Early childhood is the most important time for human development. However, countries tend to under-invest in this stage of development, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Children are facing unequal opportunities to develop because of the circumstances of their birth. This project analyzes inequality of opportunity in early childhood development in three Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) and three countries from non-EU Eastern Europe (Bosnia, Serbia and Ukraine). The findings demonstrate that there is substantial inequality of opportunity starting early in life. A variety of circumstances impact early inequality, with wealth, mother’s education, and geographic differences all contributing substantially.
FEMISE is pleased to announce the publication of the report on “Euro-Med sub-national governments in the fight against climate change: a framework for action, an example of the SUD Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region and opportunities for cooperation at the Mediterranean scale.
December 7, 2018 – Report release
By INSTITUT DE LA MEDITERRANEE and its partners, FEMISE and ENERGIES2050
INSTITUT DE LA MEDITERRANEE (IM) and its partners, FEMISE and association ENERGIES2050, announce the publication of the final version of the report on “Euro-Med sub-national governments in the fight against climate change: Framework for action, example of Région SUD Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and opportunities for cooperation at the Mediterranean level “
This report, articulated in three chapters, offers a photograph of the initiatives and dynamics undertaken by Région SUD (France) in the fight against the effects of climate change and also fits within the framework of the great Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.
The first chapter deals with the “Framework for action of the Mediterranean territories of Europe in the face of climate change“. It underlines that subnational governments face many challenges in implementing an ambitious and integrated climate action. Issues of access to finance, capacity to design strategies adapted to territorial issues, relying on local data, action monitoring (MRV) and the need for support and framing from higher echelons of governance are crucial.
The second chapter deals with “The territorial response to climate issues in the Mediterranean: the example of the Région SUD“. The report notes that the action of local authorities, in France in general and in the Région SUD in particular, benefits from an incentive and coherent legal framework, which is supported by regional information systems provided. In accordance with the policies adopted at the national level, the communities of Région SUD have engaged in the implementation of integrated climate strategies in the form of PCET (Climate Territorial Energy Plans) and then PCAET (Climate Air Energy Territorial Plans). Beyond this process, there is a proliferation of initiatives aimed in particular at better involving all actors in climate action. However, the transparency of the results of these actions remains relatively weak.
The third chapter covers the theme of “Cooperations, territories and climate at the scale of the Mediterranean basin and beyond” and offers many tracks for reflection for the future. One of the first reflections revolves on placing the climate / territory issue at the center of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation strategy. Région SUD could bring valuable feedbacks. In addition, a platform at the service of territories in this area offering the possibility to capitalize, to exchange, to train, to allow a dialogue with the world of regional statistics and to offer technical assistance could be supported at the regional level, in particular through emerging initiatives such as the Mediterranean House of Climate.
The growing involvement of the private sector could also generate relevant initiatives. Proposals for action on Euro-Mediterranean cooperation could include the creation of an “ERASMUS of social and environmental entrepreneurship” and a Mediterranean Initiative for Social and Environmental Finance, aligning business creation and capital flows with the objectives of reducing local social and environmental externalities.
This report is rooted in IM’s willingness to mobilize its network and partners to contribute to debates on a shared commitment to climate issues. It is also part of the follow-up on the background work on climate and territorial issues that has been carried out for years by ENERGIES 2050, particularly in the context of the development and implementation of low-carbon territorial strategies. In view of the follow-up given to the international event “Mediterranean of the Future”, organized by Région SUD (21 November 2017, in Marseille), IM, FEMISE and ENERGIES 2050 believe in the unifying capacity of our territory on these issues. This report also builds on the momentum generated by the workshop “Climate change in a Mediterranean in transition” (May 15, 2018, Marseille, co-organized with the Departmental Council of Bouches-du-Rhône), which allowed to illustrate territorial solutions for climate challenges in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The effective support of the Departmental Council of Bouches-du-Rhône has reinforced a real multi-stakeholder movement that has only strengthened this relationship. Exchanges with the services of the City of Marseille, particularly on issues of sustainable development and engineering of local governance, were also valuable.
This report is intended to become a regular publication.
It is available by clicking here.
