From June 3-5, 2015, The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) hosted the 11th Mediterranean Strategy Group, which took place in Florence, Italy. The theme of this year’s event was “New Stakes in a Changing Mediterranean: Perspectives from Asia, Eurasia, and the Gulf.” The Meeting was organized in partnership with the Compagnia di San Paolo, the OCP Policy Center and Noble Energy Inc., and with the support of Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.
GMF invited representatives from all sides of the Mediterranean, Asia, Russia, the Gulf States, the European Union, and the United States to give their perspectives on the rising influence of new and returning actors in the Mediterranean region. Discussions focused on the origins of this new involvement; the outlook for trade, investment and aid in Southern Europe, North Africa and the Levant; security interests, strategic competition, and the (in)compatibility of the growing roles of Asian, Eurasian, and Gulf actors with Mediterranean, European, and American interests.
The program included remarks by Fathallah Sijilmassi, secretary general of the Union for the Mediterranean, and benefitted from the presence of a number of senior members from the Mediterranean policy and business community, including Nabil Fahmy, former Egyptian foreign minister, and Ana Palacio, former Spanish foreign minister.