Regional integration in the Euro-Mediterranean
Several decades of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation did not translate into any substantial advancement in regional integration excepted some progress in trade liberalisation, nonetheless limited both in depth – tariff waiving without further harmonization – and in scope – not all sectors covered. It is not surprising that under these conditions, also considering the negative implications of the Great Recession and widespread instability in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings, economic catch-up between poorer and richer countries in the Euro-Mediterranean region did not materialise.
5+5 Dialogue a mechanism of regional integration and cooperation
This paper looks into the integration patterns between the 5+5 countries by assessing the most recent evolutions of investment, trade and employment in the region to highlight such challenges and formulates recommendations to pave the way for dialogue and cooperation conducive to tangible results on which to build a new momentum for integration in the region.
EU policies in Tunisia before and after the Revolution
This study investigates the evolution and potential impacts of EU policies in Tunisia before and after the Revolution using an innovative analytical framework. To do that, the most important milestones in the frameworks of cooperation agreed between the EU and Tunisia and the policies implemented, are described. The impact of such policies before the Revolution and their subsequent evolution, are analysed to highlight the causes and the consequences of the shifting approach of the EU towards Tunisia. Finally, the analysis is complemented with inputs collected via a consultation from key participants across the Tunisian political and civil society landscape. In the pre-Revolution period, EU relations with Tunisia were narrowed down to an exchange of commercial, financial and strategic interests, in line with most development aid programmes across the world. The Tunisian Revolution brought two fundamental dynamics – democratisation and destabilisation – which had broad repercussions on the relations between Tunisia and the EU. These dynamics enhanced the probability of more synergies and complementarities between the two partners’ political projects and the necessity to strengthen financial support, providing the EU with a window of opportunity for enhanced cooperation, underlined in a win-win philosophy, co-development and deeper integration.
Economic and Social Development of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries
This book contains a unique collection of studies on key economic and social policy challenges faced by countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region in a short- and long-term perspective. Prepared within the EU funded FP7 project on „Prospective Analysis for the Mediterranean Region (MEDPRO)” conducted in 2010-2013 it takes account on recent political developments in the region (Arab Spring) and their potential consequences. It covers a broad spectrum of topics such as factors of economic growth, macroeconomic and fiscal stability, trade and investment, Euro-Mediterranean and intra-regional economic integration, private sector development and privatizations, infrastructure, tourism, agriculture, financial sector development, poverty and inequality, education, labor market and gender issues.
Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises with High-Growth Potential in the Southern Mediterranean: Identifying Obstacles and Policy Responses
The Arab Spring, which took root in Tunisia and Egypt in the beginning of 2011 and gradually spread to other countries in the southern Mediterranean, highlighted the importance of private-sector development, job creation, improved governance and a fairer distribution of economic opportunities. The developments led to domestic and international calls for the region’s governments to implement the needed reforms to enhance business and investment conditions, modernise their economies and support the development of enterprises. Central to these demands are calls to enhance the growth prospects of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which represent an overwhelming majority of the region’s economic activity.
On the basis of interviews conducted among high-growth potential MSMEs in selected countries in the southern Mediterranean – Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia – this report identifies and ranks key obstacles preventing MSMEs from reaching their high-growth potential and puts forward effective policy responses to reduce these obstacles. If implemented, the authors argue that these policies could unlock the MSMEs potential to contribute more to their economies.
Macroeconomic and Financial Crisis Management in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean: Diagnosis and Prospects
The global financial crisis, which started in the summer of 2007 and deepened in the aftermath of the Lehman failure in September 2008, has led to a virtual collapse in economic activity and increased financial volatility worldwide. For the developing countries, the main channel of transmission has been a drop in external transactions, such as trade, financial and capital flows, and remittances. The emerging economies in the southern and eastern Mediterranean have also faced declining economic activity, although there seems to be considerable variation in the relative magnitude and timing. Most of these economies have shown a delayed but more lasting response to the crisis, driven mostly by their close trade and investment ties with the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. This book explores the fiscal, monetary and financial effects of the crisis in the region and provides an in-depth analysis of the fiscal, monetary and banking policies in the post-crisis era, the viability of their exit strategies and the future of reforms in the region. These analyses not only provide a comprehensive comparison between the countries but also provide a solid basis for assessing future economic and financial developments and reforms in the region.