It is also available on the website of ENERGIES2050.
For more information, please contact:
IM / FEMISE: Dr. Constantin Tsakas, General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, General Secretary of FEMISE firstname.lastname@example.org – + 33 (0)4 91 31 51 95 www.femise.org
ENERGIES 2050: Stéphane POUFFARY, General Manager of Association ENERGIES 2050 – email@example.com – +33 (0)6 80 31 91 89 www.energies2050.org
This report was funded by IM, developed with the financial support of the European Union under the EU-FEMISE contract on “Support to Economic Research, Studies and Dialogues of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”. The content of the publication is the sole responsibility of the authors.
 Founded in 1994 by the Regional Council Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur (PACA), the General Council of Bouches-du-Rhone, the City of Marseille, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marseille Provence
At the invitation of Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE, a dozen “Social Change Makers” involved in the Mediterranean region and Africa attended a workshop (Marseille, November 20th) during the Emerging Valley 2-day event. Their various experiences show the contribution of social entrepreneurship as a vector of socio-economic development accelerator but also its difficulties in imposing itself.
MEDITERRANEAN / AFRICA. “Necessity is the mother of invention, so you have to try to change things with creativity.” Founder and CEO of Yomken.com Tamer Taha immediately set, during the workshop “Discovering Social Change Makers in the Mediterranean and Africa”, the problem of a “Mena region lagging behind in terms of innovation compared to other countries at the same level of development. “
Set-up by Institut de la Méditerranée, Femise and IRD (Research Institute for Development) on the occasion of Emerging Valley (Marseille, November 20, 2018) this meeting aimed to highlight the existing social entrepreneurship initiatives in Africa and in the South Mediterranean countries. As Constantin Tsakas, General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée and General Secretary of Femise, says, “in the face of youth unemployment, the informal economy, inequalities and lack of economic diversification, social impact enterprises have the potential, that is poorly exploited, to be an accelerator of socio-economic development by taking advantage of innovative approaches. “
For Egyptian entrepreneur Tamer Taha, “innovators need more than just money and the market needs more than new ideas, and if we do not innovate, we risk going out of the international market.” With Yomken.com, an open innovation platform for industrial, environmental and social challenges, Tamer Taha connects large companies and SEs-SMEs in five countries to answer problems through calls for solutions. Since 2012, these synergies have resulted in sixty-eight challenges. One of them being the case of a German vegetable cutting machine from a Cairo company that could not process a local vegetable called okra. For $ 5,000, two young engineers managed to solve the impasse.
Strengthen African start-ups
Shadi Atshan co-founded in 2017 an accelerator for social enterprises (SEA) in Palestine. It hosts about forty start-ups and two incubators. In 2018, he went international with four projects in Jordan. “As the market is limited, these start-ups are of little interest to investors, so we help them to raise funds,” says Shadi Atshan. Hatoumata Magassa intervenes to “contribute to sustainable, inclusive and digital economic development in Morocco, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Ghana.” Coordinator of AFIDBA (AFD for Inclusive and Digital Business in Africa) – Bond’Innov (Bondy in France), she takes care of this project financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) for 2 M € to support sixty start-ups with a strong social impact and a funding scheme allocated of € 500,000.
“We are structuring and strengthening a network of incubators in our four intervention countries to strengthen African start-ups” said Hatoumata Magassa.
Natalia Resimont coordinates the “Women of the World” project of the French NGO “Quartiers du monde”, a network of solidarity entrepreneurs present in Burkina-Fasso, Madagascar, Morocco, Mali and Senegal. “We create pedagogical tools to integrate the gender perspective, without which the social and solidarity economy does not deconstruct gender inequalities and ignores a series of models and structures that maintain, update and replicate the patriarchal system : the sexual division of labor governance, violence against women, hegemonic masculinities … “, she says. The NGO has published a guide in Spanish and French (and soon in Arabic and English), the result of five years of work on the issue.
Create collaborative civil societies
” To lead real economic initiatives, these women must first rebuild. We are integrating this into our support “ says Natalia Resimont, for example,” Women of the World “created an incubator in a small town in Mali rather than in a big city to address the issue of women’s mobility.
