Publications


GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS IN THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN: BECOMING THE PILLAR FOR REGIONAL INTEGRATION

Chahir Zaki
16/06/2019

The objective of this policy brief is to examine the status of global value chains (GVCs) on the two shores of the Mediterranean and provide some insights on how to enhance regional integration. We argue that GVCs will help firms improve their productivity, that SMEs will become more sustainable and generally diversify exports from the region. To achieve this, addressing non-tariff measures, boosting the business environment and improving blue-collar workers skills are all essential.

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INSTITUTIONS AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE IN THE SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN PARTNER COUNTRIES: A RENEWED POLICY AGENDA TO TACKLE INSTITUTIONAL FAILURE

Ahmed Badawi
16/06/2019

This paper explores the problem of institutional failure in the Southern Mediterranean Partner Countries (SMPC). After reviewing the most recent empirical research on the effect that institutions have on economic performance, including research done in the framework of EMNES, the paper identifies two types of institutional failure pervasive in the region. It concludes with the recommendation that while Type I failure could be remedied by piecemeal institutional reforms, the more pernicious Type II failure is not likely to be corrected without a structural transformation of the balance of political power in the affected country.

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LEGAL MIGRATION PATHWAYS ACROSS THE MEDITERRANEAN: ACHIEVEMENTS, OBSTACLES AND THE WAY FORWARD

Cinzia Alcidi, Nadzeya Laurentsyeva, Ahmad Wali Ahmad Yar
16/06/2019

This policy brief reviews the state of legal migration across the Mediterranean: it examines the existing migration links between the South Med countries and the EU, attempts to uncover the obstacles to legal migration and suggests ways to improve migration management. We argue that, if used strategically, even small-scale projects to foster legal migration can contribute to expanding legal migration opportunities and reducing irregular crossings in the longer term. However, this can only occur if projects are implemented in close cooperation with governments of the South Med countries and if they can contribute to capacity building of the national labour market and educational institutions. Further, given the prevalence of the family migration channel between the South Med and the EU, one way to foster legal migration is to leverage existing social networks, i.e. by engaging the South Med diaspora residing in the EU and supporting labour market integration of family migrants.

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POLICIES FOR LABOUR MATCHING WITHIN AND BETWEEN COUNTRIES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION

Rym Ayadi, Emanuele Sessa
16/06/2019

The objective of this policy paper is to provide an overview of the current state of affairs in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia regarding the formulation, implementation and monitoring of labour matching policies. To this purpose, a definition of labour matching policies encompassing both policies aimed at matching skills and jobs within countries – labour market policies – and between countries – labour migration policies – and a novel analytical framework for their assessment were proposed and used, to conduct interviews with key informants within institutions responsible for labour matching in the six countries considered. The survey results attest that the latter made substantial efforts to develop active labour market policies in recent years but, for the most part, these are not backed with an adequate allocation of funds, whilst well-functioning labour market information systems remain to be developed. The same cannot be said of labour migration policies, which are basically inexistent, except in those countries having signed Mobility Partnerships with the European Union – Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia – where national strategies for migration were developed and some migrant support measures implemented, albeit largely under the impulse and with the support of international donors. The paper concludes with the formulation of a policy road map for the development of a Euro-Mediterranean platform for the matching of skills and jobs between countries of origin and destination, and a supporting Euro-Mediterranean labour market information system.

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POLICY AGENDA FOR AN INCLUSIVE, JOB-CREATING FINANCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

Rym Ayadi, Sandra Challita, Willem Pieter de Groen
16/06/2019

Recent empirical evidence shows that financial development in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries (SEMCs) is lagging behind. The exclusion of a substantial part of households and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) from financial services, hampers economic development and job creation in the region. Moreover, financial development suffers from the absence of institutional diversity, high inefficiency and prohibitive lending costs.

