|Paper 75: Ceuta and Mellila: Risks and Risk Management|
|Written by Erzsébet Rózsa, Abdessamad Belhaj|
On many levels, the Euro-Mediterranean project presents a strong dimension of prevention and risk management. It could even be said that the Barcelona Process was created to manage the risk of instability in the Maghreb and the Middle East. This study looks at certain upheavals in the Western Mediterranean, more specifically, in Ceuta and Melilla. A succession of mediatic events justifies an in-depth analysis of the facts concerning these two enclaves. The media asked questions, but did not however search for answers or provide the understanding needed.
Two important issues should be highlighted in any study of the Gibraltar Strait: on the one hand, the region’s complex geo-political situation, in which the territorial element is but the visible facet of a geo-political chessboard with multiple, overlapping dimensions – identity-oriented, economic, and strategic. On the other, the EU plays the role of profound, structuring force, having increased its presence along the Strait, especially following the successive assaults of clandestine sub-Saharan immigration. It has also explored multiple measures and initiatives in a bid to re-balance the decision-making process involving the two main actors in the area: namely, Morocco and Spain.