In loving memory of James G. McGann
For the 7° edition of the Rome MED Dialogues, to be held on 2-4 December 2021, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) have organized a forum open to Thinks Tanks and Civil Society actors from both the Northern and Southern shore of the Mediterranean region.
11:30 – 13:30 | FORESIGHT EVENT
IMPROVING THE UNDERSTANDING OF ONGOING TRANSFORMATIONS: SCENARIOS FOR THE MENA REGION
The broader Mediterranean region was deeply affected by the consequences and challenges that emerged following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now more than ever, the role of Think Tanks is crucial as they analyze trends affecting the stability, economy and societies of the region as well as advise international organizations and local governments in their policy making. Additionally, through the many initiatives these institutions organize such as foresight exercises, they create opportunities for dialogue to explore future pathways and regional dynamics and find innovative solutions to the most pressing issues.
The Rome MED Regional Meeting “The road ahead: what is in store for the MENA region in 2021 and beyond?”, which took place earlier this year on March 31st, brought together 25 experts from 19 different Think Tanks from both the Northern and Southern shore of the Mediterranean region. The event aimed at identifying policy evolutions and regional trends that would shape the region in 2021 and beyond. Experts were successful in predicting some dynamics such as positive evolutions in Libya, while they underestimated other ones including on further instability across the region.
The MENA-OECD Governance Programme is a strategic partnership between MENA and OECD countries to share knowledge, expertise and the standards and principles of good governance in support of the ongoing reforms in the MENA region. The new mandate of the Programme calls for enhanced consultations with research institutes, think tanks and civil society partners to gather feedback and advice on public governance. Starting from current dynamics and emerging trends, it could be interesting to convene again experts and partners for a repeat of a closed-doors foresight exercise to explore future pathways with regards to stability, prosperity, migration, and civil society in the “enlarged Mediterranean”. Discussing these trends and reflecting on new indicators are crucial to understand the region’s dynamic nature and fluctuating policy landscapes, to forecast scenarios and improve the capacity of Think Tanks to influence global governance, to advise regional players and actors and to build stability and prosperity in the region.
The discussion focused on the following questions:
In the near future, what will be the main threats to both the security and stability of the MENA region?
What are likely to be the most important challenges to the economic development of the region and its prospects for growth?
What are future scenarios on the relationship between governments and civil society in the region, especially when it comes to civic space, inclusive institutions, transparency and accountability?
What might be the implications and future scenarios if governments in the region do not respond to existing and future societal challenges and do not deliver services and policies that meet the expectations of their citizens?