In view of EMNES research, our findings provide justification for the following policy recommendations:

  • Achieve macro and financial stability by
    • ensuring sustainable government finances;
    • ensuring monetary stability by targeting low inflation;
    • tackling the high level of non-performing bank loans.
  • Increase financial system diversity and enhance lending efficiency via
    • financial market development (private bonds issuance, private placements, equity and IPO markets, etc.);
    • developing legislative regimes for alternative financial structures and facilitating the adoption of new financial technologies (technology neutral approach, sandboxes, etc.).
  • Widen the access to affordable financial services for households and MSMEs by
    • developing credit registries and guarantee schemes for MSMEs;
    • developing and promoting digital financial services and increasing the role of postal offices for provision of basic financial services for households;
    • requiring banks and insurers to provide basic financial services for households;
    • investing in enhanced financial literacy for the low skilled.

The EU can contribute to this policy agenda for inclusive and job-driven financial development through funding, assistance and expertise in SEMCs:

  • It can fund the development of a guarantee fund to cover losses of defaulted loans and promotion of financial inclusion initiatives;
  • It can assist in the development of an action plan for financial market integration;
  • It can provide expertise to develop alternative EU financial instruments within the EU for SEMCs.

The objective of this policy paper is to review the most salient trends in financial development, to identify the main challenges and to provide policy recommendations to achieve financial development that is inclusive and that contributes to economic growth and job creation in SEMCs.

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SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION AS DRIVERS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES: WHAT ROLE FOR THE EU?

Ahmed Badawi, A. Hamid El-Zoheiry
16/06/2019

This paper provides a critical examination of the cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation between the European Union and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries. It provides an overview of the main features of this cooperation and then focuses on two of the main problems facing it, namely the gap between the supply and demand for knowledge in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries, and the asymmetry between the systems of knowledge production and utilisation in the EU and its southern neighbours. It draws attention to the need for spurring industrialisation in the southern Mediterranean, as the engine for enhancing demand for economically useful knowledge. The paper concludes with a set of policy recommendations.

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UNLEASHING TRADE POTENTIAL IN THE SOUTH AND EAST MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES: HOW DO NON-TARIFF MEASURES MATTER?

Myriam Ramzy, Chahir Zaki
16/06/2019

The objective of this policy paper is twofold. First, it analyses how non-tariff measures (NTMs) became more protectionist than tariffs. Second, it provides some policy options to address NTMs in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries (SEMCs) in order to unleash their trade potential. Recent data shows that most of the NTMs deal with conformity assessment as well as rules of origin. Addressing NTMs depends on several requirements namely: more detailed firm-level surveys on NTMs, more accredited laboratories (especially by the EU) in sectors having a comparative advantage and providing technical assistance from both the government and international donors to differentiate.

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Female Labour Force Participation and Entrepreneurship: The Missing Pillar for Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Development in MENA?

Rym Ayadi, Rim Mouelhi
30/11/2018

Despite substantial investment in women’s education in the MENA region and a significant increase in their educational attainment, women’s labour force participation remains very low. In 2017, Women’s Labour Force Participation (LFP) was averaging 21% in the MENA region, well below the OECD average of 51%. In 2015, the rate of Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) of women in MENA was equally low, compared to other regions average. Besides the underutilisation of skills acquired by educated women, low participation rates have additional consequences for individual women and their families, including a lack of financial autonomy and a degrading social status. After reviewing the constraints impeding women to fully participate in the labour market and to develop entrepreneurial activities, we put forward an action plan to raise female LFP and entrepreneurship in this region, in order to develop this missing pillar of inclusive and sustainable economic development in the MENA region.

This action plan must: 1) end all forms of economic gender discrimination by enacting legislative and administrative reforms to ensure women’s equal rights to economic and productive resources; 2) adopt targeted actions to enhance female labour force participation, and 3) to further promote women entrepreneurship in the region via designing new financing mechanisms tailored for women.

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Human Capital, Labour Market Friction and Migration in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia

Rym Ayadi and Jamel Trabelsi (Editors), Marwa Biltagy (Egypt), Nooh Alshyab and Ziad Abulila (Jordan), Najal El Makkaoui, Yeganeh Forouheshfar and Sara Loukili (Morocco), Rihab Bellakhal, Iyad Dhaoui, Wajdi Kthiri and Jamel Trabelsi (Tunisia)
31/05/2018

This study provides an overview of the main characteristics of education systems and labour markets in four Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries (SEMCs) – namely Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia – and discusses the difficulties facing the youth in their transition from school to the labour market and the pressure for them to migrate. The analysis focuses on the latest trends in youth education, employment, and migration with a special focus on gender gaps and regional inequalities as presented in the four chapters by the country experts in this study.

