The seventh Mediterranean Dialogues Conference (MED) begins today in Rome.
The conference will host state and union leaders, foreign ministers, international organization and alliance officials, think-tank fellows and non-profit representatives from across the Mediterranean.. Nations outside of the Mediterranean like the US, China and Germany will also be represented at the conference. Additionally, Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies are helping promote the three-day event.
The stated four pillars of the conference are shared prosperity, shared security, migration, and civil society and culture. The panels will tackle these pillars through topics such as regional cybersecurity, environmental sustainability, and economic recovery.
Turkey could find itself at the center of all four pillars due to its persistent conflict with Greece and Cyprus over territorial sovereignty and energy, as well as its suspicion in encouraging migrants to go to the EU. Despite the divisive nature of these subjects in regard to Turkey, the conference will likely focus on positive ways to resolve problems and encourage cooperation. Given that Turkey is becoming an illiberal democracy, it is likely that there will be major challenges to resolve these issues.
Todd is a Current Developments Analyst at The Daily Brief. He specializes in the Former USSR and writes for several publications on topics in international law.