Financial Centres in Europe: Post-Crisis Risks, Challenges and Opportunities
This book published by Palgrave Macmillan explores how financial centres in Europe have responded to the financial crisis and outlines the challenges and opportunities brought about by the increased international cooperation in regulation and taxation. It has benefited from interviews with key players in banking, insurance, fund management, trust industry and regulators, tax authorities and others in the major financial centres in Europe during the financial crisis.
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Monetary Policies, Banking Systems, Regulatory Convergence, Efficiency and Growth in the Mediterranean
Co-edited by Rym Ayadi and Sami Mouley this book assesses the new challenges facing monetary policies and the independence of central banks. It explores regulatory convergence in banking and examines the impact of monetary policy and bank sector regulation on bank efficiency and economic growth in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. The analysis of this book shows how the conduct of monetary policy in conjunction with regulation can impact bank efficiency and economic growth. It could serve as a key manual for central banks and ministries of finance in developing countries to ensure that monetary policy and regulation are conducive to further growth and development.
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Scenarios Assessment and Transitions towards a Sustainable Euro-Mediterranean in 2030
In the aftermath of the 2011 Arab uprisings in the southern and eastern Mediterranean, the region has reached a turning point in its history, presenting as many opportunities as challenges. The European Union itself is facing challenging conditions following the financial and economic crises that have hit its periphery. This MEDPRO Policy Paper examines and assesses various possible scenarios that could play out in EU-Mediterranean relations over the next two decades and offers recommendations towards long-term sustainable socio-economic development in the region.
Paving the Way for Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the Southern Mediterranean
Notwithstanding their essential contribution to innovation, job creation and local development, MSMEs across the southern Mediterranean are confronted with a number of problems that hamper their growth. Ayadi & De Groen (2013) assessed what is required to unlock the growth potential of the most promising MSMEs. Based on a thorough literature review and inputs from economic experts from the countries under investigation, a questionnaire was designed to identify the problems that confront MSMEs with high-growth potential. Six areas were identified as key potential obstacles that could hinder MSME development: administrative, legal and tax regulations; infrastructure (communications, utility services, roads and transport); access to financial instruments; clients and suppliers; availability of skills; and informality and corruption
Policy Lessons for Macroeconomic and Financial Crisis Management in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean
The 2007-09 global financial crisis led to a virtual collapse in economic activity and increased financial volatility worldwide. For the developing countries, the main channel of transmission has been a drop in external transactions, such as trade, financial and capital flows, and remittances. The southern and eastern Mediterranean countries (SEMCs)1 have also faced declining economic activity, although there seems to be considerable variation in the relative magnitudes and timing of the decline. Most of the economies in the Mediterranean basin have had delayed but longer-lasting consequences as a result of the crisis, driven mostly by their endemic trade and investment ties with the EU2 and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
A New Euro-Mediterranean Energy Roadmap for a Sustainable Energy Transition in the Region
This paper addresses the urgent need for a sustainable energy transition in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. It analyses the unsustainable burden of universal energy subsidies and calls for new development paths unlocking the huge potential for low-cost energy efficiency and demand-side management as well as for renewable energy. It argues that a new structure of regional and interconnected energy markets is needed. It then proposes some original approaches regarding the financing of this sustainable energy transition and finally calls for an ambitious, Euro-Mediterranean Energy Roadmap, which should contribute not only to the economic and environmental development of the region, but also to its social and political stability.
Contributions to this paper were made by Emmanuel Bergasse, Frederic Blanc, Noriko Fujiwara and Pantelis Capros.
Economic Development, Trade and Investment in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries: An Agenda towards a Sustainable Transition
Drawing from the policy recommendations that emerge from a series of detailed MEDPRO studies on economic development, trade and investment in the Mediterranean, this paper presents policy recommendations in the areas of macroeconomic management, trade, investment, private sector development and privatisation and sectoral policies.
Marek Dabrowski and Luc De Wulf are Fellows at CASE (Center for Social and Economic Research) in Warsaw.
Financial Sector Development and Integration in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean: Towards a long-term sustainable transition
This MEDPRO Policy Paper examines the trends and prospects in financial-sector development and integration in the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries and concludes with an agenda for a long-term sustainable transition where finance turns to be a positive stimulus to long-term growth.
Rym Ayadi is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels, Founder of EMEA and Coordinator of the MEDPRO project.
