Tunis, Bizerte (Tunisia)- Trapani (Italy)


 The Cross Border maritime area across Sicily and Tunisia is characterized by high natural diversity, which includes arid landscapes, mountains, forests, grassy plains and a long coastline, where human activity is concentrated. Distribution of GNP per capita on both sides of the border is very uneven, although Sicily’s GDP remains well below the average of European and Italian Regions and Tunisian northern regions are more developed than  internal and southern regions. Infrastructure are developed, and they allow cross border cooperation and international exchange. There are wide disparities between the southern Sicily’s territories, where main economic activities are services and tourism, and northern shore of Tunisia, where industrial activity remains high, despite the predominance of services.  Key issues in the area are the following:  fishing, also due to its environmental impact; agriculture and the agro-industry, both for its impact on employment and for the huge presence of Tunisian workers in the southern shore of Sicily; innovation and research in particular in the field of renewable energy; logistic system, that can offer development opportunities to the area due to its geographical position. One of the most relevant and delicate issue is migration, due to the continuing flow of illegal migrants across the border, and particularly in Lampedusa.

Research team:


Andrea Stocchiero, Executive Director and senior researcher at CeSPI with relevant expertise on European external policies, Mediterranean issues and territorial cohesion.

Battistina Cugusi, Senior researcher at CeSPI with expertise in the analysis of EU external policies and programmes, in particular towards the Mediterranean; analysis and evaluation of territorial cooperation policies and practices, in and outside EU borders.

 Sapienza University

Filippo Celata, Researcher in Economic Geography at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. Research interests include the geography of production networks, regional and local development, spatial analysis and GIS.

Raffaella Coletti, Research Fellow in Economic Geography at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. PhD in Economic geography. In recent years her main research activities have been concentrated on  territorial and cross border cooperation policies and practices, at internal and external EU borders and in Latin America.

Research area

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Dr. James Scott
Project manager
Ph: (+358) 50366 0653
Project information
Project duration: 01.03.2011-28.02.2015
Lead partner: University of Eastern Finland
Total budget: 3 386 700 €
EU contribution: 2 644 090 €