In Lebanon, Natalia Menhall of Beyond RD, a group of activists for the development of social entrepreneurship, advocates for “building inclusive governance systems and inspiring innovative policy solutions.” With the objective of “building collaborative civil societies and human-centered partnerships in line with priorities, by providing learning opportunities for individuals, institutions and communities.”
According to her, “even if the concept is new, the phenomenon is already present in the MENA region thanks to an existing culture of solidarity and social consciousness.”
A factory of initiatives
“Instead of waiting for the changes to come to us, we decided to have an active role,” insists Natalia Menhall. “Social entrepreneurship is a tool that comes to the citizen to propose solutions that can be generalized,” she said, noting that after a study in seven countries in the MENA region, “the obstacles to the development of Entrepreneurship remain very close, either the tools do not exist, or they are not adapted or concentrated in urban areas. “ Beyond is developing a Master’s program in Social Entrepreneurship. “In some countries, bankers have to go from purely economic profit to social profit,” she says.
Sihle Tshabalala is interested in disadvantaged youth born in the townships of South Africa. He knows her well to come from there. During a stay in prison, he got interested in computer coding and then put in place a learning method for academics to teach this illiterate population and train coders.
Director of Inter-Made, a social incubator based in Marseille and dedicated, since 2001, to projects with social and environmental impact, Cédric Hamon offers skills, training and networking to start-ups. “We also have a factory of initiatives because all social needs do not always find a start-up to solve them,” he says while he sets foot on the other side of the Mediterranean in Tunisia. Cédric Hamon even markets a training offer on the resolution of societal needs through entrepreneurship. “The obstacle is that you sell solutions to people who did not understand that there was a problem … So you create another problem at home,” he admits while stating, “We do not run out of funds, we do not miss projects, we lack funded projects. ” What remains, as Constantin Tsakas indicates, is that “a social project remains difficult to market.”
The Instagram of Waste
Another angle was also given by Mouhsin Bour Qaiba. Everything starts from a statement of the co-founder of Clean City: In Casablanca, each resident generates one ton of non-recycled waste per year. This Moroccan creates what he calls “the Instagram of waste” to put pressure on the authorities and launches an application for sorting at the source with possibility of ordering bags of different colors to ease the process of recycling.
Since then, Clean City has conquered other countries. His CEO is now thinking of giving Token (cryptocurrency) to citizens who report problems posted on his site instead of points allowing discounts on purchases as currently. “We now have 20,000 active users worldwide and 14,000 claims generated, and our goal is to reach 2 million active users,” said Mouhsin Bour Qaiba.
“We wanted to show faces, men and women and insist on the ordinary aspect of their lives.” Roman-Oliver Foy, president of Friends of the Middle East (France, Lebanon), has been presenting initiatives of social entrepreneurs in the Arab world for two years through conferences and debates.
In the near future, he will be launching ten-minute videos on these experiences with the goal of inspiring potential entrepreneurs in the South and North and raising awareness among policy makers while promoting the diffusion of innovations. “Policy makers need to see what a social and supportive entrepreneur is,” he insists.
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Also check the article and video coverage by ECOMNEWSMED on the workshop :
FEMISE recently launched its series of interviews called « Med Change Makers ».
« Med Change Makers » are text and video-based interviews that allow dynamic researchers of the FEMISE network to illustrate how their research addresses a policy-relevant question and how it contributes to the policy-making process in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The key role of education in the professional integration of young people in the Marrakech region
Interview with Alexandra Flayols, Université de Toulon, FEMISE
FEMISE recently published the Policy Brief « The key role of education in the professional integration of young people in the Marrakech region »
Author of the MED BRIEF, Dr. Alexandra Flayols highlights the important role of secondary education in gaining access to paid employment. However, many young people drop out of school early. The analysis of reasons for stopping studies is essential so that public authorities can put in place effective measures. Interview :
1. In this policy brief, early-stage obstacles to the professional integration of young people are explored, notably regarding access to education. However, aren’t there other key factors hindering this insertion? So why is it more optimal to invest in education?
Education is obviously not the only factor influencing the professional integration of young Moroccans. Several studies have highlighted the existence of other factors that can constrain the professional integration of young people. These factors may include previous work experience, the young person’s financial situation, mobility, the socio-professional category of the parents, active labor market policies, etc.
Regarding the factors that can more specifically be attached to the Moroccan case, the place of residence may for example hinder the professional integration of the youth. The region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz (MTH), which is the subject of this study, is mainly rural (198 rural communes against 18 urban). Although the OCEMO survey (2008) used in this work does not allow to distinguish the place of residence due to lack of data, our results show a differentiated impact of the level of education in urban and rural areas. In addition, the lack of job creation in the private sector, despite the lower dynamic demand for workers in the public sector, which until the 1990s was the largest employer of skilled workers, generates additional insertion obstacles.
We have chosen to focus on education because besides the fact that it is a determining factor of professional integration, it is a central issue in Morocco where education is experiencing considerable difficulties. Moreover, the fact that having a degree does not constitute a protection against unemployment in Morocco, contrary to the case of developed countries, pushes us to pay particular attention to this problem. Investment in education has become a standard in developed countries, however, while it is important for economies to move up the international value chain, it is not a sufficient condition in the access to employment. The match between trainings, formations and the job market is thus particularly important. The quality of education is also paramount and is highly criticized in Morocco.
2. What are the main reasons you have identified to explain why young people quit their studies in Morocco?
The first reason that pushes young Moroccans to abandon their studies is financial (23%). It is followed by lassitude (21%) and poor school results (15%).
The reasons for dropping out of school are indicative of the difficulties encountered in the education system and may also allow public authorities to target their interventions. Thus, by grouping the different reasons for dropping out according to whether they are voluntary or involuntary, we have seen that 60% of young people are quitting schooling; this rate even reaches 67% in rural areas. We observed other disparities by place of residence, but also by gender. Young girls in rural areas are thus more likely to be refused by their parents the right to peruse their studies (12% versus 6% in urban areas). The distance from school is also an important reason for stopping studies since it concerns 19% of young people in rural areas compared with just 4% in urban areas.
3. You mentioned that reaching the secondary education level is an important pre-requisite for young people, both to improve their probability of continuing their studies and their chances of being better inserted professionally. So what do you think is the best way to make secondary education more attractive to young people?
One of the first ways that could be implemented concerns the quality of education which, as we saw in the previous question, could be a means of encouraging young people to continue their studies. In recent years, private schools have experienced a significant growth in Morocco yet, their quality remains questionable and their high tuition fees reinforce the inequalities in access to education between students of wealthy families and those from a more modest social background.
The quality of education concerns its content as well as the supervision and creation of new schools. The language of learning, for example, causes significant difficulties for some young Moroccans. French, which was considered a foreign language, is now used as the language of instruction in higher education for science and economics. Thus, the orientation of young people who do not have the expected level in French is then constrained.
It is also essential to pay particular attention to the opportunities of the sectors proposed, whether for general education or vocational training. This could be an additional motivation for young people to continue in these streams. Finally, the establishment of bridges in the education system could also reduce the number of drop-outs as young people may be able to reorient themselves more easily.
4. As you pointed out, some schooling drop outs are involuntary. What recommendations would you give the public authorities to limit these cases or at least to facilitate the transition of these young people to the workplace?
Among the involuntary reasons for stopping studies, the financial reason is the most important. These results indicate that there is considerable room for maneuver to improve the retention rate of youth in the MTH region. Although the reforms of the late 1990s have improved access to education, it is still limited in rural areas, especially for young women. It is not necessarily about increasing spending on the education sector, but about better targeted measures such as the Tayssir program. The latter aims to reduce absenteeism by granting scholarships to hard-working students from the poorest households. The pilot phase in some rural communes shows positive results, particularly in the highest levels of education. Our results have shown that a woman with a level of education at least equal to secondary school is 1.7 times more likely to have access to a paid job yet, women’s access to education is particularly constrained in rural areas since they are 1.4 times less likely to have access to secondary education than women in urban areas. Measures targeting this subpopulation would therefore be beneficial.