Human Capital, Inequality and Migration in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries: Towards a coherent policy agenda
The demographic and societal structures in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries are expected to undergo profound transformations in the future, calling for new public policies related to employment, human capital and mobility. In addition, the population projections of the MEDPRO project until 2030 have pointed to an increase in working-age populations. Against this background, the authors suggest policies to address challenges in education, inequality, social protection and migration.
Rym Ayadi is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels, EMEA Founder and Coordinator of the MEDPRO project. Alia El Mahdi is Professor of Economics at the FEPS, Cairo University.
Perspectives in Resource Management and Climate Change Adaptation in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries (SEMC)
This policy paper focuses on the sustainable management of some key natural resources in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries (SEMCs) under climate change and anthropogenic pressures. In a business-as-usual and even more so in a failed cooperation scenario, water resources, ecosystems and biodiversity in the region are under stress, with negative consequences for agriculture, food security, tourism and development. However, proper adaptation strategies are shown to be effective in reconciling resource conservation with GDP, trade and population growth. These need be implemented in different ways: technological, institutional, behavioural; and at different levels: regional, national and international. There is ample room for fruitful cooperation between the EU and SEMCs in this area, which can take the form of EU direct financial and technical support when resources in SEMCs are scarce, and of multilateral and bilateral cooperation programmes to improve resource efficiency. The EU could also take on the role of coordinating these different bilateral actions and, at the same time, support SEMCs to establish a structured programme focused on the communication and dissemination of emerging best practices.
Francesco Bosello is Associate Researcher, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, (FEEM), Italy, Nicola Lamaddalena is Head of the Land and Water Department, Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo Bari (IAMB), Italy
State (un)Sustainability in the Southern Mediterranean and Scenarios to 2030: The EU’s Response
In this Policy Paper, author Nathalie Tocci considers the concept of sustainability and how it is central to any understanding of Mediterranean politics. Too often confused with stability in policy debates in the Mediterranean region and the West, Tocci argues that not only are these two concepts distinct, with sustainability being broader and deeper than stability, but stability, as interpreted with regard to the regimes in the region, has often run counter to the very conditions that underpin state sustainability. In order to avoid the weakening and failure of EU-MED cooperation, Tocci urges the EU to overcome its political and institutional inertia, and to develop a truly credible Mediterranean policy pursued alongside other state and non-state actors at both the regional and global level.
Nathalie Tocci is Deputy Director, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome.
What scenarios for the Euro-Mediterranean in 2030 in the wake of the Arab Spring?
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring events, the Southern Mediterranean region has reached a turning point in its history, presenting as many opportunities as challenges for the EU. In this MEDPRO Policy Paper, Rym Ayadi and Carlo Sessa explore various possible scenarios that could play out in EU-Mediterranean relations over the next two decades but find, lamentably, that the EU has set itself on a ‘business as usual’ course, leaving the region open to further polarization and the involvement of other external players.
What scenarios for the Euro-Mediterranean in 2030?
The Southern Mediterranean region is at a historical turning point following the unprecedented uprisings that ended many decades of repressive authoritarian regimes. Before 2010, and the start of the Arab uprisings, the ‘business as usual’ scenario prevailed in a blend of un-sustainability and partial Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. Un-sustainability, coupled with phoney stability, was thought to be the long-term future for southern Mediterranean countries, as no credible prospects for radical democratic political changes were envisaged.
Our Mediterranean: What future and what expectations?
The Southern Mediterranean region is today still fragmented – on economic, social and political grounds. Can we ever speak about a single region when data only confirm the low levels of South-South integration, major disparities in per capita incomes, desynchronized demographic developments and divergent levels of human development?
Convergence of Bank Regulations on International Norms in the Southern Mediterranean: Impact on Bank Performance and Growth
International standards and norms in banking regulations have, once again, leapt to the forefront of policy discussions in developed nations due to the recent crisis in the world’s financial markets. These discussions are not new, nor do they apply exclusively to the world’s most advanced economies. A sound and well-enforced regulatory regime can help developing nations to channel financial resources more efficiently into investments. For open economies, it can also act as a buffer and an important stability factor in today’s shaky market situation. Against this background, this study examines the impact of banking sector regulations on bank efficiency and economic growth in four Southern Mediterranean countries – Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia – while exploring the level of convergence of regulatory practices and efficiency to EU Mediterranean standards.