Sea highways: promising prospects in the Mediterranean

- Maxime Weigert et Marc Abeille


The objective of this IPEMED paper is to take the study of the project for trans-Mediterranean sea highways, and use it to highlight maritime transport issues in the Mediterranean, and clarify how developing this mode of transport can serve Euro-Mediterranean integration. The first step is to list the problems raised by implementing this new type of North-South liaison from an economic, regulation and technical point of view. Both economic forecasts, which motivate Euro-Mediterranean transport policies, and a diagnosis of the Mediterranean transport system, indicate that the challenge is considerable. Anticipated effects extend beyond this sector: the liaisons are expected to play a catalyst role in the Euro-Mediterranean area’s logistic and economic integration.

The authors

Maxime Weigert is a researcher with a Master’s degree in geopolitics (2007-2008) from the École Normale Supérieure. He is currently working on a doctoral project on the geography of tourism at the Institut de Recherche et d’Études Supérieures du Tourisme (Paris I). Entitled Tourisme et intégration euro-méditerranéenne : quel rôle pour l’entreprise touristique dans l’évolution du tourisme au Grand Maghreb ? (Tourism and Euro-Mediterranean integration: what is the role of tourism companies in developing tourism in the Greater Maghreb?), his project studies the interaction between tourism and establishing a “North-South” region in the Mediterranean. It will show whether this regional integration can lead to a qualitative and quantitative boom in Euro-Mediterranean tourism. Maxime Weigert produced the present paper for IPEMED, which is leading a wider debate on the importance of maritime transport in bringing the two sides of the Mediterranean closer together using economics. Marc Abeille, who wrote the preface to this paper, is a consultant on international transport. Holder of a doctorate from the Universities of Aix-en-Provence and Paris I, he is the founder and director of CopéTrans (cooperation-transports), a consultancy firm specializing in intermodal transport with a maritime focus. He is currently team leader of two multi-annual European contracts on the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, which are aiming to develop sea highways and maritime transport and intermodal solutions in these zones. Marc Abeille also lectures at Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University on transport chains and intermodality as part of the international transport Master’s syllabus.


  • Decisive forward-looking context
  • Euro-Mediterranean transport, a priority
  • New vision of maritime trade
  • Issues of maritime transport and logistics in the Mediterranean
  • The example of the East Asian maritime corridor
  • Meda-Mos programme: drawing up pilot projects
  • Substantial funds required
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