CNR – ISMed Policy Briefs Series

Background and rationale

The Mediterranean region could be considered a ‘paradox of global challenges’, which risks to undermining the potential to build a peaceful, secure, prosperous and inclusive space. In this context, the EU’s Renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood represents an opportunity to face these cascading and intersecting challenges, opening a window of opportunity to relaunch cooperation between both sides of the Mediterranean. The European New Agenda for the Mediterranean aims to join forces in fighting climate change and speeding up the green and digital transitions, to renew the commitment to shared values, to jointly address forced displacement and migration, and to strengthen the unity of the EU, its Member States and the Southern Mediterranean countries (SMCs) in promoting peace and security in the Mediterranean region, on the conviction that by working together and in a spirit of partnership, common challenges can be turned into opportunities, in the mutual interest of the EU and its Southern Neighbours.  

The ISMed Policy Briefs (ISMed-PBs) series aims to improve our understanding on the Mediterranean challenges, develop new approaches, and propose innovative solutions around issues of common interest, stimulating and informing policy debates.

CNR-ISMed Policy Briefs Series Objectives

The ISMed Policy Briefs (ISMed-PBs) series was launched in 2023 by the Institute of Studies on the Mediterranean (ISMed) of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR). The ISMed-PBs form the core of the Institute research agenda to address urgent policy problems and identify potential solutions, providing historical context and interdisciplinary analysis. Considering the main priorities included in the New European Agenda for the Mediterranean, synthesizing relevant scientific evidence and linking it up to major European policies, the ISMed-PBs series attempts to offer clear and practical recommendations for policy and decision-makers at all relevant scales.

The ISMed-PBs should target a wider audience of experts, researchers, and academics but should be mainly aimed at reaching policy and decision-makers.

Additional information about the series

The series will have an ISSN. The main dissemination channel will be the Institute’s website where the ISMed-PBs will be made available in electronic format in a dedicated section. At same time, greater dissemination of the Policy Briefs will be ensured through the indexing of the series on the specialized repository RePEc at the ISMed page (

All Policy Briefs will undergo a double-blind review.

Editorial team

Editors in Chief

Giovanni Canitano (CNR-ISMed)

Luisa Errichiello (CNR-ISMed)

Desirée A.L. Quagliarotti (CNR-ISMed)

Advisory Board

The ISMed-PBs series operates under the guidance of the ISMed-PBs series Advisory Board.  Aside from providing prestige, the role of the Advisory board is to advise and support the editors in chief. Functions may include: identifying new topics, making suggestions for both subject matter and potential authors; peer review, also helping to identify peer reviewers; disseminate information to potential authors/readers; encourage colleagues to submit their best work.

The ISMed-PBs Advisory Board includes the following members:

Almotaz Abadi (Deputy Secretary General for Water, Environment and Blue Economy, Union for the Mediterranean – UfM); Abla Abdel-Latif (Executive Director and Director of Research, Egyptian Center for Economic Studies); Roger Albinyana (Managing Director, European Institute of the Mediterranean -IEMed); Meliha Altunışık (Professor, Department of International Relations at Middle East Technical University – METU); Andrea Barbanti (Manager of Research, Italian National Research Council, Institute of Marine Sciences – CNR-ISMAR); Giuseppe Badagliacca (Legation Counselor Head of Office VII – Multilateral cooperation and integration processes in the Euro-Mediterranean area, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation); Giorgio Budillon (Full Professor, University of Naples ‘Parthenope’); Salvatore Capasso (Full Professor, University of Naples ‘Parthenope’; Director, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Cultural Heritage – DSU-CNR); Gabriella Corona (Director of Research, CNR-ISMed); Andrea Dessì (Head of IAI’s Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa programme); Jamal Elbaz (Associate Professor, Ibn Zohr University); Nadim Farajalla (Program Director of the Climate Change and Environment Program, American University of Beirut); Josep Ferré (Executive Director, Anna Lindh Foundation); Giulia Giordano (Head of International Programmes, Italian climate change think tank ECCO); Daniela La Foresta (Full Professor, University of Naples Federico II); Gaetano Leone (Former Coordinator of the United Nations Mediterranean Action Plan-Barcelona Convention Secretariat); Giulio Malorgio (Full Professor, University of Bologna); Grammenos Mastrojeni (Senior Deputy Secretary General, Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean – UfM); Fatima Ezzahra Mengoub (Senior Economist, Policy Center for the New South); Antonello Pasini (First Researcher, Italian National Research Council, Institute on Atmospheric Pollution (CNR-IIA); Yolanda Pena-Boquete (Head of the Research Division, AYeconomics); Giuseppe Provenzano (Higher Education and Research Division, Union for the Mediterranean – UfM); Settimio Stallone (Associate Professor, University of Naples Federico II);  Silvio Vetrano (Member of the PNRR Technical Commission – Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate (PNIEC), Italian Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security); Chahir Zaki (Associate ProfessorCairo University).

