Tag Archives: Marseille

Ndiouga Sakho: “We must experiment within the territories, with the local actors”

Interviewed during the annual conference of the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Institutes (Femise-Malta, 7 to 9 February 2018) Ndiouga Sakho, President of the Commission for Urban Development and Sustainable Development of the City of Dakar, discusses the actions of the Territorial Energy Climate Plan implemented in the capital of Senegal thanks to European and Mediterranean partnerships.

Ndiouga Sakho insiste sur la nécessité d'une coopération ville à ville (photo : F.Dubessy)

Ndiouga Sakho insists on the need for city-to-city cooperation (photo: F.Dubessy)

econostrum.info: How does the city of Dakar deal with the issues of sustainable development?

Ndiouga SakhoFor a few years now, the city has been engaged in the fight against climate change. Our capital is home to 80% of the country’s industrial activities in 3% of the country’s size.
We have begun to make a diagnostic of the vulnerability of the city, the environment, the social sector, the economy, and so on. Starting from 2013, we have put together an action and environmental management plan. This enabled us to mobilize €1M on a Territorial Energy Climate Plan financed by the European Union over three years, with a global vision around three points: an adaptation and mitigation strategy, a platform of the actors to cooperate and share lessons and failures, and finally, energy efficiency projects to strengthen the share of renewable energy in public lighting, for example, as in municipal infrastructure, and energy savings. Dakar, along with ten other cities benefiting from this plan, is a laboratory test in Africa with a goal of replicating our experience.
I insist on the city-to-city cooperation and the major role of the territories with the local actors, which are in the same time, the places of emissions as well as of the solutions. This is where we have to experiment.

On what points Dakar can serve as an example?
N.S. : The city has a lot of experience in the field of urban mobility, for example, a system of remote control of all traffic lights to regulate car traffic in case of pollution peaks, paving and street improvement to encourage people to walk or cycle instead of using their vehicles. We are also developing public transportation with the BRT, a fast transport bus, and a TER. As well as the relocation of administrative services to be able to limit the concentration of activities in the city center.

Vegetable gardens in urban and school environments

La ville de Dakar fait la promotion des comportements eco-citoyens (photo : F.Dubessy)

The city of Dakar promotes eco-citizen behavior (photo: F.Dubessy)

What actions have you taken with the population?
N.S.: We have raised awareness of environmental culture in schools and with the promotion of eco-citizen behavior, but also by developing eco-neighborhoods. One of our projects is based on the installation of vegetable gardens in urban and school environments with training and capacity building activities that we have initiated. We are doing all this through a technical partnership with FAO (Editor’s note: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in Milan, where we have also been able to find partners within a city university. We have shared this experience with other neighboring countries.

Are you also trying to adapt solutions from Mediterranean countries?
N.S.: Our partnerships in the Mediterranean are unfortunately not very well developed. But, we did several missions in Paris to study the implementation of their climatic plan. Similarly, with the city of Marseille, we have developed our master plan for beach development. The city of Marseille has helped us install pilot projects for our eight beaches.

Interviewed by Frédéric Dubessy, in LA VALETTE (MALTA)

 

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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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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

 

Potential Accession to the Revised WTO Government Procurement Agreement: The Cases of Egypt and Turkey

Government procurement concerns how public authorities spend taxpayers’ money on goods, services and infrastructure. In each country public procurement is typically governed at the national level by setting rules that try to balance a number of goals. Of these goals, transparency, non-discrimination, integrity and competition are probably the most important.

The aim of transparency is to ensure that the rules are followed and that non-compliance can be identified and addressed.

The Research Project considers the benefits and costs of accessing the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA) for Turkey and Egypt. While Paper 1 considers the case of Turkey, Paper 2 analyzes the case of Egypt. Finally, Paper 3 provides a Synthesis Report.

The project shows that:

  • The WTO GPA significantly increases the probability that a foreign firm will win a public procurement contract in the EU member and affiliated states.
  • The WTO GPA promotes a more competitive environment by increasing the number of offers for a given contract.
  • The WTO GPA significantly lowers the risk of corruption by decreasing contracts with a single offer, reducing the success ratio of firms and allowing firms with lower network strengths to win contracts.
  • The competitive environment in a country is a significant determinant of the efficiency of public procurement. An increase in the number of offers decreases the contract price with respect to the estimated cost.

Thus, the WTO GPA commitments will secure better value for the money spent by governments in their procurement processes as a consequence of applying the WTO GPA principles of transparency, non-discrimination, integrity, and competition.

Given that the WTO GPA’s provisions will certainly benefit Egypt and Turkey, it is surprising that to date neither of the two countries have become signatories of the WTO GPA.

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.

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 ten (10) 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 (4)
  • 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 winner are (description in original laungauge):

FEM43-03Morocco 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.

FEM43-04Les 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.

FEM43-14Refugees 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).

FEM43-17Analyse comparée de l’apport des migrants et des refugiés en Europe: Une perspective économique, CATT (Université de Pau, France, Université de Tunis El Manar, Tunisie, DIAL (Université de Paris Dauphine) et ESSEC Tunis.

Ce projet s’attachera d’abord à donner une image la plus complète possible du contexte actuel des refugiés dans le monde et en Europe en particulier. Notre recherche s’intéressera ensuite à l’étude des contributions de la migration d’asile et de l’immigration en général aux performances macroéconomiques des pays européens en termes de croissance, de chômage et de salaires. Le projet s’intéressera alors à l’analyse empirique des liens

entre les migrations y compris la migration d’asile et les différents indicateurs économiques des pays européens.

FEM43-18Le 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.

 

 

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.

FEMISE partners with the 12th Rendez-vous de la Méditerranée, with participation of Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations

The 12th Economic Rendez-Vous of the Mediterranean

Development of the Digital Economy and labor market in the Mediterranean

Thursday, November 3rd, 14h to 17h15

Two round tables organized by Institut de la Méditerranée/Femise & Le Cercle des économistes

nb-rdvimg_0642-300x225FEMISE is pleased to announce that it is partnering with Le Cercle des économistes and Institut de la Méditerranée for the 12th Economic Rendez-Vous of the Mediterranean (Thursday, November 3rd, 14h to 17h15, Marseille, Villa Mediterranée, Amphitheatre) with the theme ” Development of the Digital Economy and labor market in the Mediterranean”. The two round tables will compare the analyses of a number of senior economists who will draw attention to the important changes that are taking place. The dynamic perspective of creators of new activities will be presented, along with the point-of-view of public policy makers who must build a strategy, provide incentives and adapt regulatory frameworks to these new realities.

Moreover, it is with great honor and pleasure that we welcome Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, who will make a special intervention at 14h45.

The program of the Rendez-Vous is available here.

Registration for the 2016 edition of the Economic Week of the Mediterranean will now take place on site at the Villa Méditerranée.

flag_yellow_lowFEMISE will participate 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.

11th Mediterranean Economic Rendez-Vous

IMGP0735bThis eleventh conference organized by Institut de la Méditerranée (IM) / FEMISE and the Circle of Economists, was held in the premises of the Villa Mediterranée on Saturday, November 7th, 2015, the final day of the Mediterranean Economic Week. This year the conference revolved around the initiative of the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union in favor of a closer cooperation between Europe and the Maghreb countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) with regards to vocational training and entrepreneurship.

IMGP0706The Institut de la Méditerranée team, convinced of the role of vocational training for economic and social development and integration, already contributed to the design of this project initiative in the form of a strategic note “For an initiative on Vocational Training of the EU Presidency for Youth Employment in the Maghreb”. The initiative is now considered “an essential first step to address the problem of youth unemployment.” Participants to the conference called for “the creation of a common specific fund to mobilize 200 million that are needed for the program so that this first step for youth employment can be initiated as soon as possible”.

-The Final declaration of RV Med is available (in french) by clicking here

-For a special broadcast on France Culture on the occasion of the 11th RV Med please click here.

-You can also read the following articles on the site of french newspaper LaTribune (in french):

« Quelle formation professionnelle pour lutter contre le chômage des jeunes en EuroMed ? » by Jean-Louis Reiffers, and

« La formation professionnelle, une priorité pour réduire le chômage des jeunes en EuroMed »  by Constantin Tsakas

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*  Photo 1. Participants at the conférence, Photo 2. Fathallah Sijilmassi (General Secretary of Union for the Mediterranean) and Nicolas Schmit (Minister of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidarity Economy of Luxembourg), Photos 3 et 4. Participants at the conférence.