In addition, the hypothesis of a lack of supervision or teachers or inappropriate content of lessons could explain the lassitude felt by young people as well as their academic failure. The quality of teacher training should therefore also be at the heart of the Moroccan government’s concerns. The congestion rate of sophomore class rooms is also high; therefore, less overcrowded classes would, with no doubt, favor better learning conditions.
Lastly, to facilitate the transition to the workplace, partnerships with companies could be envisaged, particularly with regard to vocational trainings. This would make it possible to better target the needs of the labor market like the SIVP in Tunisia. These partnerships could be accompanied by measures to encourage the hiring of these young people whom the company would have contributed to the training.
5. Are there not different trends in the length of studies and different mechanisms behind the professional integration of young women and men? Would that imply separate recommendations by gender?
Although access to education has improved for women, there are still disparities. We do not have precise data on the duration of studies by gender. However, estimates by Barro and Lee (2010) find a gap of 1.67 years in average length of schooling. In addition, parents’ refusal to continue studying is an important reason for young women’s drop outs, especially in rural areas. The pursuit of education for young women therefore seems more constrained than that of men.
Moreover, dropping out could also correspond to the desire to create a family which is a motive mentioned only by young Moroccan women and never mentioned by men. This choice necessarily has an impact on the professional integration of women either because of a too low level of education if they dropped out of school too early or because of the hard reconciliation between their family responsibilities and their professional life.
Mechanisms targeting professional integration should be differentiated by gender. For example, studies show differences both in the implementation of employability strategies and in the exclusion of certain professional spheres. If the authorities wish to improve young women’s access to the labor market, particular attention should be paid to them.
 Stage d’Initiation à la Vie Professionnelle.
The MED BRIEF is available for download by clicking here.
Interview by Constantin Tsakas
This activity 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 are the sole responsibility of the speakers.
Economic and financial integration efforts between the Mediterranean Partner (MPs) countries and the European Union (EU) were initially introduced by the Cooperation Agreements, which granted total exemption from tariffs on industrial products. These efforts were subsequently enhanced by the Association Agreements that were launched under the Barcelona declaration of 1995, which resulted in MPs reducing or even eliminating tariffs on European industrial imports. At the same time, MPs have opened up considerably to other countries, either under the framework of the EU-Mediterranean (MED) trade agreements, or in the context of widespread reduction in tariffs through the signing of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. In early 2000, the Barcelona Process was replaced by the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), which then was revised in 2015 and became the New European Neighborhood Policy. It is under this framework that the economic relations between the EU and their MPs are now being reshaped.
The New European Neighborhood Policy provides a robust platform towards financial assistance through deeper financial integration, greater access to the common market, and better institutionalization of trade and financial relationships. The EU is also proposing a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) that will address agriculture, services, and non-tariff measures. Negotiations for the DCFTA are underway with Morocco and Tunisia. Within the context of this New European Neighborhood Policy and the role of the EU in facilitating the modernization, the transition, and international openness of the Mediterranean countries, this research study assesses the degree of income convergence between the two groups (EU and MED) resulting from those trade agreements, as well as macroeconomic volatility effects of those policies on a selected sample of MPs, in order to identify the winners/losers form these trade agreements.
This said, in this study, we use in a first stage the concepts of s-convergence and b-convergence to evaluate empirically income convergence among a group of EU-MED countries over the period 1980-2015. We then present a thorough empirical analysis of the implications of the Euro-MED partnership agreements on economic growth and on macroeconomic volatility in a sample of MPs. Because of the initiation of the Barcelona Process and the Neighborhood Policy in 2000, the empirical analysis is carried out sequentially, over 5 and 10-year periods, and then for the period as a whole 1980-2015. The empirical findings show that there is weak evidence of income convergence for a group of EU-MED countries when analyzed in 5- or 10-year subintervals from 1980-2000 in single equation cross section regressions. However, we find statistically significant evidence of real per capita GDP convergence either when the whole sample period 1980-2015 is analyzed or when the 10-year sub-periods are pooled and estimated in panel growth regressions. These are more plausible results both because economic growth and convergence are long run phenomena and because panel methods deliver more efficient parameter estimates. For the period 1980-2000, there is evidence of weak conditional income convergence in the group of EU-MED (16) countries, and this evidence becomes much weaker for the MED group of countries in between 2000-2015. The reason for these results is the negative effects of the European financial and debt crises on the Euro-MED region in general, and on the MED region in particular.