Editorial Assistant

Stefania Toraldo (CNR-ISMed)

Writing Guidelines and Submissions

A. Policy Brief Structure

Each PB should be of a maximum of 3000 words (excluding references and footnotes)

Each PB should use the following structure:

  1. Title (up to 150 characters): A good title quickly communicates the contents of the brief in a memorable way
  2. Author(s) and Affiliation (please name one affiliation per author only)
  3. Abstract (up to 100 words): A summary of both the challenge and the proposal with a focus on the key findings
  4. Challenge (up to 500 words): A summary of the problem that your proposal is meant to address
  5. Proposal (up to 2,500 words): A summary of your policy proposals containing a rationale and suggestions for implementing the proposal. The proposal may have a few boxes, sidebars, cases, tables, charts, or pictures (JPG or PNG, max. 5 MB per chart or photo). It is also possible to use sub-headlines and enumerations (numbered or unnumbered) to structure your proposal.
  6. Key Recommendations: (up to 100 words): a concluding list of key policy recommendation should reflect the above policy proposal to advice that some action should be taken by someone to promote something, i.e. a behavior should be adopted, advice should be given, a public education campaign should begin, a product should be purchased, a law should be enacted, and so on.
  7. Tables and Figures: Please include tables and Figures within your text document. Complex tables or graph can be submitted as a separate Excel file. All tables and figures must be cited in sequence within the main paper text in the form Tab. 1, Tab. 2…Fig. 1, Fig. 2). The table/figure number must appear above the table/figure body, followed by a brief but clear and explanatory title in Italic case. Please place any table/figure notes below the table/figure body.
  8. References: All sources must be cited within the text and in a list of references at the end of the paper. Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). See Annex “How to quote” and Annex “How to reference” for detailed recommendations regarding in-text citation and bibliography
  9. Footnotes: Please use footnotes sparingly and only to explain or elaborate upon points made in the main text
  10. Appendix (optional; up to 500 words): This space can be used to add any relevant information that has not been included in the main text, like a list of existing policy agreements, policies, and previous research related to the proposal
  11. Author Information and Biography: Please include a short author bio illustrating author’s expertise in field.

B. Annex– How to quote

 Report references: i) within the text: In-text references should indicate the author and the date of publication [e.g. (Surname, 2020)]. ii) completely in the final bibliography.

Internet Sources: For texts available online, list a URL. URLs can be given in full, including http:// prefix. Please do not cite links to search results (e.g., Google’s search results) or to information accessed via a subscription only service. There is no need to give the date of access. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that all the URLs cited are valid at the time of editing.

Source language: For documents available in multiple language versions, select the English version.

C. Annex– How to reference

References are listed alphabetically at the end of the paper, according to the surname of the author/editor (that of the first author/editor if there are more than one).

For Books:

Author’s surname and name [or Editor’s surname and name followed by (ed./eds)], Publication Year [in brackets], Title [in italic], Title of the series and Number of issues in the series, Publication place and Publisher’s name [in brackets]


Smith, K.E. (2008). European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World, 2nd ed. (Cambridge and Malden: Polity Press).

Hill C. and Smith M. (eds), (2011). International Relations and the European Union, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

For Chapters in Books:

Author’s surname and name, Publication Year [in brackets], Title of the chapter [in quotation marks], Editor’s name and surname preceded by “in” and followed by “ed./eds” [in brackets], Title of the book [in italic], Title of the series and Number of the series, Publication place and Publisher’s name [in brackets].


Smith, K.E. (2011). “Enlargement, the Neighbourhood, and European order”, in C. Hill and M. Smith (eds), International Relations and the European Union, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p. 299-323.

For Articles:

Author’s surname and name, Publication Year [in brackets], Title of the article [in quotation marks], Date [in brackets], Title of the journal/newspaper [in italic] preceded by “in”, Volume, Issue [in brackets], page numbers.


Alcaro R. and Alessandri E. (2010). “Engaging Russia. Prospect for a Long-term European Security Compact”, in European Foreign Affairs Review, 15 (2), pp. 191-207.

Rajan R. (2020). “Pursue Self-Interest by Helping Other Economies too”, in The Financial Times, 7 July, p. 15.

For Official documents:

Institution-author’s name, Title [in italic], Code of the document [in brackets], Place [if any], Date [day

month year], Numbers of selected pages/articles/paragraphs [footnotes], Complete http link.


European Council, Presidency Conclusions, Brussels, 15-16 October 2008 (14368/08), para. 17-18,

D. Annex– How to submit

Authors should submit their Policy Brief to the following e-mail: