The project

Twenty years after the launch of the Barcelona Process, the Mediterranean area has progressively deteriorated and the gap between the two shores remains wide open, while crises and conflicts are on the rise. North Africa and the Middle East are swept by growing instability and tensions. Europe is shaken by political and socioeconomic turmoil and seems unable to embark on ambitious political initiatives.

MED – Rome Mediterranean Dialogues is an annual high-level initiative organized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ISPI aiming at stimulating debate and new ideas on the transformations afoot in the extended Mediterranean region, in order to re-think traditional approaches and address shared challenges, both at regional and global level.

ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies) – the oldest Italian think tank on international affairs, whose Honorary Chairman is the Emeritus President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano – is in charge of the scientific and organizational Coordination.

Topic and Structure

The program is structured in more than 20 plenary sessions and parallel forums and spread over three days. Dialogues are based on 4 guiding pillars:

Shared Prosperity

Finding viable options to re-launch economic interactions and promote greater regional integration in the Mediterranean is the core of the Pillar. Specific attention is given to the role that business leaders may play in fostering common prosperity.


The current migration emergency is increasingly turning into a global humanitarian crisis. Under this Pillar, the focus is on identifying safe and legal routes for asylumseekers, addressing the related issues of providing social inclusion, protection and assistance, and efficiently combining counter-trafficking policy with the protection of human rights.

Shared Security

In light of the threats posed by the increasing instability in the Mediterranean region, the discussion focuses on the strategies for fighting terrorism and promoting successful post-conflict transitions.

Media, Culture & Society

Focus is on the fundamental contribution made by cultural dialogue in the relations between the two shores of the Mediterranean and on assessing the role that the media may play in overcoming misperceptions and the contribution of young people to developing responsible socio-economic engagement.

Med 2015 in Numbers

33 Head of State, Ministers and Top Representatives of the International Organization (the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Abdullah II, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergej Lavrov, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid, the Chief Negotiators for Palestine and Israel, Saeb Erekat and Silvan Shalom, the EC Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni hosted the event in Rome.

  • 400 leaders in Business, Politics and Culture
  • 30 Think Tanks
  • 34 Countries

ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies) is an independent think tank founded in 1934 and dedicated to being a resource for government officials, business executives, journalists and civil servants wishing to better understand international issues.

The focus is both on world regions – in particular the Mediterranean Region – and global issues. ISPI is Italy’s main forum for debate on international affairs, and it promotes international conferences withoutstanding personalities from all over the world, which include annual conferences on the Mediterranean region and specific countries like Egypt and Turkey (or other countries/region like China and Sub-Saharan Africa); bilateral dialogue Forums with France, Germany, Switzerland and Russia; seminars on migration, terrorism, European economic governance, etc.

In over 80 years, ISPI has built an extensive network of think tanks in Europe and across the world and since 2014 it is the think tank representing Italy in the Think20 (T20), an advisory body of the G20.