Mediterranean and the Middle East


The Mediterranean and the Middle East are experiencing a wide range of far-reaching social, political and economic transformations that resulted in unprecedented levels of volatility and violence. CIDOB’s research goals are:

Monitoring old and new regional conflicts and the growing proliferation of new forms of violence, the (re)emergence of sectarian politics, communal strife and the competing strategies by regional and global powers.

Exploring the potential of regional cooperation and integration and the contribution of the EU through platforms such as the Union for the Mediterranean and the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Understanding political and social dynamics, particularly in the wake of the Arab uprisings. Particular attention is devoted to the role of young people in the context of demographic transition, persistent high unemployment and new forms of political and social mobilisation. 

Studying energy geopolitics and the water-energy-food nexus in a region that is the world’s largest oil exporter and the largest food importer

Identifying complex connections which link the Mediterranean and the Middle East to neighbouring regions such as the Sahel and the Horn of Africa. This includes the consequences of state-failure, state-fragility and the growing reach of transnational criminality networks

The Battle of Istanbul OPINION - 05/2019

The Battle of Istanbul

Eduard Soler i Lecha, Senior Researcher, CIDOB and Agustí Fernández de Losada, Senior Researcher and Director of the Global Cities programme, CIDOB

NEW - Oct 24, 2017

Syria: Neither Dictatorship nor Sectarian Divide

For over 6 years now, the Syrian population has been suffering one of the largest conflicts and humanitarian crisis of the last 75 years. This appalling situation is the result of the armed repression unleashed by the regime of Bachar Al Asad during the spring of 2011 to crush the massive peaceful mobilizations demanding democracy and civil rights, and the end of the police state and institutionalized corruption. 

NEW - Nov 2, 2016

Video Analysis: Mosul Offensive

CIDOB’s senior research fellows Eckart Woertz, Blanca Garcés and Eduard Soler analyse the importance of the Mosul offensive, its humanitarian consequences and the risks that it may entail. 

NEW - Dec 4, 2015

SAHWA Life Stories are now online!

Within the framework of SAHWA Project, an EU-funded FP7 Project led by the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB), video-recorded Life Stories (Deliverable D4.2) were carried out in 4 out of the 5 SAHWA countries - Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia – between April and September 2015.

NEW - Oct 14, 2015

Tunisia: democratic hopes

The fifth anniversary of the fall of Ben Ali is a bittersweet moment for most Tunisians. On the one hand, they are proud to be the only Arab country to succeed in advancing towards an inclusive democracy. On the other, insecurity is on the rise, the economy is flat, unemployment is up, the price of staple foods is rising and the image of the President Beji Caid Essebsi has been tarnished as he has imposed his son Hafedh as leader of the majority party which he helped found three years ago, Nida Tunes. CIDOB will continue to analyse, as it has been doing until now, Tunisia’s economic, political and security challenges as well as Europe’s policies towards this country and the entire region. 

NEW - Feb 24, 2015

Tropical Agriculture as “Last Frontier”?

Food Import Needs of the Middle East and North Africa,Ecological Risks and New Dimensions of South-South Cooperation with Africa, Latin America and South-East Asia.

Barcelona, 29-30 January 2015

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is one of the most water-stressed regions in the world and its largest net-importer of cereals. Affordable food imports are crucial for its future food security. Countries with tropical agriculture like Brazil are playing an increasing role in MENA food supplies. Apart from policy options to sustainably intensify regional agricultural production, trade will play a crucial role for MENA economies to achieve food security.

NEW - Dec 22, 2014

Can the EU still inspire the Gulf?

The Gulf Research Center has published a paper by Eduard Soler i Lecha & Elina Viilup, researchers at CIDOB. They argue that despite its deep multi-faceted crises



    "Researching Arab Mediterranean Youth: Towards a New Social Contract"

    The SAHWA Project is a FP-7 interdisciplinary collaborative research project led by the Barcelona Center for International Affairs (CIDOB) and co-financed by the European Commission as part of its Research Framework Programme.


    The EU and sub-regional multilateralism in Europe’s sea basins

    El proyecto investigó cómo las fuerzas multilaterales pueden ayudar a la UE con sus objetivos, es decir, cómo la multilateral puede complementar l

  • Transition to solar energy in the Mediterranean


    Transition to solar energy in the Mediterranean

    This project examines the processes of socio-technical transition to solar energy in the Mediterranean region with a specific focus on sector policy reform, investment risks, the limits and potential of regional cooperation.



    Rural Development, Food Security and Political Stability in Iraq

    Rural Development, Food Security and Political Stability in Iraq (RUDEFOPOS-IRAQ) is a project that is funded by a Marie Curie grant of the European Commission. It analyzes current challenges of food security in Iraq, opinions about such challenges among Iraqi academics and experts and the history of the multilateral UN embargo against Iraq in the 1990s based on Iraqi archival sources.


    CIDOB-OCP Policy Center partnership project

    The CIDOB-OCP Policy Center partnership project deals with the Western Mediterranean Cooperation and Integration Potential. Within this framework it focuses on sustainable agriculture, food security and the water-energy-food nexus in particular.



    A comprehensive, integrated and bottom-up approach to reset our understanding of the Mediterranean space, remap the region and reconstruct inclusive, responsive and flexible EU policies in it

    CIDOB participates as a partner in Med-Reset, a project that aims to re-invigorating the partnership between the two shores of the Mediterranean

  • Feuture- The Future of EU-Turkey Relations


    The Future of EU-Turkey Relations: Mapping Dynamics and Testing Scenarios

    CIDOB participates as a partner in a project that will analyse the Future of EU-Turkey relations

  • Middle East and North Africa Regional Architecture: Mapping geopolitical shifts, regional order and domestic transformations


    Middle East and North Africa Regional Architecture: Mapping geopolitical shifts, regional order and domestic transformations

    The MENARA Project analyses the drivers of change for the regional order in the Middle East and North Africa and the implications of those geopolitical shifts for Europe.



    Enhancing visibility of the Academic Dialogue on EU-Turkey Cooperation

    VIADUCT’s promotes research, teaching and policy dialogue on EU-Turkey relations

  • Research Study on the Role of Women and Youth in Preventing Violent Extremism

    This project will address the role of women and youth in preventing violent extremism in seven countries: Germany, Spain, France, Jordan, Morocco, the United Kingdom and Tunisia.