Tag Archives: Mediterranean

FEMISE Call for Policy Briefs – DL April 30th 2020

FEMISE is inviting all researchers and experts to submit original Policy Briefs based on recent research conducted on policy, economic and security issues relevant to the EU-Med region and Africa.

Deadline for Submission is :

April 30th 2020

I. Introduction

Policy Briefs are essential communication tools that translate the findings and the recommendations of an academic research work into a simple and concise policy note that could be accessible by, not only the policy makers, but also the business community and the general public.

The choice of the topic is left open to researchers.

II. Eligibility 

  • The Call is open to both members and non-members of FEMISE.
  • The Brief could be a submitted by one or more authors.
  • Authors must be residents in a country of the EU-Med region

III. Theme and template of the Brief

  • The Brief should conform to the “FEMISE General Guidelines for Policy Briefs”
  • The Brief should be about 4 pages maximum (around 2000 words)
  • It should be done in simple and non-technical language and should include operational policy recommendations that are based on a solid research.
  • The topic should be related to the EU-Med region
  • It could include one or two figures/tables for illustration and a short selection of a maximum of 5 references.
  • It could refer to the research papers from which it may be issued.

IV. Submission and Evaluation process

Please submit your Policy Brief to contact@femise.org and in CC c.tsakas@femise.org with the subject: “Submission of a Policy Brief

  • CV(s) of the author(s) should be submitted with the Brief as well as a short bio (that will appear on the brief if selected) of no more than 250 words
  • The evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

– the choice of the topic and how relevant it is the region

– the contribution to the existing knowledge

– the recommendation and policy relevance and their feasibility

– the style of writing

The selected Policy Briefs will be published under the FEMISE Policy Briefs Series “MedBrief” and in order of priority of the relevance of the topic.

Mediterranean: FEMISE shines a spotlight on Women and Young “Change Makers” 1/2

On the occasion of the Emerging Valley summit, which was held on December 3-5 in Aix en Provence (France), FEMISE and Institut de la Méditerranée organized a workshop on women and young “Change Makers” in the Mediterranean region. Ecomnews Med was there and below are our highlights.

Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Egypt… Delegations came from all around the Mediterranean for this day. Women and young people, often both at the same time, were there to “exchange experiences” as notes Layla Al Qassim, who came from Amman for the occasion. First a reflection, drawn up by the Secretary General of FEMISE Dr. Constantin Tsakas “We observe inequalities on all fronts in the Mediterranean, however we also find that there are many women and young people who are carriers of real solutions”.

In line with what the Think Tank has been offering for several years now, FEMISE thus traveled to the Mediterranean countries to “identify Change Makers“, adds Dr Tsakas. The objective is to be present in the field to propose concrete solutions, to carry out Research-Action which promotes good practices while offering relevant recommendations. Evidently, in the image of the Med briefs produced by FEMISE, it is a question of proposing findings, ideas, reflections, which could be used for political decision-making for more inclusiveness in the Mediterranean.

Constantin Tsakas, Patricia Augier, Layla Al-Qasim, Karine Moukaddem, A’Laa Chbaro, Samah Ben Dhia, Hajar Khamlichi, Chiraz Karoui

“We need research that caters to the needs of populations”

During the numerous FEMISE trips, the Secretary General admits having met “many women who are carriers of solutions. These women and young people direct, support and finance projects that have a considerable economic and social impact on their communities, regions and industries. ” This is also where the idea for this workshop was born. The Think tank wants to put the spotlight on these different women “because we believe in success stories a lot” abounds Dr Tsakas. Layla Al Qassim for example (see video above) was able to discuss the various progresses made within the Landmark Hotels chain of hotels in Jordan, for which she is responsible for strategic engagement and sustainability projects, such as “the establishment of a free nursery accessible to all employees“.

An idea already in place in several American or Scandinavian companies, and which benefits employees and employers. The former have less distance to travel to drop off the children and are less stressed. The latter benefit from higher productivity, since the employee is less under pressure.

But it is above all a concrete and quickly applicable idea as “we need research close to the expectations of the population” underlines Karine Moukaddem, junior researcher at Beyond Reform and Development and political analyst attached to FEMISE. The Mediterranean sustainable development expert is convinced of this, research close to expectations allows “political actions that are close to the realities of the population“.

