Deep Maghreb: (in)security and stability
North Africa and its Sahel dimension
Rome – 30 November 2016


Beyond Libya, ISIS, their repercussions on neighbouring countries and a limited intervention, it seems that there is no organic reflection regarding the Maghreb region. The NATO Warsaw summit has found a balanced solution on the East-South risks debate, but nevertheless the Mediterranean area appears stuck in a strategic fuzziness.

The traditional vision of the Maghreb has been lost in the disintegration of what was formerly known as the Middle East and it seems more appropriate to look at it in the new context created by the aftermath of the Arab Revolutions, the global economic crisis, the Brexit shock on the European Union and the far ranging consequences of the Turkish situation. Today the Maghreb is not only riverine to the Mediterranean Sea, but has acquired a new strategic security depth in the Sahara sand sea across the Sahel region.

Each country has a remarkable political tradition and economic potentials that, even when they are traditionally proven, can be further developed in the agricultural, extractive, industry and services sectors. The ongoing global economic crisis contrasts with the growth of African economies and North Africa must be in a position to fully exploit this opportunity through a reinforced co-operation.

All regional states are obviously concerned by the current security developments and their outlooks are continuously and directly influenced by the flows of arms, drugs, smuggled wares (subsidised foodstuff, consumer goods, cigarettes, etc.) and migrants across the “grey zones” within Sahel and Sahara.

In order to develop a more insightful and balanced political and strategic reflection, the seminar has been organised into two panels. The first addresses possible ways and means to overcome the present instability through co-operative security and urgent appropriate support measures, both from internal and external actors. The second looks at the complex strategic picture of the region including its deep Sahelian space and its multidimensional criminal threats.


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