Macroeconomic stability and economic openness turned out to be statistically important factors and have the expected positive effect on economic growth in the MED countries. Indeed, in most of the estimated models, the variable that is consistently the most significant is economic openness. Of the other explanatory variables, population growth has the theoretically expected negative effect on economic growth as it is found in other studies on empirical growth. Government spending also had a negative effect on economic growth and is statistically significant as is population growth.
The main policy implications that emerge from the empirical results of this paper is that if the MED countries wish to achieve high economic growth they should pursue policies that further promote free trade and economic openness with the EU, as well provide an anchor of macroeconomic stability by means of policies that keep fiscal and monetary policies under control. Political and social unrest, as well as, financial and debt crises have a negative effect on economic growth and convergence in the region and, if possible, should be dealt with as soon as possible by appropriate political and macroeconomic policy action.
Other empirical results point to the fact that MED countries may be less susceptible to EU’s financial shocks if the domestic MED market is larger and/or more regulated. This is consistent with what economic theory would suggest and it has policy implications. In reality, some MED countries have chosen to impose capital controls to deal with financial market crises since it appears that the “culprit” is international capital flows although this policy practice may have undesirable long-term economic consequences. We have shown that MED countries should improve their macroeconomic and financial policy coordination to cope effectively with the impact of greater trade and financial integration with the EU. This may be achieved for example through enhancing regional economic and financial integration. The establishment of a MED free trade zone will not only stimulate and enhance growth, but will also enhance intra-MED trade, thereby, reducing considerably the exposure to the EU’s business cycle, and controlling for the excessive exposure of these MED small open economies to macroeconomic developments in the EU.
The literature shows that large economies can better absorb and neutralize the effects of external shocks. Controlling for the effects of shocks, however, is particularly more difficult in the case of the developing MED economies, which are smaller in size and nearly dependent on exports to the EU of very few commodities and on the import of a huge number of commodities. A direct consequence of an integrated capital market within the MED region will be to reduce the risks associated with greater EU-MED integration, and to dampen the vulnerability of MPs, especially those with high levels of debt, such as Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, to the effects of fluctuations in EU’s interest rates. A larger MED financial market would lower the cost of raising capital, and would allow MED governments to service their huge debt at lower costs on one hand, and MED firms to rely more on the local market rather than tapping EU’s markets to raise capital, on the other. Lower costs of raising capital will subsequently translate into more investment, consumption, and GDP growth rates in the region. The MED region should accelerate the process of trade, financial, and economic integration with the EU in order to better absorb the negative effects of external political, financial and/or economic shocks. Efforts should also be exerted to speed up the implementation of the fiscal and monetary reforms so as to improve the inflow of portfolio and FDI into the region.
In short, for further trade and financial integration with the EU, MPs need to individually devote more efforts to pursue sound macroeconomic policies. This should be coupled with institutional reforms aimed at developing the financial sector in the respective MED economies. Subsequently, MPs should try to integrate horizontally while at the same time opening up further vertically (to the EU). It was shown that financial openness- as measured by gross capital flows as a ratio to GDP- is associated with an increase in consumption volatility, contrary to the notions of improved international risk-sharing opportunities through financial integration. The inherently unstable macroeconomic environment, political and military turmoil, as well as unsound monetary and fiscal policies in the MED region may explain this empirical irregularity.
One policy recommendation of the study is that MPs need to be more, not less, integrated with EU’s financial markets to be able to reap the benefits of financial integration in terms of improved risk sharing, and consumption smoothing opportunities. This conclusion will however require further analysis, as regional financial integration is associated with a variety of risks in the EU-MED region. To minimize these risks, MPs would need to implement sound macroeconomic and structural frameworks in tandem with further integration. For example, our findings have emphasized the role of sound fiscal and monetary policies in driving macroeconomic volatility. In regard to structural reforms, the development of the domestic financial sector is critical, as a high degree of financial sector development is associated with lower macroeconomic volatility.
Finally, the New European Neighborhood Policy provides a robust framework towards trade and financial assistance through deeper financial integration, greater access to the common market and better institutionalization of trade and financial relationships between the MED and EU countries. This research project will assist policy makers and academics in the EU and MED regions in redefining their trade, financial and macroeconomic priorities while designing new European Neighborhood Policies that will respond to the recent economic challenges. The new European Neighborhood Policy will spawn a large amount of literature on its consequences. This study constitutes an integral part of that literature by identifying the common and differing strands of analysis with particular emphasis on the changes made in the macroeconomic policy paradigm in both the MED and EU region.
FEMISE was pleased to be part of SDSN-France launch in Paris on the 13th of November 2018.
The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) aims to gather a large number of leaders from all regions and diverse backgrounds in order to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. This network has been operating since 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General and bases its action on values of joint learning and integrated approaches towards interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges.
The launch of SDSN-France is a key event for the network in general because it allows it to have valuable partners form the academic and research field in France articulating the collaboration between multilateral actors and local financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society. The office of SDSN-France will be driven by KEDGE Business School, member of FEMISE network, the University of PSL, the Pierre et Marie Curie University and Cergy-Pontoise University.
The event was extremely rich in presentations, forward-thinking discussions and proficient workshops. These workshops took the form of collective intelligence sessions where the diversity of the backgrounds of the participants allowed a broad understanding and holistic approaches to the issues discussed. Constantin Tsakas, Secretary General of FEMISE and General Manager of Institut de la Méditerranée, was a host in the workshop “Sustainable Finance”, organized by KEDGE Business School. Alternative and green financial tools were discussed during this workshop, along with determining the key objectives and responsibilities of the French branch of SDSN, as an unavoidable stakeholder in the debate of concretization of the SDGs. Questions brought up by Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Professor at Columbia University, special consultant UN Secretary General) such as the means by which the evaluation of projects in the context of systemic transformation can be possible or the standards to apply for ESGs (Environmental, Social and corporate Governance), pointed out the richness of this matter from a conceptual point of view but also the important practicality of this issue.
In his recap of the workshop, Professor Thomas Lagoarde-Segot (Associate Professor of Economics and International Finance at KEDGE Business School and FEMISE researcher), stressed on the role of SDSN as a mediator between the different actors of Green Finance and more particularly as a gateway between the academic world and research, on the one hand, and the practitioners, on the other. An approach in 3 steps, that included FEMISE proposals, was retained by the participants: To achieve SDSN-France’s full potential, the network could act on 3 levels; the macro-level by raising awareness towards policy-makers, the meso-level by allowing the emergence and mapping of structures (financial, technical) that support social impact and on the micro-level by helping social entrepreneurs improve their perception of Green Finance and their access to it.
These findings were then exposed during a plenary session with the presence of the SDSN-France board and will be included in the roadmap of this French branch of the network, under the section “Sustainable Finance”, alongside the other key findings of the different workshops tackling subjects as diverse and essential as “Education for Sustainable Development”, “Sustainable Cities”, “Sustainable Value Chains”, “Energetic transitions” and leads toward enhancing the “Solutions’ agenda” for SDGs in France. All of these workshops stressed the crucial role of SDSN-France as a facilitator of collaboration between stakeholders and of an accelerator of academic and intellectual effervescence towards finding practical and adequate solutions to concretize SDG goals.
“Precipitating the change of the system as a whole” was one of the focal points of Professor Jeffrey Sachs during his keynote speech at the Chimie ParisTech. It is not about addressing each issue as an independent issue but about “kedging” the world towards change and towards cooperation and alternative ways of governing.
FEMISE is pleased to invite you to launch of the french office of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) of the United Nations.
The SDSN France office is co-led by KEDGE Business School, a member of the FEMISE network, and by the Pierre and Marie Curie University.
