The Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly; Speech given at University of Sassari, Italy, Apr. 1991. (2) The idea of the Assembly was treated at some length by S. Busuttil at the Conference on "Regions et Pays Mediterraneens au Debut des annees 90," University of Aix-Marseille II, 1993. See S. Bttsuttil, i�t. Guide de Marco, as Malta's Foreign Minister, had also put forward the idea of a Council of the Mediterranean. (3) S. Busuttil suggested in his chapter "The Future of the Mediterranean," in Ocean Yearbook 10, ed. E. Mann Borgese, N. Ginsburg and J.R. Morgan (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1993) that the Parliamentary Assembly could also bring under its umbrella existing Mediterranean institutions. (4) S. Busuttil proposed the setting up of a Mediterranean authority in his 1992 article "The Effects of the EEC's Internal Market on non-member Mediterranean States," in S. Busuttil, "The Future of the Mediterranean," (Malta, Foundation for International Studies, 1995), pp. 155-156.

8. The Five Plus Five process brings together five European and five North African countries in a consultative mechanism which, originally limited to meetings of Foreign Affairs Ministers, has now de facto been extended to other ministerial portfolios covering, for example, security, immigration, and environment. 9. Arguably, the Community of Universities of the Mediterranean (CUM) together with UNIMED (University of the Mediterranean) could undertake such a task. 10. The Mediterranean Academy of Music (chaired by the celebrated conduc- tor Riccardo Muti), being set up in Malta, is a welcome addition to Euro- Mediterranean cultural intercourse. 11. On Eureka and the Meditech proposal, see E. Mann Borgese, in "Draft Proposal for the Establishment of a Mediterranean Centre for Research and Development in Marine Industrial Technology," in Tice Mediterranean in the New Law of the Sea (co-produced on the initiative of E. Mann Borgese and S. Busuttil, on behalf of the Mediterranean Institute, Foundation for International Studies, Malta, 1987) and also carried as Annex 2 in S. Busuttil and P. Catalano, in Euro- Mediterranean Technological Cooperation, with special reference to Marine Technology (Foundation for International Studies, Comite pour les Etudes Mediterraneennes and ISPROM, Malta, 1993). In this context, see also V. Barale and V. Damiani, "The Euromar Programme in the Italian Strategy for Marine Science, Technological and

Environmental Management," in S. Busuttil and P. Catalano, op. cit. pp. 84-92. Malta has now created the Euro-Mediterranean Institute for Technology and Innovation (Euro-Med ITI), which is setting up, inter alia, a marine software cluster. 12. MEDA is the erstwhile Mediterranean Development Assistance Programme of the European Union. 13. The "Eureka" model could also be extended to culture, and not only to science and technology. See S. Busuttil, "The Future of the Mediterranean," p. 50, Malta 1995. 14. J.G. Rosenan and E.O. Czempell, Governance zuithout Government,: Order and Change in World Politics, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 5; See also S. Busuttil, "Regional Governance in the Mediterranean: An Almost Metaphysi- cal Note," in Ocean Yearbook 21, ed. A. Chircop, S. Coffen-Smout and M. McConnell (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2007), p. 17.

15. Indeed, water resources have often called for a regulatory and regulating organization which, in itself, should have enough institutional clout as to override secondary considerations and be able to carry out, for the good of the whole community, rather than for sectoral profit, such measures as are deemed necessary to ensure the adequate supply and distribution of scarce resources that, by their nature, form part of the common heritage of a given community. It is, in fact, symptomatic that experiments in constituting and running such Authorities have often referred to water. Northern Italy, through the Magistrato del Po, and, Central Italy, through the Consolato del Tevere, offer such examples. Moreover, the latter is a more fascinating exercise as its mandate extends also to fluvial navigation. 16. This proposal has been developed in S. Busuttil, n. 7 above.

17. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission's relationship to UNESCO (and to IMO) is perhaps a good example of a working arrangement.

18. In this context, the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) could play a crucial role. The Centre was founded on the joint initiative of the OECD and the Council of Europe in 1962 to provide agronomic, economic and technical training to develop a spirit of international cooperation among agricultural personnel in Mediterranean countries. Today, CIHEAM has thirteen member countries. According to Article 15 of the 1962 Agreement every country on the Mediterranean rim is potentially eligible for membership of CIHEAM. 19. See also, "The Mediterranean in the New Law of the Sea," compiled by E. Mann Borgese and S. Busuttil, n. 11 above. 20. Entities such as the IMO, precisely because they are global by statute are unable to act efficiently in specific regional issues. It is exactly this circumstance that has not allowed U.N. agencies to have working regional programmes. Except for the Mediterranean Action Plan, no U.N. entity has had an ad hoc Mediterranean organ.

21. An attempt in the 1990s to have the central Mediterranean declared a quadrilateral E.E.Z., composed of Italy, Malta, Libya and Tunisia, was not brought to fruition, mainly because of Libyan relations with Europe at the time, as well as because of the unclear position on the median line and the Continental Shelf for oil drilling purposes.

22. In November 1996, Malta convened an important International Tourism Conference on "Marketing the Mediterranean as a Region" when these proposals were discussed.

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