This observation is shared by A’Laa Chbaro, who also underlines the need to restore ambition in Mediterranean women and give them the confidence to get started. Skills development and knowledge sharing are key factors that the young 23-year-old entrepreneur, director of the MENA branch of the international association Impact the world, seeks to develop.

The workshop ultimately helped to build bridges and decompartmentalize worlds, as often with FEMISE, between research and application on the ground, because it is well known after all, experience and science always progress together.

In a second part of this article, we will focus on the speakers at the IM / FEMISE workshop who support initiatives led by women and young people in other fields, such as in environmental awareness and in the media.

by Sami Bouzid, 

Article produced in partnership with EcomNews Med.

Find all the information from the Mediterranean think tank by clicking here.

Moments from the IM/FEMISE workshop at EV2019 :Empowering Women and Youth Leaders in the Mediterranean and Africa (Dec 4th, TheCamp, Aix-en-Pce)

Gender Equality: FEMISE signs Altafemina’s Charter of Performing Diversity

FEMISE was invited to the Altafemina Festival (November 26th, EuropaCorp Cinema, La Joliette, Marseille, France) and was honored to sign the Altafemina Charter of Performing Diversity. This charter values organizations (companies, associations, institutions) that engage and act concretely for diversity both during their events and in their governing bodies.

Constantin Tsakas (FEMISE, IM) & Samah Ben Dhia (Altafemina)

After a brief presentation of the activities of FEMISE, Dr. Constantin Tsakas (Secretary General of FEMISE, General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée) emphasized that the signing of this charter is a first step to raise more awareness in the South of the Mediterranean on the question of gender diversity. FEMISE research has shown that women-owned businesses can even illustrate higher labor productivity. Nevertheless, Southern Mediterranean countries* are characterized by extremely low female participation rates. This rate is 29% on average and the gap with other regions in the world is considerable.

Thanking Altafemina for this honor, Dr Tsakas added that gender diversity is a strength for FEMISE, the administrative team is made up of both men and women, and more than 70% of the young “ChangeMakers” of FEMISE researchers are women. Above all, they are competent and dynamic people, regardless of their gender.

Dr. Tsakas also presented the activities of FEMISE that contribute to a culture of diversity and gender equality in the Mediterranean. Among them, he highlighted the recent partnership with Emerging Valley, in which FEMISE will mobilize young Mediterranean women who lead, support and / or finance projects with significant economic and social impact in their communities, societies and industries. More activities, including awareness-raising videos as part of a partnership with Altafemina, are expected in the following months.

 

FEMISE is a Think-Tank, a network of research institutes in economics, which produces research reports for policymakers on both sides of the Mediterranean. The network mobilizes more than 100 university centers from all over the Mediterranean on 4 thematic axes: Trade Integration, Private Sector Development and Innovation, Environmental Awareness and Development of new inclusive and sustainable growth models. The results of this research are disseminated through platforms that foster dialogue and policy debate among stakeholders, which include researchers, the international community and policy makers.

* Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Palestinian Territories

FEMISE welcomes 6 new members !

Following the accession of the 6 new members, FEMISE is pleased to announce that the number of members of the network reaches 109 institutes: 58 of the North and 51 of the South.

This is a vote of confidence for FEMISE, which is developing to become the most impactful EU-Med network, with a growing number of economic and political researchers from both shores working together for inclusive and sustainable development and regional integration, and with a growing number of contacts with policy makers and international organizations.

 

Bios about new FEMISE members:

 

 

Institut Supérieur de Commerce et d’Administration des Enterprise (ISCAE), Morocco :  ISCAE (Higher Institute of Commerce and Business Administration) is a major school of business and management in Morocco. It has the status of public institute under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. ISCAE has three campuses: ISCAE Casablanca, ISCAE Rabat, and ISCAE Guinea. This Institute cooperates closely with the national economic fabric in order to achieve a perfect symbiosis between the training it provides and the evolving needs of the private sector.

 

 

 

Fondation pour les etudes et recherches sur le développement Internationales (FERDI), France : FERDI is a think tank which was created in 2003. Its primary, research-based purpose, is to influence the international discussion on major development issues. Independent and not-for-profit, FERDI mobilizes high-level researchers in the field of international development and offers relevant and innovative thinking on the key issues in development economics. FERDI is particularly active on issues related to development effectiveness, sustainable development, and global governance.

 

 

 

Institut Tunisien de la Compétitivité et des Etudes Quantitatives (ITCEQ), Tunisia :  The Tunisian Institute of Competitiveness and Quantitative Studies (previously called Institute of Quantitative Economics) is a major Tunisian center for economic and social studies and competitiveness. It was created in 1973. Among its missions, it ensures the follow-up work, analysis of the Tunisian economy and its determinants at the product-level and at the macroeconomic, sectoral and regional levels and carries out surveys on the competitiveness of the private sector and the business climate.

 

Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS), Cairo, Egypt : ACPSS is one of the leading think tanks in Egypt and the region, consistently rated among the top 30 think tanks in the world in the global “Go-To think Tanks” annually produced at the University of Pennsylvania (USA). ACPSS serves as a connection space where knowledge-based policies/consultancy are produced and where different challenges faced by the region are also thoroughly studied.

 

 

 

 

DIAL- UMR LEDa – Paris Dauphine, France :  The LEDa, Dauphine’s Economics Laboratory, is a research unit created in 2009. It brings together all the economist professors-researchers from Paris Dauphine University as well as IRD and CNRS researchers. Its decision-oriented research focuses on several broad-spectrum society issues: health and aging, development and mobility, macroeconomic policies, environment and climate, and finance.

 

Yaşar University, Turquie :  Yaşar University is a university, in Izmir, Turkey. The university faculty teaches in English, with programs at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Yaşar University presents itself as a “boutique university”. Its goal is to be identified as a small but prestigious international Turkish university.[1] Yaşar University also adheres to a policy of internationalization: a process of connecting a globalized world with the local community through a variety of social responsibility projects.

EuroMed report: Repatriation of Refugees from Arab Conflicts: Conditions, Costs and Scenarios for Reconstruction

The new EuroMed Report is now available

Repatriation of Refugees from Arab Conflicts : Conditions, Costs and Scenarios for Reconstruction*

The report is available for download here.  

 

This report discusses the issue of repatriation of refugees in impacted countries of the South Med region.

Through its four chapters, the authors start by looking into the characteristics of these refugees and the conditions affecting their decisions to return.

This overview is followed by an analysis of the possible political settlement scenarios and reconstructions’ potentials, with a focus on the possible role of the international community.

The authors then analyse the economic costs of conflicts as well as post-conflict growth scenarios.

The report concludes by highlighting the main findings and providing policy insights into how to address this issue to ensure a safe, sustainable and dignified return of refugees to their home countries.

 

 

Contributors 

 

Dr. Ibrahim Elbadawi, President of FEMISE and Managing Director of ERF

Dr. Samir Makidisi, Institute of Financial Economics, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Dr. Semih Tumen, Associate Professor of Economics at TED University, Turkey

Dr. Belal Fallah, Director of research at Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute-MAS, Palestine

Dr. Roger Albinyana, Director of Mediterranean Regional Policies and Human Development, IEMED, Spain

Dr. Maryse Louis, General Manager, FEMISE

Ms. Jala Emad Youssef, AUC, Egypt

 

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 seminar are the sole responsibility of the authors and the speakers.

Analyzing the impact of a EU-Tunisia DCFTA (report FEM43-16)

From a policy perspective, what do we conclude from these results: The opening
up of markets leads to opportunities and to the possibility of net welfare gains.This
result is well established from international trade theory and from a wide range of
empirical evidence. There are many sources of these gains, but only some of which
are accounted for in a modelling framework such as the one we have used. The
extent of the gains will depend critically both on the level of non-tariff barriers
between the EU and Tunisia and on the extent of any reductions in both tariff and
non-tariff barriers. It is therefore extremely important that more work is
undertaken to better understand the extent of these barriers and what specific
policies are needed to ensure their removal.

Financial Inclusion and Stability in the MED Region: Evidence from Poverty and Inequality (report FEM44-01)

Despite a significant growth in profitability and efficiency, the Middle East (MED) well developed banking system seems to be unable to reach vast segments of the population, especially the underprivileged ones. To this end, the onus of policymakers in the region is to create effective opportunities for financial inclusion, and subsequently poverty and income inequality reduction. Whether they have succeeded in their endeavor is an empirical question we seek to address in this research project. Using Panel data, GMM and GLS econometric models, and a sample of six MED countries (Al GMM and GLS econometric models and a sample of six MED countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia) over the period 2002-2018, this paper assesses empirically the impact of financial inclusion on income inequality, poverty, and financial stability in the MED region. While the empirical literature on the region is relatively scarce, this paper adds to that literature by bridging a significant existing gap, especially in the aftermath of the recent financial and debt crises and the recent political, social, and military turmoil that have been unfolding in several MED countries.

Our empirical results have shown that financial inclusion decreases inequality but has no significant effect on poverty. Inflation and population increase both inequality and poverty. Other empirical results have shown that the secondary enrollment ratio, female labor force participation and the trade openness variables are found to significantly affect poverty. While the empirical evidence indicates that enhanced financial integration is a contributing factor to financial instability, an increase in financial inclusion and in population contributes positively to financial stability. This study has also shown that greater access to financial services is positively contributing to the resilience of the banking system deposit funding base. This is particularly important during times of financial crises. Enhanced resilience of bank funding supports overall financial stability of the banking sector and the entire financial system. The latest debt and financial crises have shown that financial liberalization and inclusion in MED may not always be conducive to poverty reduction and financial stability improvements.

Our empirical findings have important policy implications. MED policy makers face tradeoffs when deciding whether to focus on reforms to promote financial development (financial inclusion, innovation, financial access, etc…) or whether to focus on further improvements in financial stability. However, synergies between promoting financial development and inclusion and financial stability can also exist. The results of this study could help foster a better policy to reform the financial sector by demonstrating how broadening the use of banking can have a direct impact on income distribution.

The recent and uncoordinated liberalization attempts have rendered MED financial and banking sectors more vulnerable to the recent financial and debt crises. In particular, the fast attempts to liberalize and financially integrate the Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco’s financial markets with the more mature markets of the United States and Europe has had devastating consequences on their banking sectors and stock markets.

When deciding on whether to focus on reforms to promote financial development (financial inclusion, innovation, access to financial services, etc.) and reduce poverty and income inequality, or on whether to focus on further improvements in financial stability, MED policy makers will have to bear in mind, the tradeoff that exits between financial liberalization and integration and financial stability. Carefully designed financial liberalization policies need to be timely introduced in order not to destabilize the financial system. Moreover, the latest debt and financial crises have shown that financial liberalization and development may not always be conducive to poverty and inequality reduction on the one hand, and to stimulate growth and development, on the other. On the contrary, and in many instances policies aimed at fostering financial development and innovations have triggered recessions and in many MED countries have had detrimental effects on growth and development and have further widened the gap between the rich and poor.

The MED region stands at a crossroad, with changes sweeping many of its countries and creating an environment conducive to financial and economic reform. Having missed a number of opportunities to reduce poverty and inequality, to introduce extensive financial and institutional reforms, and make substantial progress in financial inclusion, more effort still needs to be devoted in the future. The social movements in the region and the earlier series of financial crises have exposed the weaknesses of the adopted financial development model and have raised questions as to how to reshape financial policies most effectively and create the space to address the needs of everyone in society, reaching even the most deprived. The slow pace of financial development and liberalization policies adopted in most MED countries in the past has yielded a relatively acceptable level of economic growth and, in general, managed to meet the goals of economic and financial stability. Oil booms have generated acceptable growth rates, with oil-abundant MED countries delivering much more than those less developed. However, the impact of such economic and financial policy choices has not led to the desired outcomes in terms of human development, poverty reduction and financial stability. Growth has not been inclusive and has widened the gap between the rich and poor; a case in point is Egypt and Morocco. Indeed, in certain cases, financial liberalization has actually contributed to further financial instability. In light of a critical reassessment of the achievements and failures of MED countries, a new financial development approach should be adopted. This new model should be more holistic, integrating the financial and social spheres in combination with strong financial institutions. It is vital that MED policymaking should expand to accommodate these spheres and place them on equal footing in the service of a long-term rights-based financial developmental vision.

