5 reasons why we should care about the Mediterranean Region

The future of the Mediterranean region is the main topic of MED 2018. Here you can find five reasons why this part of the world is so important, and some of the many challenges it is currently facing.


A Highly Populated Area – The population of the MENA region and the European states of the Mediterranean basin accounts for almost 7% of the world. Among the countries with access to the Mediterranean sea, 55% lives on the sides of the 46.000 km of coastal hydrological basins (65% in the Southern region).

A Hub of Global Trade – The Mediterranean is a crucial area where infrastructures, transport and logistics network intersect, which accounts for 30% of the world oil trade, and 20% of the maritime traffic. The regional trade system includes more than 450 ports and terminals.

A Key Route of Global Migration – The Mediterranean is at the intersection of migrant flows. Almost 2 million people in the last 5 years crossed the Mediterranean sea through the Western, Central, and Eastern Mediterranean routes. Over the same period, at least 16,207 persons have lost their lives at sea in their attempt to reach Europe.

Home of World Heritage Sites – The Mediterranean has been a global cradle for civilisations. It does not come as a surprise that 400 World heritage sites are located in countries located on its basin. At the global level, they represent 48% of the total.

The Main Destination of Global Tourism – The Mediterranean sea, representing only one percent of the Earth’s waters is one of the most popular touristic areas of the world. In 2017, 300 million tourists visited its basin countries. They collectively account for a third of the world’s tourists.

Source: European Environment Agency, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation MED Report, IOM, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNWTO