Tag Archives: méditerranée

FEMISE at Plan Bleu Workshop on “Economic Instruments of Environmental Policies”

The Plan Bleu and the Mediterranean Action Plan Coordination Unit have been mandated by the Contracting Parties to prepare a new report on the State of the environment and development in the Mediterranean, to be presented to the Conference of Parties of the Barcelona Convention by end 2019.

Therefore, the Plan Bleu organized a workshop on “Major marine and coastal issues in the Mediterranean rregion : Data and trends” at the Campus du Développement (formerly CEFEB) of AFD in Marseille (France), December 12th and 13th 2017.

The objective was to form a group of about thirty thematic experts, from international, Mediterranean, and also national and local institutions, to contribute to the preparation of the report. Three experts from the FEMISE network were mobilized, helping to identify priority themes, missing information, and knowledge to be improved on economic instruments for adaptation to climate change. The objective is to provide usable content in the next report of the Plan Bleu on the State of the environment and development in the Mediterranean.

Overview of the three FEMISE presentations

Dr. Constantin Tsakas (General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, Secretary General of FEMISE)

Dr. Constantin Tsakas (General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, Secretary General of FEMISE): “South-Med strategies and instruments for climate change : what consistency of action for mitigation/adaptation and what further needs?” (presentation available here)

Climate change is a major theme for the Mediterranean countries, because of the strong interconnections between economy and the environment. These interdependencies bring out opportunities, in terms of job creation, resources, but also raise issues (seal level rise, water stress …). Southern Mediterranean countries are impacted on all fronts by climate change (marine ecosystem, biodiversity, vulnerable populations, agriculture, tourism …), and the socio-economic implications are a potential source of revolts and conflicts. Despite these challenges, many Mediterranean countries have experienced an increase in CO2 emissions per capita.

What economic instruments for environmental policies? The taxonomy of instruments identified by FEMISE researchers, as part of the work carried out for the next IM-FEMISE-ENERGIES2050 report on the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean (to be published in 2018), lists environmental goods (public procurement), regulations (quotas, standards, etc.), the creation of new markets (emission allowances, compensation for emissions exceeding allowed thresholds), the use of existing markets (taxes, subsidies), and other instruments such as energy labels and standards. On paper, all Mediterranean countries (except Libya) have a policy framework for renewable energies. These countries have adopted some of these tools in specific sectors (renewable energies, transport and tourism, and waste management).

Among the instruments for renewable energies, we first have public tenders in Morocco (for large-scale projects), Palestine, Jordan and Israel (for solar photovoltaic and wind farms). Then, targets have been defined (in terms of capacity or coverage) for heating and cooling from renewable energies. Feed-in tariffs for electricity produced from renewable energies have also been introduced, particularly in Algeria (for photovoltaic electricity). Finally, there are taxes, such as those on energy consumption, natural gas and energy-intensive products in Algeria.

Regarding the tools put in place for waste management, we mainly have instruments that use the existing market. In Tunisia, the FODEP subsidizes the environmental remediation or waste collection and recycling facilities, and a tax on the VA for producers of pollutants has been introduced. Morocco has introduced a fee for liquid dumping and waste disposal (based on the “polluter pays” principle), and an eco-tax on plastic products and packaging.

For the tourism and transport sectors, the following instruments have been identified: a tax on the registration of used vehicles in Tunisia, a subsidy for the “Moussanada Siyada” ecological labeling procedures, and a “RENOVOTEL 3” fund dedicated to the environmental upgrading of tourist establishments in Morocco.

Revenues from environmental taxes vary between Mediterranean countries. In Tunisia they represented only 1.16% of GDP in 2014, which remains insufficient in comparison with Slovenia (3.9% of GDP, for a GDP similar to Tunisia) or Morocco (1.72% of GDP). Among the MENA countries, Turkey is the country where tax revenue accounted for the largest share of GDP (3.83%), although this country is not comparable in terms of demography or tourism (the size of the country matters in tax revenues).

Efforts are ongoing at the institutional level, particularly in Morocco (recognition of sustainable development as a right for every citizen) and in Tunisia (climate change recognized in the Constitution of 2014), but also to a lesser extend in Algeria. But much remains to be done: the share of renewable energy remains insufficient in the energy mix, and only a marginal share of funding is dedicated to renewable energy, while most of the funds are still allocated to traditional energies.

Regarding future challenges and opportunities, the context (post-Arab Spring, social pressures) is to be taken into account. The key issue is the lack of resources to implement measures favoring “green” energies, while energy intensive activities remain a great source of jobs. In the long term, the challenge will be to redirect savings and employment towards projects emitting less CO2.

Preliminary recommendations include continuing adaptation to climate change, while integrating socio-economic realities. The dynamics of social and financial innovations should be used to build solutions to initiate partnerships aimed at a less carbon intensive Mediterranean based on principles of solidarity and economic convergence. Mediterranean countries should thus cooperate and exchange good practices. Finally, regarding the problem of available data (insufficient or obsolete), it is necessary to draw up a cartography of the available tools and to proceed with their evaluation, and to create an observatory on climate data to allow better monitoring of the evolution of countries.

Dr. Myriam Ben Saad (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, Université du Sud Toulon-Var, FEMISE)

Dr. Myriam Ben Saad (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, Université du Sud Toulon-Var, FEMISE): « Supporting renewable energy development using economic instrument in the Mediterranean » (presentation available here)

The MENA region holds the largest solar and wind potential in the world, which represents an opportunity in terms of market, infrastructure and energy transfer. The stakes are securing energy sources on the one hand (the region is facing water resources scarcity), and energy and economic diversification on the other hand (source of jobs, value chain potential).

After an overview of the existing literature, three variables of interest appear regularly: renewable energies, investment in these energies, and the effect of renewable energies on the environment.

Studies show that renewable energy policies and instruments help to promote and diversify these energies, as well as encourage investment (although efficiency varies depending on the type of policy implemented and the income level of countries). Such policies implemented in China have promoted the emergence of a more efficient renewable energy market, with better access to financial resources and new technologies, and taxes have promoted solar energy in Andalusian cities.

The literature is richer on the effect of renewable energies on the environment. An estimate on 24 Mediterranean countries shows that renewable energies have a strong positive effect on growth, but renewable energy policies remain insufficient in these countries. Studies identify a two-way relationship between renewable energy consumption and trade on the one hand and economic growth on the other hand. Other papers show the positive impact of renewable energies on reducing CO2 emissions and on creating jobs in the short term.

Electricity production from renewable energies doubled between 2008 and 2015, but its share in total electricity production declined due to higher power generation from fossil fuel than from renewable energies.

Source of R.E. in electricity, 2015, %

Large disparities remain among the countries. Saudi Arabia did not seem to generate electricity from renewable energies in 2015, while the share of electricity produced from these energies was over 30% of the total in Turkey and 15% of the total in Morocco .

The Mediterranean countries have diversification strategies more or less advanced: Lebanon and Syria rely almost exclusively on hydropower, while Algeria and Turkey also integrate other sources such as solar, wind, geothermal… In Morocco, renewable energy sources are balanced between wind and hydro (50-50) but a potential bias in the data is suspected (solar projects do not seem to be taken into account).

Several regional cooperation initiatives and PPPs have been conducted for renewable energy projects.

The EBRD recently financed the Benban Solar Power Plant in Egypt (2017). This project aims to reduce CO2 emissions and create jobs in a region where 50% of the population is below the poverty treshold. Also, Engie has invested in the construction of a wind farm in the Gulf of Suez (2017). In addition, the Morocco-Spain partnership has enabled the construction of a wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in Tangier, representing a potential of nearly 600 jobs.

Among the regional initiatives, the Mediterranean Solar Plan has provided a favorable political framework for the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies at regional level. The Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency aims to promote and strengthnen the adoption of clean energy practices in the region. The MENA Renewable Energy Conference is a framework dedicated to promoting and strengthening partnerships in the development and creation of solar and wind energy markets.

The policy framework is composed of regulatory policies (purchase tariff, compulsory quotas, net billing…), financial incentives and public financing (subsidies, tax credits, taxes…)

For example, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia have introduced a feed-in tariff for renewable electricity, subsidies for investment in renewable energy, as well as systems for facilitating access to credit (bonus of interest rate, guarantee fund, credit lines). Morocco and Tunisia have also introduced tax incentives (reduced tariffs or VA taxe exemption for equipment)

The identified constraints to renewable energies are the market characteristics (small size, low yelds, risk temporality, currency risk, fossil fuel subsidies, lack of strategies on energy development, etc.) and meteorological and technological risks (variability in resource availability, lack of actuarial data).

A significant increase in investment in renewable energy infrastructure, and the review of the subsidy system (in particular the removal of fossil fuel subsidies, a major constraint for the efficiency of renewable energies) are recommended.

Pr. Mohamed Salah Matoussi (Faculté de Sciences Economiques et de Gestion de Tunis, FEMISE)

Pr. Mohamed Salah Matoussi (Faculté de Sciences Economiques et de Gestion de Tunis, FEMISE) : « Present and potential water pricing and markets in Tunisia and in the SASS: impacts on regional allocation, food exports and technical efficiency » (presentation available here) 

A distinction is needed between the use of water in the agriculture sector (as a factor of production to be ruled by the law of scarcity) and drinking water consumed by households (as a vital good not subject to the law of the market). Decentralized water management is more relevant.

Tunisia is under severe water stress due to the scarcity and degradation of water resources (climate change, excessive exploitation of groundwater …). The available water resources have thus greatly decreased (from more than 1000 m3/year/inhab in 1960 to 410 m3/year/inhab in 2017)
The water management strategy, focused primarily on supply management (where marginal costs are rapidly increasing), consists in maximizing resource mobilization for the country development being the least constrained, with the following defined priorities : dams and mountain lakes construction and rehabilitation, recycling of wastewater…

SASS project: Presentation of the region

The Northern Sahara Aquifer System Project (SASS) is one of the largest groundwater in the world and covers Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. In 2017, it represents an irrigated area of ​​about 300 000 ha and a water mobilization between 3 and 4 billion m3. The current use of the aquifer is greater than its renewal capacity, and this over-exploitation has a negative impact on the Oasis. Sustainable water management is therefore essential. But the initial philosophy of the 3 countries concerned was to mobilize as much water as possible to produce the maximum quantity of agricultural products. There are three types of farming: farms with free access to water, public farms benefiting from subsidized water, and private farms not benefiting from subsidies. The latter are more productive than free or subsidized farms, and make the best use of the resource: private farmers have a water price-elasticity and productivity-elasticity higher than the two other types of farms.

Since this policy is unsustainable, it should be replaced by an integrated and transversal management approach for available resources (water, energy, agriculture, environment) based on the following nexus: energy pricing – water pricing – growth agricultural production and better conservation of the resource.

A new hydro-economic model must be used for water resource management. It must lead to an optimal use of water and a maximization of agricultural production, while integrating the constraint of environmental degradation cost (pumping cost and water salinity). When this cost is internalized, the optimal quantities of water consumed and irrigated area are lower than those obtained in the model where the degradation is not taken into account, but the agricultural incomes are higher (13% increase compared to initial model). In other words, we produce more when preserving the resource.

Presenting recent research (see powerpoint for more details)

An article models the problem of water resources allocation in the agricultural sector, in a world of scarcity of resources and incomplete information. Such a model must ensure economic efficiency while taking into account unavoidable constraints: utility for users at least equivalent to the one they had in the past, increasingly limited availability of the resource, and incomplete information on its use value. It is thus necessary to reveal how farmers value the water and to integrate the cost of scarcity in the pricing of the resource.

A second article assesses the impact of an increase in the price of water on the production and export of irrigated crops (dates and citrus fruit): for a 100% increase in price, date crops are more negatively impacted than citrus crops (decrease in exports by 17.5% and 4.4% respectively). Establishing appropriate water pricing for citrus farmers would conserve the resource without significantly impacting the producers. On the other hand, an increase in tariffs in areas where the date is cultivated would cause a very significant slowdown in production and exports.

A last article measures the effectiveness of date crops held by private farmers on the one hand, and by water user associations on the other. The results show that the two systems are inefficient, but private farms are slightly more efficient than the associative farms. The results also show that the salinity of water has a strongly negative impact on the productivity of date crops.

by Jocelyn Ventura (FEMISE)

(Registration Open) FEMISE annual conference, Valletta, Malta, February 7th-9th 2018

FEMISE is happy to announce that its annual conference will take place this year in Valletta, Malta, on the 7th, 8th and 9th of February 2018.

Please click here to register.

The FEMISE annual conference provides a platform for the different actors of the EU-Med region of research institutes’ members, academics, policymakers and representatives of the international community including the EU, to engage in a constructive dialogue about the future of the region and the role the EU can play in the context of the new ENP. 

This year’s theme will be on:

«Neighbours of Neighbours: Relation and Cooperation of the EU-Med towards Africa»

The concept note is available by clicking here.

The agenda is available here.

 

8th Mont Blanc Meetings: IM and FEMISE at the International Summit of Social Economy

How can the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) contribute to supporting growth and employment in Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPs)? This is the question to which the presentation of Dr. Constantin Tsakas (General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, General Secretary of FEMISE) offered elements of response at the 8th Mont Blanc Meetings (RMB) (6-8 December 2017, Archamps, Greater Geneva), the International Summit of the Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS) organized by ESS International Forum (Permanent Co-Secretary of the International SSE Pilot Group, Observer Member ate the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on SSE).

Dr. Constantin Tsakas (Institut de la Méditerranée, FEMISE) (photo:RMB)

Dr. Tsakas presented the preliminary results of a chapter of the forthcoming FEMISE EuroMed 2018 report produced by Institut de la Méditerranée (IM) during a session on “Effective responses to sustainable impacts: social cohesion, solidarity and inclusion”.
Dr. Tsakas emphasized that SSE could become a tool for economic, financial and social innovation adapted to MPs. The latter are facing today many problems related to unemployment, lack of inclusiveness, the informal economy, limited growth… The SSE sets a frame of reference for rebuilding social ties around the economy, to better value resources and assets of territories and anchor development, to provide training and mobilize available skills in an entrepreneurial dynamic. The SSE allows for :

  • The mobilization of numerous young people, which are looking for a job and are progressively oriented towards entrepreneurship.
  • The establishment of a more inclusive economy because the SSE knows how to create jobs for vulnerable people that neither the State nor traditional companies can integrate.
  • Economic diversification and upgrading.

As civil society has understood, since the Arab Spring there has been an effervescence and increased emergence of SSE structures. Real success stories help meet the needs of the people …

In Morocco, which counts 15700 cooperatives (including 2287 women’s cooperatives) and 120 000 associations (with more than 15 million members), the value chains of SSE entreprises are made up of private sector companies: production cooperatives in the agricultural sector, crafts and / or fishing market their production in the private sector (local, regional, small and large retail markets).

In Egypt, initiatives are led by the private sector and have emerged to address the growing inability of governments and traditionnal private sector activities to meet the diverse needs of poor households for certain services and products.

In Tunisia, the country has nearly 20000 associations with more than 12 million members, half of whom have been created in the past five years under the impulse of the post-revolution civil society. The agriculture and fisheries sector is one of the sectors with the most SSE entreprises.

Panelists at session on “Effective responses to sustainable impacts: social cohesion, solidarity and inclusion” (photo :IM).

However, in general, the state does not sufficiently support the SSE in the South Mediterranean and does not create the necessary conditions for its sustainability. Dr. Tsakas emphasized that at the heart of the SSE dynamic lies the issue of project funding and resource mobilization. Preliminary results indicate that the financing of SSE enterprises must be a priority of concern for local, national and also EuroMed authorities. A “SSE finance” allowing access to liquidity and credit in relation to shared coordinated objectives is necessary. It would be appropriate for each MP to support, most notably through the establishment of an enabling regulatory framework, the emergence of “social”, “participatory” or “ethical” banks to channel funds to useful, sustainable and inclusive projects. It would also be wise to encourage SSE financing by microfinance institutions that have a developed territorial network. It would also be possible to innovate by proposing types of Social Impact Bonds (SIB), very popular in the Anglo-Saxon world, which make it possible to finance social programs (fair trade, social tourism, access to culture etc.) by private investors. The 2018 EuroMed report will suggest tools that can be supported by all local, national and international actors and which allow addressing the identified funding obstacles.

In conclusion, Dr. Tsakas emphasized the need to develop a strategy for the emergence of SSE ecosystems and social entrepreneurship on 3 axes (Macro-Meso-Micro). Dr. Tsakas provided an overview of FEMISE’s vision for the emergence of such ecosystems:

  • Support to the development of a policy and regulatory environment conducive to the growth of social enterprises through national strategies and advocacy panels.
  • Raising awareness and building the capacity of meso actors in the ecosystem to support the growth of social enterprises. MED mapping of these support actors, the generalization of training activities and the exchange of good practices would contribute to this process.
  • Finally, there is a need to better demonstrate and promote the economic potential of social enterprises in creating value and jobs in MPs. A true methodology that quantifies the social impact is needed here. The same is true for financial support for social entrepreneurship, for entrepreneurs training and for mentoring initiatives.

These and other issues will be developed in detail in the next FEMISE 2018 Report, which will focus on private sector development in the Mediterranean (Q1 2018).

The powerpoint presentation of Dr. Tsakas to the RMB is available by clicking here.

Prior to the publication of the FEMISE2018 EuroMed report coordinated by Pr. Patricia AUGIER (Pt of the Scientific Committee of IM and FEMISE, Coordinator of FEMISE), we also suggest some excerpts from interviews with three key actors of social entrepreneurship in the EU -MED.

You can also  revisit the FEMISE-EIB pilot study (2014) coordinated by IM on the potential of SSE inclusivity in Southern Mediterranean countries.

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The FEMISE Euromed Report 2017 is now available

Economic Management Under Fire:

How did the South Med Policy-Makers Respond to the Demands for Change?[1]

The report is now available for downloading (GB, pdf, 1.6 MB, 135 p.)

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.

Please contact FEMISE for more information: contact@femise.org

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[1] 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.

COP23 and climate change in the Mediterranean: Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE stand out as key academic actors

In the Mediterranean, the effects of climate change will always be felt more than elsewhere. Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation needs of riparian countries are more than ever necessary.

Committed actors for the implementation of sustainable development in the Euro-Mediterranean area, Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE have been collaborating during the last two years with association ENERGIES 2050 on climate-related, environmental and energy issues. As part of their partnership, the three associations produce an annually-updated report on climate issues in the Mediterranean, putting into perspective the economic realities of countries of the South bank and suggesting courses of action and policy recommendations. The 2016 edition of the report, directed by ENERGIES2050, was presented at COP22 in Marrakech (available for download by clicking here). A preliminary draft of the forthcoming edition (2017/18), co-directed by the three partners, will be presented at a joint workshop during COP23 (Bonn, November 9th 2017) in order to integrate discussions with actors present during the COP23 summit. The entire ENERGIES 2050 program at COP23 in Bonn, including the joint workshop with Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE, is available by clicking here.

General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée and General Secretary of FEMISE, Dr. Constantin Tsakas offers some lines of thought for the future.

What will be the added value of the 2017 edition of the Climate report ?

This edition will further explore the progress made by Southern Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs) in addressing the threats of climate change. More specifically, this new report will position them vis-à-vis the Paris Agreement.

As you may know, the latter commits all signatories to contain global warming “well below 2 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels”, to achieve carbon neutrality, to cooperate in strengthening a “climate change education”. Its open and evolving nature reinforces commitments to mitigate the effects of climate change over time. The 2017 edition of the report will therefore make possible to better evaluate the coherence of MPC’s past and present mitigation and adaptation actions.

How are MPCs positioned internationally in terms of mitigation and adaptation efforts?

Dr. Constantin Tsakas, General Manager of IM and General Secretary of FEMISE

Countries like Morocco are clearly ahead in terms of policies and actions. Morocco was one of the first countries in the region to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement. But even before that date, the country had already put in place specific legislation on the protection and conservation of the environment, on the fight against air pollution and on environmental impact assessment. In addition, in 2008 the government implemented the “Green Plan for Morocco” which represented a long-term policy (2008-2020) that put emphasis on a more sustainable agricultural sector. Other countries, such as Tunisia, are lagging behind but seem to show some willingness in moving forward. Before ratifying the Paris Agreement (March 2017), the Tunisian government took initiatives to limit the effects of climate change at the national level. In terms of legislation, Tunisia was actually one of the few countries to recognize climate change in its Constitution.

That being said, many countries seem to be reforming mainly on paper or to be facing reluctance related to already established economic interests. The Paris Agreement and environmental protection laws are often perceived as barriers to economic activity and political regimes are reluctant to adopt pro-environmental reforms. In general, there is a clear difference between what has been agreed and the results obtained. There is also little cooperation between Mediterranean countries during major summits, which means that even if national initiatives might exist they are doomed to fail as they do not translate into significant regional response.

What is the answer to MPC’s lack of coordination on environmental policy?

Several programs and institutions operating in the Mediterranean already exist to assist MPCs in the process of implementing climate change mitigation and awareness policies. The Union for the Mediterranean offers a general vision for low carbon development. The United Nations Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Regions of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) provides a legal and institutional framework for concerted action among Mediterranean countries. Mediterranean networks of experts (FEMISE, MedECC, ANIMA, Plan Bleu) can also be mobilized and act as bridges between the scientific community and MPCs policy makers as they have considerable dissemination potential of politically relevant studies. Finally, there are Funds active in the region that can significantly support the implementation of climate-related projects.

What would you like to accomplish with the presence of Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE at COP23?

The presence of Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE at COP23, made possible thanks to our partnership with ENERGIES 2050, will allow us to interact with civil society actors, representatives of the public and private sectors and territorial experts present at the COP23 summit. These discussions between academics and operators of all kinds will provide feedback on the exceptional opportunities that the environment presents in terms of growth, investment, job creation and social cohesion. The debates will therefore enrich the report that we will co-publish with our partner ENERGIES 2050.

Following COP23, the 2017-2018 edition of the report “The Challenges of Climate Change in a Mediterranean in Transition – from the Paris Agreement to Implementation” will thus be finalized and presented during a launch event organized by Institut de la Méditerranée in partnership with ENERGIES 2050 and FEMISE (in Marseille, France, end of Q1 2018). Likewise, a discussion around the conclusions of the report with the territorial actors of Marseille will allow them to communicate on their environmental policies. Some of their recommendations could then be illustrated in the context of the 2019 edition in a process that remains evolving. The Marseille workshop will also illustrate the dynamics generated by our three associations and allow presenting the latest research produced from our respective networks on climate issues.

 

Interviewed by FEMISE Staff

 

Do emigrants self-select along cultural traits?: Evidence from the MENA countries

Migrants’ selection by cultural traits, beliefs and practices has been largely understudied in the existing literature. In an attempt to fill this gap, this paper investigates whether migration aspirations, concrete plans to emigrate, and preferred destination choices are influenced by cultural traits in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA). We use the Gallup World Poll (GWP) surveys, which document migration aspirations, cultural traits and many other characteristics of individuals. We limit our sample to 17 MENA countries where Gallup conducted at least one wave of its survey between the years 2007 and 2016.

To begin with, we show that migration aspirations are correlated with actual migration flows obtained from the OECD International Migration Database. This suggests that the patterns of migration aspirations are likely to be similar to the patterns of actual migration. The average share of aspiring migrants in our sample is around 24%. Syria exhibits the largest share with over 35%; Jordan and Algeria come next at about 30%; Niger, Azerbaijan and Chad exhibit the smallest shares at about 20%. Through cultural proximity and network effects, former colonial ties are still affecting the preferred destinations of aspiring migrants. On average, 52.3% of the aspiring migrants from the MENA would like to move to an OECD destination country. This share amounts to 90% in Morocco and Algeria, while it is around 10% in Yemen and Niger.

We conduct a two-stage Principal Component Analysis on a set of 12 opinion questions to identify four synthetic indicators of cultural traits. We find that Lebanon and Azerbaijan are the most progressive in terms of gender-egalitarian attitudes. Iran and Azerbaijan are the less religious countries; on the contrary, sub-Saharan African countries (i.e., Chad, Mauritania, Mali and Niger) exhibit the highest levels of religiosity. Iran, Afghanistan and Syria exhibit the highest levels of generosity. Four countries that experienced turmoil and riots during the Arab Spring (i.e., Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen) hardly justify the use of violence. We refer to these countries and Syria as the Main Insurgents. In these countries, a large share of the population finds it unjustifiable to use any kind of violence against civilians.

In our empirical analysis, we only consider two cultural traits that are highly correlated with economic development indicators, namely gender-egalitarian attitudes and religiosity. We conduct a set of fixed-effect logit regressions for several subsamples to identify the effect of cultural traits on migration aspirations. The full sample estimates show that aspirations to all destinations are negatively affected by the level of religiosity but are not influenced by gender-egalitarian views. When we distinguish between emigration aspirations to OECD and non-OECD member states, the results reveal that cultural traits are not significant for migration aspirations to non-OECD countries. In contrast, aspirations to migrate to an OECD destination decrease with religiosity, and increase with gender-egalitarian views. In other words, aspiring migrants to OECD destinations exhibit lower levels of religiosity than those who do not intend to migrate. Next, we check whether similar selection patterns apply to individuals who have concrete migration plans for the next 12 months. We find that the effect of religiosity is highly significant and even larger than for migration aspirations; the effect of gender-egalitarian views is insignificant.

We then conduct a large set of robustness checks. First, we split the set of OECD destinations into three subsets that are frequently reported as preferred destinations in the data, namely the European Union, North America and Turkey. The results confirm that the effect of gender-egalitarian views remains insignificant or marginally significant for all sets of destinations, while the effect of religiosity is highly significant when considering OECD, high-income destinations, but not when considering Turkey. Second, we split the sample along education levels, and show that our results are valid for all skill groups. Third, we distinguish between three age categories, gender groups and marital status. Selection by religiosity is significant for all age groups and is greater for men, while positive selection on gender-egalitarian views becomes significant for single women and for all individuals aged 15 to 30. This is the age group in which aspiring migrants are the most likely to realize their migration aspirations. Fourth, we checked whether the intensity of cultural selection varies with aggregate country characteristics such as the shares of Sunnis and Shiites among the Muslim population, the log-GDP per capita, two indicators of institutional quality, and the size of the migrant network in the OECD countries. Our regressions reveal that aspiring migrants from countries with a Sunni minority have more progressive gender-egalitarian views, which also become significant when controlling for migration networks. Seventh, we explored whether the link between cultural traits and migration has been affected by the Arab Spring. We consider the full sample of MENA countries, the Main Insurgents and the other countries. In all specifications, selection by religiosity is always positive and significant. Although the Arab Spring has not affected the intensity of cultural selection in the less affected countries, it has drastically reduced it in the Main Insurgent countries.

Methodologically speaking, we also explore whether our results are driven by differences in the composition of the samples of aspiring migrants and non-migrants. We use the Mahalanobis Metric Matching technique to construct samples of aspiring migrants and non-migrants that are balanced in terms of observable covariates. All conclusions of the benchmark regressions hold when using the matched samples.

We thus conclude that migrants from MENA to OECD exhibit lower levels of religiosity. Moreover, young male or female migrants share significantly more gender-egalitarian views than the rest of the population. Overall, the Arab Spring has increased the relative religiosity of aspiring migrants in the most affected countries. Consequently, emigration to OECD countries has direct implications on the distribution of cultural traits in the population left behind and on the cultural distance at destination. Nevertheless, the effects of cultural selection should not be overestimated. First, emigration hardly affects the distribution of cultural traits in the MENA countries. Emigration towards OECD countries could even reverse the selection effect if migrants abroad transfer more progressive norms and beliefs to their home country. Second, it has a limited (albeit non negligible) effect on the cultural distance between natives and immigrants in the OECD countries.

Twin Deficits and the Sustainability of Macroeconomic Policies in Selected European and Mediterranean Partner Countries

Our empirical results validate the Twin Deficit hypothesis in both EU and MED samples, but with diverging findings regarding the direction of causality. While the trade balance seems to be driving the budget deficit in MED countries –thereby validating the current account targeting approach – the relationship appears to run in the opposite direction in the case of EU countries, where the budget balance appears to be driving the current account. Given the well-documented dependence of MED countries on trade with the EU and the fact that most EU countries have implemented austerity policies in the aftermath of the financial crisis – thereby restricting aggregate demand and imports – we argue that the ensuing drop in export income for MED countries has contributed to increasing the budget deficit in these countries, by virtue of the uncovered positive causality between the current account and the budget balance. One natural MED policy makers’ response would be to implement austerity measures; however, such measures which may be necessary, are socially costly in the current social context in MED countries, and would not alone permit to stabilize the budget balance given that they would leave the trade balance unaffected. Our findings thus represent a warning against such ‘ready-made’ macroeconomic policy responses and indicate that austerity policy in EU countries have unexpected consequences for fiscal stability in MED countries. We thus call for better macroeconomic policy coordination between the EU and its Southern peripheral MED countries.

A major policy issue to be faced in the coming years is whether macroeconomic policies have reached a dead end and are in a bind. With respect to the introduction of macroeconomic stabilization programs in the EU and MED countries, there is obviously no room to use both monetary and fiscal policies in tandem to curb those macroeconomic imbalances. For the MED countries of Lebanon and Jordan with very limited fiscal space and fixed exchange rates and open capital accounts, monetary policy is already ineffective in terms of macroeconomic stabilization. Egypt rendered its monetary policy more effective in dealing with external shocks after the recent smart move to a flexible exchange rate regime. Tunisia and Morocco seem to be also moving in that same direction. While fiscal space in the EU is also limited due to the past accumulation of huge public debts, the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Quantitative Easing (QE) policy remains an effective tool in preventing the EU’s unsustainable fiscal policies form developing into further debt crises similar to the Greek debt crisis.

With the current debt crisis unfolding in some EU countries, low GDP growth rates and oil prices and high debt levels in several MED countries, fiscal policy is clearly not a macroeconomic policy option anymore due to limited fiscal space. With one monetary policy conducted by the ECB and the absence of a political union, EU countries have registered over the past decade significant current account and budget deficits. Monetary Policy will remain ineffective as long as expectations of the private sector are not adjusted positively, and banks remain in poor shape, mainly Italian and Greek banks. The Greek Debt crisis is negatively affecting the behavior and expectations of businesses and consumers, and austerity measures are negatively affecting aggregate demand and the growth rate of GDP. In particular, stagnant wages and high unemployment rates are adversely affecting domestic demand, especially in the absence of fiscal space in most MED and EU countries due to the accumulation of large public debts and recurrent budget and current account deficits.

In the MED region, the ineffectiveness of monetary policy is due to the presence of fixed exchange rates and free capital movements. This boils down to no role for government policies (fiscal and monetary) to deal with the current macroeconomic imbalances paving the way for future fiscal and currency crises. Thus, the various EU and MED governments will need to: (1) reduce the public sector in favor of the private sector; (2) channel liquidity to the private sector through loans and encourage investments in productive ventures; and (3) reduce government spending and increase only supply side taxes. Finally, given the ineffectiveness of both monetary and fiscal policies, the private sector needs to take a leading role in addressing macroeconomic imbalances by first improving its expectations in both the EU and MED. This would increase the growth rate of GDP and would render debt more sustainable. Once the above is achieved, introduce austerity and structural adjustment measures. This will insure sustainable economic growth and will reduce the likelihood of a future debt and currency crisis.

Social Entrepreneurship as a means to support growth and employment in MED countries

An all-encompassing and sustainable growth model, that creates employment and favours social inclusion, is what South MED countries need. However, despite national efforts, unemployment and all types of inequalities remain high, urging for new approaches. In that respect, Social Entrepreneurship (SE)[1] can offer meaningful prospects and help tackle MED endemic issues since it: i. includes all groups and has great job creation potential, ii. is based on regional development, iii. addresses lack of diversification; iv. offers solidarity responses for all generations.

Aspiring to contribute in unlocking obstacles to development of social enterprises and in supporting social entrepreneurs, FEMISE has undertaken an ambitious effort in linking Social Entrepreneurship (SE) stakeholders in the Euro-Med. These efforts started while preparing its 2014 EIB financed report on Social Entrepreneurship in the Maghreb and continue with its 2018 report on Private Sector development (forthcoming). These efforts set the ground for an unprecedented multi-year strategy for the emergence of SE ecosystems that associates EU-MED cooperation communities along with key MED Social Impact and entrepreneurship support actors.

Ahead of the publication of its 2018 report, FEMISE interviewed some of its key partner actors to offer preliminary insights on what actions they see as priorities to facilitate cooperation between Social Entrepreneurship structures, on which international good practices could be transposable to the South-Med context and on the initiatives their respective structures operate to promote inclusiveness and social utility. Below are excerpts from three key EU-MED actors in the Social Entrepreneurship field.

Thomas Vailleux is a French social entrepreneur based between Paris, Lyon and Beirut, initiator and co-founder of Friends of the Middle East, a social enterprise for the understanding of the challenges of the populations of the Middle East. With a Lebanese team, he writes and co-produces « Changemakers in the Arab World », a documentary film about social entrepreneurs in the Maghreb and the Middle East. With MakeSense, he recently designed a three-week acceleration program dedicated to prototyping 10 solutions focused on Lebanese social entrepreneurs.

Thomas Vailleux: Not all South Mediterranean countries are equal in terms of political will for the development of social entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, I believe it is important to make sharing of best practices, feedbacks, networks and knowledge within the region a modus operandi. This collaborative operational methodology embodies the values ​​of Social Entrepreneurship. This would involve setting up a regional collaboration platform to foster exchange and strengthen cooperation between actors sharing common interests, in particular with a view to opening up to the regional market (through partnerships, exports, regional integration etc.). This platform can take the form of a web platform and a calendar of regional meetings targeting objectives already identified as key by actors such as the Lebanese think tank Beyond Reform & Development.

At the scale of support structures, innovative and effective methodologies have been invented or reinvented to equip social entrepreneurs and professionalize the specific and dual approach of a social entrepreneur (social vs. business). These methodologies are supported by high-growth support structures, cooperating with public and private domains, such as MakeSense international or Ticket for Change in France, whose founders have been awarded numerous times. Moreover, the introduction of legislative measures facilitating the creation of social enterprises and the introduction of tax-reductions for owners of SEs, such as in Italy and France, can be gamechangers. Finally, in « pioneer countries » of SE, telling the stories of solutions and project instigators can quickly become a means of federating communities of “changemakers”.

Friends of the Middle East is an association based in Paris and Beirut, one of whose objectives is to share another face of the region through the stories of the experiences of its citizens, including social entrepreneurs. Through our documentary film project « Changemakers in the Arab World », we seek to promote the inclusion of marginalized audiences by representing them in our film. Our partnerships with NGOs and local and regional foundations enable young people from marginalized areas to be sensitized with the aim of removing them from violence and extremism in order to bring them closer to the “faire-ensemble”. Our program of “projections-action!” in several countries is designed to involve the spectators at the end of the projection through workshops of problem-solving and connections with the actors of the ecosystem.

Shadi Atshan is a Palestinian entrepreneur and cofounder of Leaders Organization and FastForward Accelerator. Shadi led a group of talented professionals in establishing what has become Palestine’s largest entrepreneurship promotion organization (Leaders Organization or Qeiadat). He developed the organization’s portfolio of activities from zero to a portfolio of over $10 million USD in less than 8 years. Currently Leaders Organization is operating in Palestine, Jordan and Belgium. His work has contributed to the creation of over 45 technology startups. Today, Leaders Organization hosts Palestine’s only Technology Park “eZone”, Palestine’s first Startups Accelerator “FastForward”, Palestine’s first Social Enterprises Accelerator “SEA”, and the Palestinian House in Silicon Valley “PHSV” in San Francisco – USA.