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Financial Development and Inclusion in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia

Rym Ayadi and Willem Pieter de Groen (Editors), Taghreed Hassouba and Chahir Zaki (Egypt), Nooh Alshyab and Serena Sandri (Jordan), Idriss Elabbassi, Aziz Ragbi and Said Tounsi (Morocco), Soumaya Ben Khelifa, Olfa Benouda Sioud, Rania Makni and Dorra Mezz
27/03/2018

The link between financial development and sustainable economic growth is complex. The academic literature published on this topic in recent years finds that financial development contributes to growth up to a certain tipping point. Beyond this tipping point, financial development would make the overall system more fragile. The benefits of financial development and the level of the tipping point seem to vary between economies. Among the factors that contribute to the variance are the composition of the financial system (institutions and market based intermediation), access (financial inclusion) and efficiency (government interventions, allocation, etc.). The complexity of the relationship between financial development and economic growth requires the assessment of the factors affecting the relationship in order to determine the most effective policies. In this study, we provide an assessment of the various factors determining financial development in terms of the financial sector structure, contribution to the economy and financial inclusion in four countries mainly Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.

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Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Development in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco & Tunisia: Structure, Obstacles and Policies

Rym Ayadi and Emanuele Sessa, Hala Helmy El Said and Rana Hosni Ahmed, Nooh Alshyab, Serena Sandri and Fuad Al Sheikh, Mohamed Larbi Sidmou and Jad Allah Rami, Rim Ben Ayed Mouelhi and Monia Ghazali Ferchichi
04/12/2017

The study provides a snap shot of the current status quo in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia regarding the development of their private sectors, with a focus on micro, small and medium enterprises. It will be used as a baseline for the definition of a robust research agenda that ultimately aims at providing sound recommendations for policy makers to improve developmental outcomes and, especially, the contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises to employment creation.

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Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Development in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco & Tunisia: Structure, Obstacles and Policies

Rym Ayadi and Emanuele Sessa, Hala Helmy El Said and Rana Hosni Ahmed, Nooh Alshyab, Serena Sandri and Fuad Al Sheikh, Mohamed Larbi Sidmou and Jad Allah Rami, Rim Ben Ayed Mouelhi and Monia Ghazali Ferchichi
04/12/2017

The study provides a snap shot of the current status quo in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia regarding the development of their private sectors, with a focus on micro, small and medium enterprises. It will be used as a baseline for the definition of a robust research agenda that ultimately aims at providing sound recommendations for policy makers to improve developmental outcomes and, especially, the contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises to employment creation.

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Trade and investment in the Mediterranean: Country and regional perspectives

Cinzia Alcidi and Matthias Busse, Chahir Zaki and Nora AbouShady, Nooh Alshyab, Abdelkader Ait El Mekki, Abdessalem Abbassi, Raoudha Hadhri and Hela Ayari
12/11/2017

The Southern Mediterranean region is economically closely linked to the EU. Both regions have sought to tighten this relationship via preferential trade agreements. Along four case countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, this study provides an overview of the current state and trend of trade flows vis-à-vis the EU. The four country reports evaluate the process of trade liberalization and its impact on trade with the EU and the rest of the world. Recently, liberalisation efforts have been channeled into the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs), which focus on non-tariff barriers and investment obstacles. The study emphasises that while impact assessment reports predict large economic gains for the Southern Mediterranean region from DCFTAs, negotiation have lately slowed down. The DCFTAs may have a large potential but the right sequencing and velocity need to be carefully established and prepared to ensure that the society at large benefits.

