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Conceptualizing Euro-Mediterranean security within the Framework of the Concept of “European Security Complex”

Open Panel

Abstract

The Euro-Mediterranean region has become a subject of growing interest among academics, political elites, civil society actors, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and business circles. In the literature of European Union studies, the EU’s actions, and in particular her “region-building” perspective in relation to the Mediterranean region is a central theme. However, it would be meaningless to analyze this concept without reference to the regional security concerns that have arisen between the two coasts of the Mediterranean (North and South) and articulated mainly by European leaders. Taking these points into consideration, this paper aims at analyzing the process of securitization of the Mediterranean by the EU. The main argument of the paper is that the concept of “Euro-Mediterranean” has been constructed through the securitization processes controlled and via the security measures taken by the EU. Thus, it would not be erroneous to depict the “Euro-Mediterranean” as a concept, a region and a security concern all being mental and practical constructs of the EU. In the paper, first the European Security Complex with reference to the Regional Security Complex Theory is described. Secondly, how the main issues in the Mediterranean are securitized and handled by the EU and national authorities is analyzed. These security issues are migration, Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism, military issues, political and economic instabilities and energy needs. Thirdly, main security measures implemented with political, economic and military instruments used in the region are touched upon. A brief assessment concerning the concept of “Euro-Mediterranean security” is made in the last section.