Published : Friday 12 December 2014
The Mediterranean region has always been a centre of intense human circulation. This circulation is at the core of its identity, and the economic and cultural exchanges that cross it. The diaspora has a central role to play in bringing together the two sides of the Mediterranean and in the region’s economic integration. Economics is one of the diaspora’s areas of excellence. The challenge is therefore to remove obstacles relating to economic mobility and make the public aware of successful emigrant businessmen and women, proving that coproduction and convergence are possible in the Mediterranean.  

The mobility of people is the fourth dimension of globalization, along with goods, financial flows and information. It is the least known phenomenon and the most complex since it concerns social practices of infinite diversity.

Many studies by economists and sociologists show that organizations set up by the diaspora can facilitate the integration of migrants in host countries and boost the economic development of their community in the country of origin. That is why it is necessary to accompany and extend this momentum e.g. by giving full freedom to circulate skills and making their movements more secure by granting them long-term status.

The potential of the diaspora is still largely under exploited. Over and above monetary transfers, numerous subjects need to be looked at closely in order to highlight the positive role that could be played to an even greater extent by the diaspora for countries on both sides of the Mediterranean, especially skills transfers, access to markets and business opportunities abroad, investment, advice, etc.

Important steps to take:

•    Raise awareness of the potential of diasporas for Euro-Mediterranean relations;

•    Call on the skills of the Maghreb’s diasporas to contribute to making coproduction a reality, similar to what is done with financial transfers and investments;

•    Increase the status of diaspora-generated initiatives and take advantage of them, especially the creation of SMEs;

•    Encourage public authorities to take note of the importance of the diaspora in developing countries of origin.


Coordinator: Mounir ZALILA, Editorial writer, Le Manager
Lassaad LABIDI, Managing Director of the Office des Tunisiens à l’Etranger (ex-patriot Tunisians)
Karim IDIR, Chairman, AIFranc
Mariem MALOUCHE, Senior Economist, Trade & Competitiveness, World Bank
Thameur HEMDANE, Founder, Atunsii
Moez SINAOUI, Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the UfM
Clémence GAUCHERAND, Project Manager, Euromed Cooperations, PACA Regional Council
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