Tag Archives: méditerranée

FEMISE is pleased to announce the winners of its 2017 Internal Competition !

We received nineteen (19) eligible proposals for this 2017 round under the General theme of

“The Role of the EU in facilitating the modernization, the transition and international openness of the Mediterranean countries”.

Following the evaluation undertaken by the Evaluation committee, the Selection committee selected nine (9) proposals for funding in the context of the FEMISE-European Commission contract on: “Support to economic research, studies and dialogue of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”.

The selected proposals have a real value added generating fresh knowledge, use rigorous and sound methodology, and have the potential of offering policy recommendations. Selected proposals include 21 different FEMISE Affiliates from 13 different EU-Med countries (5 from the north and 8 from the south) and with the participation of more than 40 researchers from the Mediterranean. Drafts of the research papers will be presented in the forthcoming FEMISE Annual Conference (early 2018).

The nine selected proposals address the following themes :

  • The refugees’ crisis (3)
  • Evaluation of the Association Agreements (2)
  • Innovation and technology transfer (1)
  • Renewable energies, sustainable development, climate change and problems of Water (1)
  • Social Policies and Labour markets (2)

We wish our researchers all the best in the efforts that they will undertake. We strongly encourage all of our affiliates to participate in the fourth round (late 2017) and we wish you every success with your research activities.

The winners are:

FEM43-03

Morocco and Tunisia in the European Global Value Chains: a special focus on business services as innovation drivers, University of Granada (Spain) and University Mohamed V (Morocco)

The main aim of this project is to evaluate the role played by European Global Value Chains, and more specifically by business services, in adding value added and fostering innovation in Morocco and Tunisia. More concretely, we are aimed at achieving three objectives: First, we examine the evolution of the business services content of gross imports, by importing industry and country of origin. This indicator presents the “real” value added that business services create and that it is imported directly (as direct imports of business services) but also indirectly as intermediate inputs into the production of goods and services. Second, we identify the source of foreign value added embodied in domestic final demand for business services by country of origin of the value added. Domestic final demand includes household consumption, government consumption and non-profit institutions serving households. Third, we estimate the product-embodied R&D diffused through imported business services that are used as intermediate inputs by country of origin. Intermediate inputs contain R&D created by other industries and in other countries. The use of intermediate inputs from high-innovative industries (as business services) can contribute to the development of innovations in user industries.

FEM43-04

Les stratégies de développement des énergies renouvelables dans la région MENA : Etude comparative et couloirs de développement.”, University of Toulon (France) and Université de Sousse (Tunisia)

Ce projet vise à analyser la dynamique des stratégies de développement des énergies renouvelables dans les pays MENA sur la période 1990-2014. Pour cela, nous proposons de définir deux indicateurs de production d’énergies renouvelables (global et par source) afin d’identifier le profil de chaque pays tout en portant une attention particulière aux énergies renouvelables issue de la technologie de l’hydraulique. Aussi, nous proposons d’étudier les conséquences sur le développement durable de ces pays au regard des sources des énergies renouvelables et à l’aide d’un modèle économétrique en panel dynamique. Ainsi, le projet se propose de produire des éléments de comparaison entre les pays MENA et d’étudier le lien, à court et à moyen terme, entre les sources d’énergies renouvelables et le développement. Ce projet permettra de mettre en lumière l’impulsion donné par le Plan Solaire Méditerranéen aux différentes stratégies des pays MENA et d’identifier la ou les stratégie (s) gagnante (s) en termes de point de croissance.

FEM43-05 The Long-Term Impact of Syrian Refugees on Turkish Economy: An Input-Output Simulation”, AGREEM – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) and CREM (Turkey)

The main goal of the research proposal is to assess the medium / long – term aggregated economic impact of refugees on the economy of middle income-labour abundant hosting countries using Turkish economy as a case study. This project aims to be understood as a contribution to the evaluation of this long-term economic potential. Our objective is to widen the view about the impact of Syrian refugees in Turkish economy adding a long – term perspective to the partial evidences found in the short – term context.

FEM43-06Income Convergence and the Impact of the Euro-MED Trade and Financial Integration on Macroeconomic Volatility, Institute of Financial Economics AUB (Lebanon), KEDGE Business School (France)

The Mediterranean Partner economies are expected to further benefit from regional financial and trade integration with a proper allocation of savings, and a better ability to share financial risk by reducing consumption and income volatilities. However, the empirical evidence on the effects of trade and financial integration on macroeconomic volatility is still very limited. Therefore, this study will add to the limited existing literature on developing countries by studying, and perhaps for the first time, the relationship between trade and financial integration and macroeconomic volatility in the MED region. The objective of this study is to shed some light on this issue by studying the impact of enhanced regional trade and financial integration on macroeconomic volatility in the Euro-MED region. In this context, we will answer the following question: is there a link between the degree of regional trade and financial integration and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and consumption convergence and macroeconomic volatility in the MED region?

FEM43-07 The Effect of Syrian Refugees on the Labour Market of Host Countries, Macro Center for Political Economics (Israel), Centre Emile Bernheim, University of Brussels (Belgium)

The project aims to analyse how the influx of Syrian refugees influences the economic and social conditions of host countries such as Lebanon and Jordan. Although broad knowledge regarding the challenges of migrant workers has been gathered in the academic field, this is not the case regarding refugees. Despite the extensive discussion about the refugee crisis in Europe, the impact of the Syrian War and resulting instability in the entire region on neighbouring economies receiving refugees has not been sufficiently addressed. The research methodology is based on comparisons of labour markets before and after refugee entrance. This project aspires to improve the decision making process in integrating the refugees in host countries and stabilizing their economic and social status.

FEM43-08Feminization of occupations and its effect on gender wage gap in south Mediterranean Countries‘, October University for modern sciences and arts (Egypt), American University in Cairo (Egypt) and European Institute London School of Economics (UK)

The main aim of the project is dual. First, to analyze the effect of feminization of occupations on gender-occupational segregation in the Mediterranean countries Egypt and Jordan. Second, to identify the effect of feminization of occupations on the gender wage gap. In particular, the analysis will investigate the role of the feminization of occupations on boosting female labor force participation and on decreasing the gender wage gap and increasing the ‘labor market effectiveness and inclusiveness’. Ultimately, the goal is to increase labor markets’ efficiency that promotes living standards and thus manages migration to the EU countries.

FEM43-14

Refugees and hosting country economy: integration models and cooperation policy options, Cespi (Italy) and Royal Scientific Society (Jordan)

In this research we will address the hypothesis of refugees as a potential in Jordanian economy, when socially included, with a methodology that gives an original insight. We will compare the economic inclusion of migrants in an advanced OECD country on one hand, Italy, with the economic inclusion of refugees in Jordan now at hand. The aim of the comparison is to identify the determinants of economic inclusion in Italy in terms of opportunity structure on the territory and its institutions and policies (at local and national levels), and in terms of social capital and compare them with data and experience from Jordan. This will allow to design policy indications based on findings and best practices of economic integration and social inclusion of refugees in the hosting country.

FEM43-16 Analysing the impact of the EU-Tunisia DCFTA on Tunisian Trade and Production, University of Sussex (UK), Université de Tunis, ESSEC (Tunisia)

In contrast to the existing literature the aim of this project is use a disaggregated multi-market partial equilibrium (PE) model. This will provide a much more granular analysis of the possible impact on the trade and production of specific Tunisian industries. The model we propose will be a multi-market model, and built into it will be the possibility of running simulations under both perfect and imperfect competition, and thus to explore the sensitivity of the results to different forms of competitive interaction. The analysis of the EU-Tunisia DCFTA will also shed light both methodologically and empirically on the impact of further DCFTAs which are already under negotiation (eg. Morocco – though currently suspended), and those which have been suggested for the future (such as with Egypt or Jordan).

FEM43-18

Le développement de la petite enfance et l’inégalité des chances au Maghreb (Algérie, Maroc et Tunisie), INSEA (Morocco) ; along with CREAD (Algeria) and University of Toulon (France)

Ce travail permettrait de proposer des recommandations pour une meilleure orientation des politiques en matière de développement et d’amélioration des indices d’équité et d’égalité des chances dans les trois pays : Algérie, Maroc et Tunisie. Dans un premier temps, l’état du développement de la petite enfance (DPE) sera évalué à travers plusieurs indicateurs différents. En deuxième lieu, nous décrirons la relation entre ces indicateurs et un certain nombre de caractéristiques de données de base (dites circonstances) des enfants. Troisièmement, nous quantifierons les chances inégales auxquelles les enfants font face pour vivre leur situation dans chacun de ces indicateurs, à l’aide de l’indice de dissimilitude D-index.

 

How does Migration Boost Trade?

The most recent report by FEMISE members, published in April 2017, highlights the interaction between migration and the density of trade relations in the countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region. France and Egypt are the subject of a specific study attesting to the close imbrication between these two phenomena.

Selon l’étude, les réseaux d'immigrants ont pour effet d’augmenter de 10 % à 20 % les échanges commerciaux entre la France et l’Egypte (photo : F.Dubessy)

According to the study, immigrant networks have the effect of increasing trade between France and Egypt by between 10% and 20% (photo : F.Dubessy)

This is indisputable. The econometric analysis of Femise’s experts twists and turns to the conventional wisdom about the impact of migrants on the economy of host countries.
The most recent FEM41-13 report  entitled “The role of vicinity linkages in the EU-Med region for trade growth : Focus on Migration, level of education, and social integration” demonstrates the positive role of the influx of migrants on the increase in the volume of trade between the country of departure and that of destination. According to the study, networks of immigrants present a clear capacity for giving rise to new trade exchanges with estimates of effects at 10%-20% of total trade exchanges for two countries under study.

Marseille, cosmopolitan city par excellence, maintains close and historical relations with Tunis and Algiers. In Sète, the importance of the Moroccan community justifies the exploitation of maritime links with the Kingdom. Migrants duplicate their consumption habits in the host country. These overlaps stimulate economies. This is why Femise advocates an emphasis and a modulation of the commercial policy of the States with regard to their migration strategy.

The report analyzes the case of France and Egypt. Hexagon, which had 7.6 million immigrants in 2013, has always had close historical ties with neighboring Maghreb countries. Of the 220 000 annual migrants recorded in France (between 2000 and 2013), 51% come from Africa. “Exports and imports to and from countries in the MENA3 zone (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) account for 8% of France’s total trade,” the document said.

Caution Towards Selective Migration Policies

73% des émigrés égyptiens choisissent de s’installer dans un pays arabe et 13% en Europe de l’Ouest (©ververidis/123RF )

In the case of Egypt, which has 4 million immigrants around the world, the Femise study demonstrates the beneficial effect on the trade of host countries. 73% of Egyptian emigrants choose to settle in an Arab country and 13% in Western Europe. “By choosing to settle in a western country, they seek to evolve professionally while avoiding corruption, social prejudices in Egypt,” the report states.

The co-authors Andrés Artal-Tur  and Vicente Pallardó-López, professors at the University of Valencia, and John Salevurakis and Mona Said professors at the American University of Cairo (AUC) highlight a number of variables influencing Bilateral trade relations between countries of departure and destination.

Thus, the profile of the migrant has an impact on the nature and intensity of trade. Their level of education, their professional activity, their level of language proficiency and their adaptability to the host country play a decisive role.

If the link between migration and trade is established, it seems legitimate to question the long-term impact of the rise in protectionism and the selective migration policies deployed by OECD member countries in recent months.

The full report is available to download by clicking on the link

Article produced in partnership with Econostrum

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Pierre Vimont “Each European State must participate in the effort to welcome refugees in an equitable manner”

Consultant at Carnegie Europe and French Ambassador to the European Union, Pierre Vimont was the organizer of the Valletta Summit on Migration in November 2015. This specialist in European Neighborhood Policy, Transatlantic Relations and french Foreign Policy participated in the Femise annual conference on the 29th and 30th of April 2017 in Casablanca. About a hundred Mediterranean experts delivered their analyzes on the theme of “Migration and Refugees Crisis in the EU-Med: Dawn of an era of shared responsibility? “.

Pierre Vimont est un expert de la politique européenne de voisinage, des relations transatlantiques et de la politique étrangère. ©N.B.C

Pierre Vimont is an expert in European Neighborhood Policy, Transatlantic Relations and french Foreign Policy ©NBC

Since 2010 Arab states are undergoing an unprecedented crisis. What is the state of play?

These crises gave rise to hope in both Arab and European countries. But after a while, some countries faced economic difficulties. Hope gave its place to disenchantement in Syria, Libya and Yemen. There is a real difficulty in defining the needed actions to help these countries achieve political stability, security and economic prosperity.

Immigration of refugees has fragmented the European territory. Is this issue not a danger to Europe?

The management of the refugees crisis creates a profound division within Member States. However, we must never lose hope with Europe. Solidarity, loyal cooperation among all partners, is key to the problem. Italy and Greece, given their geographical position, are making much more efforts to welcome immigrants and grant them the right to asylum. In 2016, 770,000 people benefited from the right to asylum. There are too many disparities between states. Everyone must participate in the effort to welcome refugees in an equitable manner. Nearly 450,000 reside in Germany, while France only counts 35,000.

How is France positioned?

Pierre Vimont lors de la conférence annuelle du Femise, les 29 et 30 avril 2017 à Casablanca. ©NBC

Pierre Vimont at the Femise annual conference, April 29-30 in Casablanca. ©NBC

The French effort in the field of asylum right remains much lower than in Germany. This country replenishes a demographic deficit that generates unfilled jobs. France is trying to improve its asylum system, making it more efficient for decisions to be made more rapidly. The deadlines for granting asylum are currently around one year but should be reduced by half. The french public opinion remains very reserved with regard to refugees and economic emigrants. The French authorities are quite cautious on this issue. Many believe that immigrants generate unfair competition. However, they occupy jobs that the French refuse to perform such as the collection of household garbage in large cities or the employment of seasonal workers in the agricultural field.

How can we avoid any risk of amalgation between terrorist attacks and the rise of Islamism?

Political leaders, intellectuals and elites must be pedagogical. They must explain the migratory phenomena to avoid any risk of amalgamation. To do this, one must have the courage to speak and explain the reality of what is happening on the ground. Political refugees are not illegal immigrants attracted by unscrupulous employers. They are persecuted citizens in their countries, with no alternative but to flee.


The reports of the Plenary Sessions of the FEMISE 2017 Annual conference are available by clicking here.

Interview undertaken by in partnership with Econostrum at teh FEMISE Annual Conference of 2017- Photo by Nathalie Bureau du Colombier.

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Education and Intergenerational mobility of women in Arab countries

What is the relationship between gender inequalities in education and the intergenerational mobility of women in countries of the southern Mediterranean shore? In a FEMISE report entitled “Inequality, Intergenerational Mobility of Women Educational Attainment and Inclusive Policies in Arab Countries”, FEMISE experts stress the link between inequality and social immobility.

Etudiants marocains. Photo Marie Pierre Vega.

Photo Caroline Garcia.

Gender inequalities in education and schooling are decreasing in countries of the southern shore of the Mediterranean, even though the improvement in the level of schooling is more important for men than for women, as found by FEMISE researchers of Al Akhawayn University in Morocco and the Bucharest Academy of economic studies in their report (FEM41-01) « Inequality, Intergenerational Mobility of Women Educational Attainment and Inclusive Policies in Arab Countries ».

Intergenerational mobility allows a person to change his/her social position in relation to that of his parents. Thus, the report compares inequality and intergenerational mobility of women in Arab countries compared to that of Central and Eastern European countries. In all countries, researchers find a link between the level of inequality and intergenerational immobility. This concept is called “the Gatsby curve”. Specifically, the higher the inequalities, the more the social situation remains “frozen” from one generation to the next. Few Arab countries see their children reach a higher level of education compared to that of their parents.

Despite a reduction in inequalities and a growing feminization in the field of education, researchers do not see any real progress on the labor market of Arab countries because of rigidities that penalize all women, whether they are employees or business creators.

What recommendations to encourage intergenerational mobility?

“Unemployment can become a real barrier to change,” stated Ahmed Driouchi, one of the authors of the report. This economics professor at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, confirms that women are more affected than men. Arab countries will have to create significantly more jobs than at present to simply succeed in stabilizing the unemployment curve.

The report calls on Arab countries to promote intergenerational mobility, particularly among women. To achieve this, Professor Ahmed Driouchi points out many tools such as “schooling, the fight against educational wastage, transportation, housing, school canteens, student grants.” He stresses that other instruments such as evaluation in relation to international standards (TIMSS, PISA ..), as well as student exchanges or joint activities with EU countries can allow new generations to access higher levels of education than their parents.

The report is available (in english) and can be accessed at the following link.
Article produced in partnership with Econostrum.

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Gérard Tur

Tourism in the Mediterranean, a sector of two-speeds

Since the Arab Spring and the wave of terrorist attacks, travellers have avoided the Maghreb and Mashrek countries in favor of safe destinations in the northern Mediterranean. In their latest report, Femise economists draw an overview of the situation and provide a roadmap for a sector considered vital for the southern economies. Hotels should adopt new management practices and modify their marketing approaches. However, the main recommendation is targeting new clients. What if the Maghreb region became the new destination for Chinese tourists ?

Plage de l'hôtel Rammada Plaza à Gammarth Tunisie (photo : F.Dubessy)

Hôtel Rammada Plaza at Gammarth, Tunisia (photo : F.Dubessy)

With 250 million tourists spending $ 200,000 million a year, the Mediterranean is among the most popular destinations in the world. A pot distributed unevenly since the Jasmine Revolution in 2011.

In the first few years travellers kept visiting Tunisian beach resorts, however, the jihadist massacre of tourists in 2015 dealt a blow to an activity which accounted for 10% of the country’s GDP. Wealth generated by tourism melted as snow in the sun, falling to only 7% of Tunisia’s GDP.

“Seven million tourists have been diverted from North Africa since 2010. Egypt has lost five million tourists and Tunisia two and a half million,” notes the Femise report, published in January 2017, coordinated by Doaa M. Salman Abdou professor in Cairo (October University for Modern Sciences and Arts, Egypt) in collaboration with Andrés Artal-Tur professor at Valencia (Technical University of Cartagena & Institute of International Economics (IEI-UV), University of Valencia, Spain).

Conversely, Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal, considered as safe havens, register record levels of attendance. In 2011, tour operators had diverted 12 million trips to Spain. At the beginning of 2016, the Iberian Peninsula showed a record increase: + 13.4% for the Balearic Islands, + 5.1% for Continental Spain, + 6.4% for the Canary Islands and above all + 40% for Portugal.

Increased presence of Asian tourists

This is a phenomenon that scares investors and aggravates unemployment. Entitled “Winners and losers in the tourism and hospitality industry along the transition process”, the Femise (FEM41-04) report advocates a number of ideas for increasing tourism-related revenues.

While the return of political stability and peace seems vital, Femise also suggests to put emphasis on the neighborhood policy and intensify training for hotel managers in the south of the Mediterranean.

Efforts have been made in Tunisia and Egypt to attract international tourists but with limited success. For the time being Europe is capturing these flows. “Growth in the number of visitors from Asia and North America to European destinations will continue in the future”. The report concludes that “ the Mediterranean ought to maintain a high level of competitiveness”.

The report is available (in english) and can be accessed at the following link.

 

Article produced in partnership with Econostrum.

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Winners and Losers in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry along the Transition Process

Executive Summary FEMISE research Project FEM 41-04

Along the present “Executive Summary” we synthesize the main findings of FEMISE Research Project FEM 41-04, on Winners And Losers In The Tourism And Hospitality Industry Along The Transition Process: Evidence From South And North MED Countries”, corresponding to the FEMISE research program 2015/2016.

Tourism is the backbone for many Mediterranean (MED) countries, providing a pivotal source of foreign currencies, attracting investments, absorbing labour force and sharing in the countries development. Tourism is also a sensitive industry based on security and safety issues when attracting tourists from all over the world. In 2015, the Mediterranean region was the first world tourism destination with more than 250 million people in arrivals and 200,000 million dollar in receipts, due to the presence of the leading North shore destinations (France, Spain, Greece and Italy) and South-East shore countries (Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia) (UNWTO, 2016).

At their very beginning, in years 2010 and 2011, the media started to define the Arab Spring revolutions as peaceful protest movements that are requesting to correct imbalances, corruption, poor living standards and inequality. Later, the protests and violence increased, sending a message that these countries were unsafe places to be visited. The instability that spread among the countries in the Mediterranean reshaped the region as vulnerable and threatening, especially in the south shore after several attacks on foreign tourists. Subsequently, a decline occurred in tourist arrivals and revenues, especially in Egypt and Tunisia, affecting the countries’ national income. On the other hand, important destinations in the north shore of the MED region were receiving the bulk of relocations that cancelled their visits to south countries, with some countries such as Spain, Italy, France or Greece remarkably increasing the number of arrivals since the beginning of the Arab Spring.

In this context, the first chapter of the study focuses on reviewing the impact of the Arab Spring movements on the tourism sector for both shores of the Mediterranean, taking Egypt and Spain as reference case studies In the case of Egypt, we can see that the tourism sector has been negatively affected by the instability situation, with this country facing a severe decline in tourist arrivals, revenues, occupancy rates, level of employment, taxes collection and global investments. However, the country is now in the midst of a transition process, and the recovery of a stable situation and the promotion of the country as a safe tourist destination is the main objective for present times, in order to retrieve the necessary benefits coming from international tourism. In contrast, Spain was recording remarkable flows of international inbound tourism in these years. More than 12 million trips have been relocated by international tour-operators into the country since year 2011 according to official estimates (Exceltur), with the year 2015 showing an historical number of 69 million of international arrivals. In broader terms, the South European Mediterranean countries increased international tourist arrivals in more than 50 million people in years 2010-2015, while arrivals in traditional destinations in the North of Africa dropped from more than 7 million people since 2010, with Egypt losing more than 5 million tourists in these years and Tunisia doing it for more than 2.5 million entrances. After this introductory section, the following two chapters of the investigation have focused on how to limit the impact of the instability situation on the tourism and hospitality industry in the MED region. For the south shore region, Chapter 2 proposes a marketing mix model helping to reduce the impact of the crisis on the labour force and feeble management methods. The model is tested for the reference case of Egypt. For the north shore MED region, Chapter 3 reviews the main changes taken place in the profile and vacational behaviour of tourists visiting the region and, by means of an expenditure model, we test how these changes could be affecting the economic sustainability of the tourists sector for the future. This setting is tested for the case of Spain as benchmark destination in this area.

In more detail, the second chapter of the study focuses on designing a new marketing mix model to rescue the hospitality industry in the South region, providing evidence from Egypt after the Arab Spring. The chapter emphasizes the necessity of identifying the key constructs driving the paths of improvement, restructuring and development for the tourism and hospitality industry in times of transition. We divide the model into an internal environment, and an external environment context. Our aim is to provide managers with new analytic tools helping them to overcome the current challenges. In testing the model, empirical research focus on survey analysis made to a sample of 5 and 4 star hotels located in Great Cairo, Alexandria, Sharma El Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor and Aswan in Egypt. The analysis was carried out by combining different statistical techniques including reliability intrinsic validity tests and logistic regression models. Relying on theoretical models and empirical results, we find out the following: the significant effects of feeble management performance characterizing hotels lie behind most of the labor layoffs. Crises management processes should be considered in this context as an alternative option of layoffs during the transition process.

Moreover, there are significant relationships between the occupancy rate during the transition process and the internal success factors of hotels represented by job oriented and customer oriented constructs. Levels of occupancy rates during the transition process became the key in the internal success factors of hotels, with the proposed marketing model being able to show the linkages between contemporary marketing mix, traditional marketing mix collaborative work achievements, and the rightsizing of cost optimization actions. These results emphasize the role of good management and marketing techniques for dealing with restrictions in times of transition in the hospitality industry at South countries.

Finally, the third chapter of the project investigates the impact of the boost in international arrivals in North MED countries since the beginning of the Arab Spring. It is interesting to note that in Spain, as well as in other north MED countries, the growth of international inbound tourism contrasted with an evident decline in domestic tourist flows since the beginning of the global financial crisis. This boom in international tourism in times of weak domestic demand undoubtedly helped the tourism industry to face its necessary reconversion path.

In the present analysis, this chapter employs survey data of more than 200,000 international tourists who were interviewed by the Spanish Institute of Tourism Studies (IET). The first part of the chapter focused on understanding the main changes taking place in the profile of tourists arriving since the beginning of the Arab Spring movements, and on the characteristics of their vacational stays. Main findings on the issue showed an increase in the presence of new groups of visitors, including tourists from northern Europe, Americas, and Asia in Spain, as well as a growing presence of other interesting segments of tourists, like females, young visitors with tertiary education, or travelling alone and with friends. New types of tourist behaviour have also emerged along these years, including a growing use of rent apartments, booking-in-advance customer preference and generalization of the Internet in tourism planning. Culture is being consolidated as a pivotal asset in the development of the European and Mediterranean tourism, while other interesting activities gaining place at destinations are those of tourism events (sports, cultural) and those closely linked to the idiosyncrasy of the Mediterranean region (gastronomy, nightlife). In the second part of the research we ran tourist expenditure models for four main destinations in Spain (Balearic and Canary Islands, Madrid and Catalonia) in order to identify the factors leading tourism spendings in the country and by destination. The most relevant factors leading expenditure in Spain appear to be those of country of origin, purpose of the visit, type of accommodation chosen, and level of income of visitors.

Combining the results of both sections, we can improve our knowledge on how changes in profiles of tourists would be affecting the economic sustainability of destinations in the near future. In this way, some important results emerge from the investigation. The first one relates to the growing revenues linked to new groups of tourists significantly increasing their presence in Spain through these years. These include international visitors coming from non-traditional origin countries in north of Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, all showing much higher levels of expenditure in regards to traditional EU visitors. Other collectives showing higher presence in Spain and increasing average spending according to expenditure equations are those of mid-age visitors, those with mid income levels, first-time visitors, and tertiary educated ones. Young visitors at urban destinations (Madrid and Catalonia), people travelling alone and with friends, all have been increasing their presence in the country in these years and help to increase the level of expenditure in Spain too. Other trends identified in the sample would be also help to increase spending in the future, including people engaged in cultural and food-related activities that has been significantly growing along recent years. Growth of all these activities enlarges the cultural and social dimension of destinations, also increasing economic revenues, reinforcing in this way the destination competitiveness. In general, positive outcomes for economic sustainability and competitiveness appear to be identified in Spain along these years, some of this coming in connection with relocation effects derived from the Arab Spring.

However, notable challenges have been also raised by results of the investigation. One of the most important is that referring to the capacity of destinations to increase spending of traditional EU visitors, given that they continue to represent around half of the global international tourism demand in Spain. Given that North African destinations show higher price competitiveness, pressures for downsizing of tourism prices in Spain have resulted in lower average trip spendings at some destinations. Such an issue points to the need of attracting more high-income tourists from overseas, i.e. Chinese visitors, as they constitute a desired target, but have slightly reduced their presence in Spain during these years. These two key points show the necessity of continuing with the reconversion of the Spanish tourism model, mainly for seaside mature destinations.

Summing up from all chapters, main findings of the Research Project FEM 41-04 showed that the tourism industry in the MED region has been facing a challenging situation, given the instability promoted by recent events, including the Arab Spring and the war in Syria. The project provides instruments to improve feeble management of hospitality industry in South countries, and a number of guidelines directed to increase the average tourist expenditure at north MED destinations for improving their economic sustainability. However, none of this would make no sense without an urgent determination of the EU institutions for achieving peace and stability in the MED region, this being a central policy prescription from the project. The focus of Neighboring Policies on developing cooperation and peace instruments would result in benefits for all the people in the region, as instability is a process that spreads through borders, whether you belong to the North or the South of the MED region.

 

INDEX

“Winners and Losers in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry along the Transition Process: Evidence from South and North MED Countries

  1. Executive Summary Research Project FEM 41-04
  2. Résumé Exécutif Rapport de Recherche FEM 41-04
  3. Chapter 1: The impact of the Arab Spring and regional instability on the tourism sector along the MED region
  4. Chapter 2: A new marketing mix model to rescue the hospitality industry: Evidence from Egypt after the Arab Spring
  5. Chapter 3: International tourism in Spain since the Arab Spring movements: A review from the perspective of economic competitiveness and sustainability of destinations

The Challenges of Climate Change in the Mediterranean


Taking the environment into account in economic and political decisions, in particular considering the development of renewable energies, is a major challenge for the future of the world and of course for the Mediterranean.

Institut de la Méditerranée (IM) and FEMISE contributed by writing a chapter for the ENERGIES 2050 report on climate change in the Mediterranean which was presented at the COP22 in Marrakech on November 15th 2016.

The chapter in question is Chapter II « La région Sud-Med post-Printemps Arabes et les potentiels pour l’environnement » the main author being Dr. Constantin TSAKAS (General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, General Secretary of FEMISE) with contributions by Dr Maryse LOUIS (General Manager of FEMISE, Programs Manager ERF) and Dr. Abeer EL-SHINNAWY (FEMISE, American University in Cairo).

The report (in French) allows to carry out a more detailed analysis of key sustainable development issues in the Mediterranean basin and is available for download by clicking here.

FEMISE accession to ANIMA

The co-ordinators of FEMISE, Institut de la Méditerranée (France) and Economic Research Forum (Cairo) are pleased to announce that FEMISE has joined the ANIMA Investment Network as a Strategic Member.

 

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ANIMA Investment Network is a multi-country cooperation platform for economic development in the Mediterranean. The ANIMA network, based in Marseille (France), gathers national and regional investment promotion agencies, international organisations, business federations, innovation clusters, financial investors and research institutes from the region.

The identity of FEMISE is linked to the consolidation of a network of research institutes capable of implementing North-South and South-South interactions. Within the network, we have launched a dynamic of know-how and knowledge transfer. Our works and actions are always carried out in close collaboration between economists of both shores, which makes our strength.

In an evolving regional climate, it seemed natural for FEMISE to partner with ANIMA, a network with values that we share and whose objectives and know-how are complementary to those of FEMISE. This accession will facilitate synergies to produce and maximize impact of recommendations towards EU-Med policy makers. It will also increase the capacity for dissemination / communication and the ability of being present on more issues that could benefit from a pooling of complementary skills.

A first association between the two historical structures of Marseille within the framework of a project on the Euro-Mediterranean region will be announced in the coming weeks.

This first project marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration that opens up new opportunities to nurture the Euro-Mediterranean dynamic.

