Regional integration has persistently been outlined as one of the main ambitions of Euro-Mediterranean policies over the last two decades. According to the European Commission:

Regional integration is the process of overcoming barriers that divide neighbouring countries, by common accord, and of jointly managing shared resources and assets. Essentially, it is a process by which groups of countries liberalise trade, creating a common market for goods, people, capital and services. 1

When bringing such a debate to the Mediterranean area, diagnoses about regional integration take 1995 as a turning point, and the ambitions asserted in the Barcelona Declaration as a measure for its achievements. From this perspective, the Barcelona Process appears as a generous European attempt to overcome structural gaps in the Mediterranean Basin by promoting development and mutual understanding. To a certain extent, the conception of the Euro-Mediterranean project as a benevolent proposal enacted by an international ‘force for good’ (Barbé and Johansson-Nogués 2008; Whitman 2011) exempts the EU from any responsibility or blame regarding the unsuccessful goals of what is seen as a facultative choice to raise prosperity beyond its borders. 2