Shadi Atshan : Enabling the facilitation for development of the social entrepreneurship structure in general, and in South Mediterranean countries specifically, should be prioritized on three main levels, starting from a broader sense and then narrowing in towards micro-level strategies. A broader strategy should be set to induce the idea of social responsibility, and creating benefits through profitable start-ups throughout the region. Once this strategy is incorporated, workshops and conferences should be introduced within the countries themselves, on how to create or target already existing social gaps within the economy, and create profitable solutions. Finally, the incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurial-related associations should incorporate tailor-made programs targeting social entrepreneurship programs particularly, and offering the needed training and mentorship to induce the creation of successful start-ups.

Two main international good practices that directly filter into social entrepreneurship initiatives, and lead to the creation of new businesses in the South Mediterranean region are recycling and the transition into solar energy practices. These good practices would guarantee higher efficiency, lower cost, and higher sustainability on the long term for the region as a whole. In addition to encouraging young entrepreneurs to create new start-ups centered around social advancement within their economy. In order to enable such an environment of sustainability and creative thought, certain programs and aspects need to be introduced. The first is research & development programs to encourage the entrepreneurs to create innovative ideas and new products. The second is an international expert network on the ground, to help the start-up receive the mentoring and advise they need, and move to the next level. Finally introduce an Angel network in the region to invest in the entrepreneurs, especially through social initiative start-ups to allow them to expand and create long term benefits.

Social inclusion and utility is one of Leader Organization’s main initiatives, and therefore, one of the programs it undertakes is the Social Enterprise Accelerator (SEA). The concept emerged out of the lack of support to the social enterprises, the accelerator is meant to find sustainable solutions for this issue. A particular emphasis through SEA was directed towards women and youth with the ambition and potential to build sustainable social enterprises that impact their communities will be beneficiaries of an innovative and extensive support program. This project goes even further in promoting engagement, where women and youth from marginalized communities with potential identity issues of concern and importance to them (in society, politics, economics and the environment) develop their own social enterprises, and receive support. The program has provided training for over 150 entrepreneurs age 22 to 30, and has hosted and supported 7 start-ups, with a women participation rate of 42%.

Patrizia Bussi coordinates the Brussels-based European Network of Social Integration Enterprise (ENSIE), representing social enterprises and especially more than 2500 work integration social enterprises across Europe (27 members in 19 EU Member States, Switzerland and Serbia). ENSIE aims to contribute to sustainable development through different actions such as creating links between the job market and the social integration of disadvantaged risk-groups by improving their employment opportunities and productivity. During her time in ENSIE, Patrizia has also worked for two Italian social economy enterprises: the Consorzio Sociale Abele Lavoro and the A-type social cooperative Stranaidea. She was a member of the consultative multi-stakeholder group on social business (GECES), member of the GECES’s Social Impact Measurement sub-group and member of the Italian GECES group, Gruppo Multilaterale sull’imprenditoria sociale. She is now participating in the GECES as observer. Since 2014 she represents ENSIE in the Structured Dialogue with European Structural and Investment Funds’ partners group of experts (ESIF SD).

Patrizia Bussi: I think it’s necessary in each South Mediterranean country to search for the structures of social entrepreneurship and social economy that already exist, helping them in working together so that they can be visible and recognized at national level and so that they can cooperate to unlocking untapped potentials of their territories. Following these important steps, progressive cooperation has to be built among the structures of the whole South Mediterranean.

Identifying international good practices that could be transposable is not an easy task. There are some that have already shown their success such as the Incorpora program in Morocco, or some activities with social impact in Tunisia, launched by the French SOS group. These experiences confirm the importance of taking into consideration the territorial realities (economic, social, historical, cultural) and to adapt international good practices to these realities.

ENSIE represents, supports and develops within Europe networks and federations of Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs): efficient tools for access to, social and professional reintegration into the labour market and social inclusion of vulnerable groups. The 2016 ‘Impact WISEs’ study examined 807 work integration social enterprises (WISEs), present in 9 countries of the European Union and including 12,954 disadvantaged workers. The study identified that 48,5% of disadvantaged workers found a job in the same WISE, in another WISE or in the classic labour market while 16,5% became self-entrepreneurs or found professional training.

 

The multiple interviews carried out by FEMISE showed the need to support the development of an enabling policy and regulatory environment for MED SE’s. They also highlighted how it is essential to raise awareness and capacity of ecosystem stakeholders to support the growth of SE’s that contribute to value creation and employment generation in MED countries. They also emphasised the importance of communication and sharing of best practices.

Based on these observations, FEMISE mobilized its scientific community for its 2018 report on Private sector development that will include a chapter on Social Entrepreneurship potential in the Med countries. The chapter will focus on the range of tools (notably financial) to support and develop SE in this region and present potential actions on the EU-MED level that could support and develop SE. The report is expected to be available in Q1 2018.

Article by Constantin Tsakas

[1] For a Social Entrepreneurship panorama in selected MED countries, read the FEMISE-EIB (2014) report « Économie Sociale et Solidaire: Vecteur d’inclusivité et de création d’emplois dans les pays partenaires méditerranéens? ». Executive Summary (in english) available here.

Full study (in french) available here. 

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.

 

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