- Preface to the Special Issue
We at the Mediterranean Quarterly are pleased to welcome Stelios Stavridis and Maria Gianniou as guest editors for this special issue titled “Parliamentary Diplomacy in the Mediterranean.” Over the past year, in the course of preparing this issue, parliamentary diplomacy has become an issue that is front and center for Europe and specifically for the Mediterranean region. European parliamentary bodies at the international, national, regional, and local levels struggle with the trifecta of an ongoing refugee crisis, all-too-frequent terrorist incidents, and unshakeable economic lethargy.
The essays presented here examine the expanding roles and growing responsibilities of the European Parliament as well as national and regional parliaments, all of which are increasingly called on to address issues that have traditionally been the preserve of the diplomatic organs of national governments. For many parliaments covered in this special issue, there is an opportunity to augment already-established diplomatic activities. What comes through quite clearly, however, is that different parliamentary bodies are very much at different stages of activity and interest in conducting parliamentary diplomacy. We at the Mediterranean Quarterly are grateful to guest editors Stavridis and Gianniou, as well as the strong body of contributors in this special issue, who have provided a set of highly interesting and very timely essays that should both challenge and illuminate scholars in the field of international relations and beyond. [End Page 1]