Economic Management Under Fire:
How did the South Med Policy-Makers Respond to the Demands for Change?
FEMISE is launching its 2017 Euro-Mediterranean report on the transition of the South Mediterranean economies. The report provides a critical analysis of the responses of selected countries of the region to the economic, social and political challenges in the wake of the uprising and recommendations on how to move forward to ensure a successful transition.
“Overall, South-Med countries are at a crossroad. They hold an enormous potential that has been held back by modest economic performance and extractive political institutions. The uprising, which began in December 2011 provided these countries an opportunity to follow a new development path”, state the authors of the report.
The political transition has unavoidably taken a toll on these economies and the governments found themselves facing a number of challenges and difficult decisions to make. For example, on the economic front and in and in an attempt to respond to popular demands and to calm rising social unrests, governments responded by adopting expansionary policies rather than austerity measures. While this policy choice added pressure on existing budget deficits and increased public debts, it is believed that it will help reverse the economic downturn over time.
“Seven years on, the development model does not seem to have changed much. To embark on a new course, the new strategy should aim at achieving the dual overarching objectives of consolidating the post-transition democratic polity, on the one hand, while making the transition towards a dynamic and equitable economy, on the other”, recommended the authors – who also provide targeted policy recommendations on how to achieve this objective in the report.
In 5 chapters and through a critical assessment of the performances of five South-Med countries in transition (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia), this report attempts to answer the following questions:
- What were the immediate economic consequences of the political transition in South-Med countries?
- How well did policymakers respond to the economic and social adversities associated with the political transition?
- Based on the analysis and the likely political evolution in these countries, what can be done to bring about healthier macroeconomic balances, job creating growth and greater social inclusion?
The report is written by a group of international experts and senior macroeconomists, political economists and social economists under the management of the Economic Research Forum (ERF, Cairo). Dr. Ahmed Galal, the editor of the report is the Chairman of the Board of the MENA Health Policy Forum and former ERF Managing Director and former FEMISE President; Dr. Ishac Diwan is visiting professor at Columbia University and holds a chair at Paris Sciences et Lettres; Dr. Ibrahim Elbadawi is the President of FEMISE and Managing Director of ERF; Dr. Hoda Selim is an Economist at the IMF; Dr. Zafiris Tzannatos is the Former professor in and chair of the Economics Department at the American University of Beirut; and Ms Jala Youssef is an economist of ERF and FEMISE.
The Euromed Report is an annual publication of FEMISE that is addressing themes of importance and interest to the EU-Med region. The report brings value-added to the themes it covers through in-depth analysis by economists from the North and the South of the Mediterranean, using a multidisciplinary approach. This brings a common view from the two shores of the Mediterranean and provides policy recommendations that can make a contribution to the South Med countries during their transition.
This report received financial support from the European Union through the FEMISE project on “Support to Economic Research, studies and dialogues of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”. Any views expressed in this report are the sole responsibility of the authors.
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 This report and its launch event received financial support from the European Union through the FEMISE project on “Support to Economic Research, studies and dialogues of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”. Any views expressed in this seminar are the sole responsibility of the authors and the speakers.