The new model will reconsider financial policies that incorporate developmental priorities and would thus achieve structural change. Financial policies will have to be reshaped to achieve not only financial stabilization, adjustment and economic growth, but to also trigger the transformation required to generate growth that is broad-based, inclusive and sustainable. Within this context, such policy tools as financial development and inclusion, and financial sector diversification and liberalization will have to be addressed. At the same time, financial policies should not shy away from meeting the same objectives as social policy under this new financial development paradigm, in which the interests and welfare of every person in society are the target. It is also of central importance to ensure that social policy goes hand-in-hand with financial development policies to bring about the required transformation and ensure inclusive financial and economic growth. While the social and financial spheres should interconnect to create synergies, this new financial development model will not achieve its goals if political and institutional reforms remain shallow. Finally, sustainable poverty and income inequality reduction requires an acknowledgement that politics, institutions, financial and socio-economic policies are intertwined and have an impact on each other. Synchronizing financial and social policies with institutional and political reform would bring about positive, sustainable change under a clearly defined financial development vision.

Environmental Regulation and Agricultural Trade Development (report FEM44-06)

The political implications of these results are as follows. First, it is illusory to consider bilateral free trade agreements as capable, on their own, of increasing trade flows between the two shores and developing the agricultural sectors of the SEMCs. In fact, and given the vulnerability of agricultural products, without accompanying upstream measures, the opening of the European market in the agricultural sector, in particular that of fruit and vegetables, would bring only a limited advantage to these countries. In addition, support for the modernization and adoption of new technologies that respect the environment and meet the requirements of the European market is necessary so that the SEMCs can really benefit from the liberalization of agricultural trade with the EU. Secondly, the harmonization of agri-environmental measures between the Common Agricultural Policies and those introduced by PSEM is strongly recommended and should make it possible both to increase the competitiveness of their sectors and to facilitate access to the European market. This raises an important point about the trade agreements being considered or being negotiated as it is important to take into account the slowness of the process related to the transformation of agricultural production systems (eg conversion to organic farming, training and adaptation of farmers to new technologies). As a result, appropriate deadlines must be taken into consideration by both parties. Finally, it is clear that the harmonization of non-tariff measures in a second step according to the international system would be a lever to increase agricultural trade and integrate more fully into the global economy.

Migration, Comparative Advantages and Knowledge Diffusion (report FEM44-11)

Overall, the estimation results show that the trade effect of immigration from MENA to EU is always positive while that of emigration from EU to MENA is negative or not significant. However, the trade effects of immigration encountered between EU and MENA partners are lower with respect to other EU partner areas. Besides, the migration induced effect on bilateral trade is higher in low tech than in medium and high tech. If we concentrate on trade of EU with third countries, a measure adopted as a proxy for the spillover channel, we observe that immigration from MENA increases the intensive margin of EU trade in medium tech products but not the extensive margin and emigration does not have a significant impact. Interdependencies between migration and trade policies pointed out by the results of our investigation are meaningful for migration policies of EU countries towards MENA.

FEMISE MedBRIEF 26: ” Unequal Opportunities in Early Childhood in the Mediterranean”

Moundir LASSASSI, Valérie BERENGER & Touhami ABDELKHALEK

The FEMISE Policy Brief series MED BRIEF aspires to provide Forward Thinking for the EuroMediterranean region.The briefs contain succinct, policy-oriented analysis of relevant EuroMed issues, presenting the views of FEMISE researchers and collaborators to policy-makers.

 

 

 

The MED BRIEF “Unequal Opportunities in Early Childhood in 6 Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries”, is available here (in french).

 

Summary

Early childhood is the most important period for human development. However, countries tend to under-invest in this phase of development, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Children face unequal opportunities to develop because of the circumstances of their birth. This research analyzes inequalities of opportunity in early childhood development in three southern Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) as well as in three non-European Eastern European countries (EU) (Bosnia , Serbia and Ukraine). The results show that there is a substantial inequality of opportunity from the beginning of life. Various circumstances influence early inequalities, including household standard of living, mother’s education, and geographical differences.

The list of FEMISE MED BRIEFS is available here.

The policy brief has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union within the context of the FEMISE program. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union