Since its inception in 2012, the Atlantic Dialogues (AD) conference has become a well-established annual meeting point taking place in Marrakesh, bringing together around 350 high-level senior officials, business leaders, academics, opinion shapers and civil society actors. Morocco has been host to these gatherings given its location and close relations to all countries bordering the Atlantic. Initially created in a dual effort between the OCP Policy Center and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the event encourages a lively and informal exchange of views between young professionals and today’s leaders.
In this context, under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, OCP Policy Center is organizing the seventh edition of the Atlantic Dialogues, under the theme: “Atlantic Dynamics: Overcoming the Choke Points”, which will take place on December 13-15 in Marrakesh.
The Atlantic region remains at a crossroads of a growing number of choke points. Along with a changing power configuration of the post-World War II international order, multilateral cooperation is being weakened by trade disputes, upsurges of nationalist movements, and economic anxieties. This has caused disruptions in the historic partnership that existed between the USA and Europe, but also between the USA and Asian countries (North Korea and China notably) – all of which will have serious implications for Africa and Latin America.
Following the discussions on various ways to change mental maps at the third edition of the Atlantic Dialogues in 2016, and having examined promising opportunities for the African continent in 2017, The Atlantic Dialogues will convene again in December 2018 in Marrakesh to identify the salient issues at the heart of the Atlantic community’s policy agenda. The conference will also serve as a platform to explore fresh ideas on how decision-makers, business-leaders, researchers, scholars, and other stakeholders can contribute to renew transatlantic relations and partnerships in the context of a rapidly changing world.
This year’s edition will identify the choke points across the Atlantic, gather evidence to craft a counter-discourse, and identify solutions to overcome them by confronting views of different panelists across the North-South and East-West divides. The sessions will address interconnected challenges ranging from Trump’s foreign policy to demographic dynamics, the fragile state of multilateralism, and the looming prospect of a new financial crisis, along with the implications of growing economic inequalities and a weaker middle class. This edition of the AD will also explore how governments can win back trust and renew the social contract between States and their citizens, while providing adequate answers to the threat of climate change for future generations. Several lessons learnt and opportunities may be drawn from the experiences of the Pacific and Indian Ocean spaces, the reform undertaken by the African Union to gain more control over its own security issues, as well as the launch of the new continental Trade zone.