From Crisis to Recovery in the Western Mediterranean: Challenges and opportunities on the road to a post-COVID-19 sustainable growth
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures to fight its spread have plunged the global economy into a historical contraction. In a Western Mediterranean severely hit by the new coronavirus, trade flows have suffered a dramatic reduction while critical industries for the economies of the region such as tourism, transport and energy were put under serious stress. Both in the north and the south of the Western Mediterranean, the scale of the economic downturn is historical with GDP drops reaching never seen levels in peacetime. Although the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the economic situation in Western Mediterranean countries, the countries of the subregion have prepared recovery plans to support a reactivation of the economy, sustaining the private sector, job creation and encouraging investment. Against this background, the MedThink 5+5 network, coordinated by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), together with the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) brought together leading experts from think tanks, academia and diplomatic services, to discuss the prospects of economic recovery in a post-COVID-19 era Western Mediterranean.