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Trade and investment in the Mediterranean: Country and regional perspectives

Cinzia Alcidi and Matthias Busse, Chahir Zaki and Nora AbouShady, Nooh Alshyab, Abdelkader Ait El Mekki, Abdessalem Abbassi, Raoudha Hadhri, Hela Ayari
12/11/2017

The Southern Mediterranean region is economically closely linked to the EU. Both regions have sought to tighten this relationship via preferential trade agreements. Along four case countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, this study provides an overview of the current state and trend of trade flows vis-à-vis the EU. The four country reports evaluate the process of trade liberalization and its impact on trade with the EU and the rest of the world. Recently, liberalisation efforts have been channeled into the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs), which focus on non-tariff barriers and investment obstacles. The study emphasises that while impact assessment reports predict large economic gains for the Southern Mediterranean region from DCFTAs, negotiation have lately slowed down. The DCFTAs may have a large potential but the right sequencing and velocity need to be carefully established and prepared to ensure that the society at large benefits.

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Institutions and labour markets in the Southern Mediterranean countries – A survey of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco & Tunisia

Ahmed Badawi, Cilja Harders
23/10/2017

This paper provides a survey of the institutional environment in which labour markets in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia are embedded. The paper presents an overview of the main recent demographic and employment trends. It then provides a comprehensive analysis of those sections in the constitutions of the four countries and of the various labour laws and regulations that are relevant for employment and social justice. In addition, the paper explores the role of informal institutions and practical norms in shaping the behaviour of employers and employees, and highlights the problem of the weak capacity of the state to enforce labour market rules.

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Institutions and labour markets in the Southern Mediterranean countries – A survey of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco & Tunisia

Ahmed Badawi and Cilja Harders (lead authors), Asmaa Ezzat, Hanan Nazier, and Racha Ramadan (Egypt), Nooh Elshyab and Serena Sandri (Jordan), Sarra Ben Slimane and Moez Ben Tahar (Tunisia), Zakaria Aboueddahab and Boutaïna Bensalem (Morocco)
20/10/2017

This paper provides a survey of the institutional environment in which labour markets in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia are embedded. The paper presents an overview of the main recent demographic and employment trends. It then provides a comprehensive analysis of those sections in the constitutions of the four countries and of the various labour laws and regulations that are relevant for employment and social justice. In addition, the paper explores the role of informal institutions and practical norms in shaping the behaviour of employers and employees, and highlights the problem of the weak capacity of the state to enforce labour market rules.

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Youth employment in the Mediterranean region: Is further regional integration the way forward for job creation?

Rym Ayadi, Raul Ramos
16/10/2017

The employment and social impact of the global financial and sovereign European crises has been particularly severe in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Southern, Eastern and Northern Mediterranean countries have all been experiencing a prolonged employment crisis, whereas the improving employment trend in Northern European countries and related attractiveness for unemployed individuals across the region underpins unprecedented migratory pressures. This policy paper first delves into the challenge of youth unemployment in the Mediterranean region, explains the underlying reasons from a labour supply and demand and provides recommendations on how further regional integration can tackle this challenge.

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Youth employment and regional integration in the Euro-Mediterranean region – Qualitative and quantitative economic analysis on whether and how regional integration could lead to youth employment

Rym Ayadi, Fragkiadakis Kostas, Leonidas Paroussos, Karkatsoulis Panagiotis, Raul Ramos, Carlo Sessa, Emanuele Sessa
20/07/2017

The overall objective of this study is to examine how regional integration can provide both short-term and long-term solutions to the employment crisis in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The study targets both increased employment creation for and improved employability of youngsters in Southern and Northern Mediterranean countries, facing persistently high and increasingly unsustainable youth unemployment rates. The analysis conducted explores the conditions under which regional integration would contribute to enhance employment creation besides sustaining output growth, which is a precondition for the expansion of employment opportunities, yet not systematically translating into higher levels of employment. It will also bring evidence of the costs, in terms of rising inequalities and persistent instability, of not engaging in a path of regional integration conducive to inclusive growth.

