The Barcelona GSE and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) have jointly created the Center for Research on the Economies of the Mediterranean (CREMed), focused on North Africa and the Middle East.
The unveiling of CREMed took place on November 7 at IEMed, during an inaugural conference on “Institutional Change and Development in the Middle East and North Africa” by Mustapha K. Nabli, Senior Advisor, Regional Chief Economist and Director of the Social and Economic Development Group within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region of the World Bank.
The conference was chaired by Josep Huguet (Minister for Innovation, Universities, and Enterprise of the Government of Catalonia), Senén Florensa (Director-General, IEMed), and Andreu Mas-Colell (Chairman, Barcelona GSE). In his opening words, Mr. Huguet emphasized that CREMed “must be the reference in economic studies of the region” citing the creation of the center as “another example of the effort Barcelona is making to become a reference point in the Mediterranean arc.”
“The creation of CREMed arrived at the right time, when seat of the Mediterranean Union has been bestowed on Barcelona,” said Mr. Huguet, referring to the Nov 4 naming of Barcelona as the headquarters of the Mediterranean Union, a newly created alliance that aims to create a more equal dialogue between the wealthy EU and the poorer states that line the Mediterranean. The decision was made earlier this week at a meeting of foreign ministers from the 43 EU and Mediterranean countries.
Senén Florensa, Director of IEMed, pointed out that, thanks to the new location of the Mediterranean Union in Barcelona, “we have the best opportunity for the Mediterranean to stop being such an abrupt border and start to have a certain convergence.”
The Center for Research on the Economies of the Mediterranean (CREMed), which will be located in Barcelona, aspires to be an international reference for research in North African and Middle Eastern economies. Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professor José García Montalvo (UPF) will lead the team of researchers involved with the Center.
Some of the areas of research of CREMed include energy cooperation between North Africa and the Middle East and the EU; the impact of formative improvements of youth on the economy; management of natural resources; effective promotion of economic development through programs of exterior assistance and remittances to immigrants; economic integration of countries of the region, and the structural reforms necessary for economic development.
The European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) is an initiative of the Government of Catalonia, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Barcelona City Council. Founded in 1989, it is a think tank specialized in Euro-Mediterranean relations promoting dialogue and cooperation between the EU and the other Mediterranean countries. The Center carries out its mission through its research activities, promotion of Mediterranean networks and institutions, organization of exhibitions, trainings, and cultural activities, and the publication of books and periodical publications.
Mustapha K. Nabli, Senior Advisor, Regional Chief Economist and Director of the Social and Economic Development Group within the Middle East and North Africa Region of the World Bank