Policy papers


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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