Press release

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Youth employment and regional integration in the Euro-Mediterranean region – Qualitative and quantitative economic analysis on whether and how regional integration could lead to youth employment

Rym Ayadi, Fragkiadakis Kostas, Leonidas Paroussos, Karkatsoulis Panagiotis, Raul Ramos, Carlo Sessa, Emanuele Sessa
20/07/2017

The overall objective of this study is to examine how regional integration can provide both short-term and long-term solutions to the employment crisis in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The study targets both increased employment creation for and improved employability of youngsters in Southern and Northern Mediterranean countries, facing persistently high and increasingly unsustainable youth unemployment rates. The analysis conducted explores the conditions under which regional integration would contribute to enhance employment creation besides sustaining output growth, which is a precondition for the expansion of employment opportunities, yet not systematically translating into higher levels of employment. It will also bring evidence of the costs, in terms of rising inequalities and persistent instability, of not engaging in a path of regional integration conducive to inclusive growth.

Press release

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5+5 Dialogue a mechanism of regional integration and cooperation

Rym Ayadi, Emanuele Sessa
09/10/2016

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.

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EU policies in Tunisia before and after the Revolution

Rym AYADI and Emanuele SESSA
21/04/2016

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.

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Economic and Social Development of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries

Rym Ayadi, Marek Dabrowski, Luc De Wulf
10/11/2014

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.

http://www.springer.com/economics/development/book/978-3-319-11121-6

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Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises with High-Growth Potential in the Southern Mediterranean: Identifying Obstacles and Policy Responses

Rym Ayadi, Willem Pieter De Groen
14/01/2014

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.

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Macroeconomic and Financial Crisis Management in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean: Diagnosis and Prospects

Rym Ayadi, Emrah Arbak, Damyana Bakardzhieva, Willem Pieter De Groen, Bassem Kamar , Sami Mouley
13/12/2013

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.

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Financial Centres in Europe: Post-Crisis Risks, Challenges and Opportunities

Rym Ayadi, Emrah Arbak
30/11/2013

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.

Click here for more information and order form:

http://us.macmillan.com/financialcentresineurope/RymAyadi

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Monetary Policies, Banking Systems, Regulatory Convergence, Efficiency and Growth in the Mediterranean

Rym Ayadi, Sami Mouley
30/11/2013

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.

Click here for more information and to order the book: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=574010

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Scenarios Assessment and Transitions towards a Sustainable Euro-Mediterranean in 2030

Rym Ayadi, Carlo Sessa
30/11/2013

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.

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Paving the Way for Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the Southern Mediterranean

Rym Ayadi, Willem Pieter De Groen
10/11/2013

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

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Policy Lessons for Macroeconomic and Financial Crisis Management in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean

Rym Ayadi, Willem Pieter De Groen
09/11/2013

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.

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A New Euro-Mediterranean Energy Roadmap for a Sustainable Energy Transition in the Region

Manfred Hafner and Simone Tagliapietra, with contributions by Emmanuel Bergasse, Frederic Blanc (FEMISE, France), Noriko Fujiwara (CEPS, Brussels) and Pantelis Capros
27/05/2013

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.

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Economic Development, Trade and Investment in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries: An Agenda towards a Sustainable Transition

Marek Dabrowski, Luc De Wulf
27/05/2013

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.

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Financial Sector Development and Integration in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean: Towards a long-term sustainable transition

Rym Ayadi
27/05/2013

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.

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Human Capital, Inequality and Migration in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries: Towards a coherent policy agenda

Rym Ayadi, Alia El Mahdi (FEPS, Egypt)
27/05/2013

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.

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Perspectives in Resource Management and Climate Change Adaptation in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries (SEMC)

Francesco Bosello and Nicola Lamaddalena
27/05/2013

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

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State (un)Sustainability in the Southern Mediterranean and Scenarios to 2030: The EU’s Response

Nathalie Tocci
27/05/2013

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.

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What scenarios for the Euro-Mediterranean in 2030 in the wake of the Arab Spring?

Rym Ayadi, Carlo Sessa
25/02/2013

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.

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What scenarios for the Euro-Mediterranean in 2030?

Rym Ayadi
25/02/2013

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.

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Our Mediterranean: What future and what expectations?

Rym Ayadi
10/01/2013

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?

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Convergence of Bank Regulations on International Norms in the Southern Mediterranean: Impact on Bank Performance and Growth

Rym Ayadi, Emrah Arbak, Sami Ben Naceur, Barbara Casu
15/09/2011

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.

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