 

The Real Potential of the Digital Economy discussed at “12th Mediterranean Economic Rendez Vous”

The 12th Mediterranean Economic Rendez-Vous at the Villa de la Méditerranée 

“The development of digital technology and the job market in the Mediterranean”

Introductory speech by Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Rendez Vous Economiques de la Méditerranée, Marseille, Villa Méditerranée, November 3rd (photo by Robert Kao)

Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, 12th Rendez Vous Economiques de la Méditerranée (photo FEMISE)

This year, the twelfth Economic Rendez-Vous, held on the afternoon of Thursday 3rd November as part of Mediterranean Economic Week (Marseille, Villa Méditerranée), were devoted to the profound changes to the manufacturing sector (and in particular to the social aspect of labour markets) resulting from digital development.

The debates that took place allowed for discussion on the real contribution of digital technology to the future development of Mediterranean countries, as well as on forecasts for various sectors with regard to job creation (and losses due to the expected decrease in traditional jobs) and on providing incentivising public policies.

Debates also allowed for discussion on the policies being undertaken in an international context and especially within the wider Euro-Mediterranean region.

FEMISE partnered with the organizers (Cercle des économistes and Institut de la Méditerranée) and participated to the debates.

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Patricia Augier, Co-ordinator and Scientific Director of FEMISE (photo FEMISE)

In her speech, Prof. Patricia Augier, Co-ordinator and Scientific Director of FEMISE, highlighted that by acting on the different components of the labor market, the digital economy can potentially be a tool to help the economic and social convergence of the two shores of the Mediterranean. There is a real potential for growth, new vocations and jobs. However, digital development must be done intelligently, gradually, so that its positive contributions can be effectively absorbed in developing and emerging countries.

The position of Femise is that the positive effects that can derive from digital tools (including those affecting the labor market) are real but will not happen spontaneously: Public action is essential, not only to transform potentially positive effects into real effects, but also to avoid increasing different forms of divergences. The speech of Pr Patricia AUGIER is available here (in French).

Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Maryse Louis, General Manager FEMISE and Constantin Tsakas, General Manager Institut de la Méditerranée and General Secretary FEMISE (photo by Robert Kao)

Johannes Hahn (EU), Maryse Louis (GM, FEMISE and Prog Manager, ERF) and Constantin Tsakas (GS, FEMISE and GM, IM) (photo FEMISE)

Moreover, the Rendez-Vous had the honour and pleasure of welcoming Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, who made an introductory speech to the Rendez-Vous.

In his speech, Commissioner Hahn highlighted how digital technologies and services are now part of the daily lives of most of the global population, bringing efficiency and affordable communication. They have created new services and products, giving access to vast amounts of information and raising the voice of ordinary citizens. There is no doubt that the sustainable society of tomorrow will be a digital one. This Digital revolution, however, also brings new challenges, such as new power asymmetries and influences, data protection concerns, debates on jurisdiction as well as cyber-security threats.

Commissioner Hahn was glad to note that there is an active policy dialogue on digital economy at the regional level, following the Union for the Mediterranean ministerial meeting on Digital Economy in 2014. This meeting also identified common challenges to be addressed and cooperation on this is on-going to tackle big data, e-infrastructure, a sound e-communication framework, privacy, Internet governance and other areas.

The entire introductory speech of Commissioner Hahn is available by clicking here.

The final declaration of the Rendez Vous Economiques can be found here.

A video resuming the European Commissioner’s meetings with representatives of FEMISE and of other institutions based in Marseille is available at the window below.

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FEMISE participated through the EU-FEMISE project on “Support to Economic Research, studies and dialogues of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”. The views expressed in this conference are the sole responsibility of the authors.

Policy Seminar on “Unlocking the Potential of the Private Sector in South Med Countries”

fem-aub-logoFEMISE is pleased to announce that its next Policy Seminar will be on the theme ofUnlocking the Potential of the Private Sector in South Med Countries” and will take place during the 5th of December 2016, in Beirut, Lebanon. The seminar is organised in collaboration with our partners, the Institute of Financial Economics, at the American University of Beirut (AUB).

The objective of this joint FEMISE-AUB policy seminar is to identify the different challenges that the private sector of the South Med countries is facing. From the one hand, the region suffers from large macroeconomic instabilities; and from the other, the sector faces complex administrative procedures and difficult access to finance for SMEs. The seminar will attempt to answer the following key question: “What measures could be taken to unlock the potentials of the private sector in the South Med countries?”. This will be done in three sessions and one roundtable discussion.

The concept note with more details about the contents of the seminar is available by clicking here.

The agenda is also available by clicking here.

flag_yellow_highThis 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 speakers.

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