2006-2016 report : An integrated transports system : ideas to take action

Published : Friday 20 May 2016

Liberating the region’s growth potential via an integrated transports system


Conveying a transversal and complementary vision of transports and logistics

 Given the crucial role of transport infrastructures in the broadening and integration of markets, via the circulation of people and goods, the implementation of a multi-modal, adapted, efficient, safe and cheap transport and logistic system in the Mediterranean is a crucial element for regional integration.

 Yet, in the Mediterranean region, maritime transport accounts for more than 95% of exchanges of goods. Other transport modes play a minor role: road freight accounts for 4% of exchanges, while air and rail transports account for less than 1%. Likewise, in SEMCs the flows of goods and passengers mainly use road transport.

 These observations, as well as the closure of the Meda-Mos programme in 2009, led IPEMED to take an interest in trans-Mediterranean motorways of the sea, which were the object of a note in 2010. Then, for the study on carbon constraint in the Mediterranean (2012), particular attention was brought to the challenges of sustainable development in the air transport sector; thus opening the way to a more global research on the links between climate and transport.

 Railway transport, the backbone of the Euro-Mediterranean integration

 In spite of environmental and economic assets, railway transport accounts for very little in the goods and passengers transport in the Mediterranean. In 2014, the Institute carried out an analysis of railway networks in the three North African countries (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and on the benefits generated by the implementation of a potential trans-North-African rail corridor. This study highlighted the existing complementarities between the three networks and their actors. It identified structuring elements enabling to make of railway transport the backbone of North African and Euro-Mediterranean integration. This approach received great support during the high-level seminar organised in November 2014 in Tunis, in partnership with SNCF, Euromed Transport Project and SNCFT. This seminar gathered the Secretary General of the Tunisian Ministry of Transports, the representative of North African railway operators, of donors (AFD, BEI, BERD, BAD), of the CETMO and of the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean. All participants agreed on thematic actions among which: harmonisation of norms and development of interoperability, necessity to initiate trans-North-African common projects.

 The promotion of a North-African railway transport was followed by a reflection on the potential collaborations in terms of industrial cooperation and training. Then, in a regional approach, participants reflected upon the necessary articulation between coastlines and hinterlands via the development of multi-modal platforms.

 For IPEMED, the studies carried out on this topic are inherently linked to land planning policies in the Mediterranean and on governance.




Main publications

  • Les Notes d’Ipemed, n°7, « Les autoroutes de la mer, des perspectives prometteuses en Méditerranée », February 2010
  • Etudes & Analyses, « Les transports ferroviaires au Maghreb », November 2014 

Key figures

4 events, out of which 2 high level seminars

250 actors involved

6 videos

To reach the entire 2006-2016 report please click here. 

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