A Keynote Speech from Prof. Jeffrey Sachs (Professor at Columbia University, Special Consultant to the UN Secretary-General) will inaugurate the launching conference on November 13th at Chimie ParisTech.
In addition, KEDGE Business School will organize a “Sustainable Finance” brainstorming Workshop during the inaugural conference of this network. The participants in the workshop organized by KEDGE Business School originate from the academic, institutional and corporate worlds, and have been identified as key actors of change for the refoundation of financial models and practices in response to the challenges of ecological transition.
Among the panelists, Jean-Christophe Carteron (CSR Director at KEDGE Business School), Pr. Thomas Lagoarde (Associate Professor of Economics and International Finance at KEDGE Business School and FEMISE researcher) and Dr. Constantin Tsakas (General Manager of the Institut de la Méditerranée, General Secretary of FEMISE).
The workshop will take the form of a collective intelligence session led by a specialized speaker. The findings of this workshop will be presented in the plenary session in the presence of the steering committee of SDSN France, and will constitute the roadmap of the sustainable finance component of SDSN France. Sign up for the launching conference : https://www.weezevent.com/journee-de-lancement-reseau-sdsn-france-13-novembre-2018-conference
The FEMISE Policy Brief series MED BRIEF aspires to provide Forward Thinking for the EuroMediterranean region. The briefs contain succinct, policy-oriented analysis of relevant EuroMed issues, presenting the views of FEMISE researchers and collaborators to policy-makers.
The latest MED BRIEF on “How does spatial proximity of firms contribute to the transition of the EU-Med region? Empirical evidence from Turkey, Italy and Tunisia” is available here.
It is also available here in Arabic as well.
Abstract: In this policy brief we provide policy implications and recommendations on how firms’ productivity react to spatial economic drivers of growth related to agglomeration economies, clustering of innovation, and localisation of FDI. We observe how these features interact with firm characteristics (specifically size, ownership, and innovation) focusing on three case studies: Turkey, Italy, and Tunisia. Overall, the estimation results suggest significant productivity enhancing agglomeration and innovation effects, in particular spillovers are higher between firms operating in the same sector and region and having small technology divides. In addition, evidence on productivity spillovers from neighbouring foreign firms is less robust. The results of the study confirm the efficiency of clusters of SMEs in South Mediterranean countries and helps identifying key drivers and patterns of localised production providing a benchmark of analysis. The evidence support policies which pay specific effort to enhance the absorptive capacity of less technologically sophisticated firms by supporting R&D investment and human capital qualification allowing firms to compete and benefit of surrounding spillovers in agglomerated areas. Another policy target for the government should be investing in transportation infrastructure, easing access to housing and developing regional complementarities. This would lead to a more sustainable convergence of standards of living among regions in the long-term, and would reduce the exploitation of resources along the coast and the pressure on natural resources.
The policy brief has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union within the context of the FEMISE program. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.
Mediterranean countries suffer from a lack of dynamism of their private sector, which is not sufficiently competitive nor job-creating.
Therefore, FEMISE has placed the theme of the private sector, and in particular its role as an engine of growth, job creation and inclusivity, at the center of its research activities. A special attention is paid to the causes that prevent the sector from reaching its potential, in particular the constraints faced by firms in the Southern Mediterranean Region, and to the importance of innovation in the development of the Mediterranean private sector.
One of the specificities of the FEMISE network, coordinated by the Economic Research Forum (ERF) and Institut de la Méditerranée (IM), is to always strive to integrate the points of view of politicians, of private operators and, more broadly, of all local actors, in the discussions carried out under this theme. This approach provides better feedback on the research, and ensures its policy relevance.
The private sector at the center of the FEMISE academic research
Firstly, the 2018 FEMISE EuroMed report, the flagship publication of the network, will focus on the private sector in the Mediterranean countries. The objective of the report will be to take stock of the economic dynamics of the Mediterranean countries over the last 20 years (ie since the Barcelona Process), and to understand the blocking points. The general idea is that growth in Mediterranean countries must accelerate to absorb a growing number of incoming individuals in the labor market, and that this growth must be based on productivity gains rather than on factors accumulation : the development of the private sector is therefore at the heart of the definition of a new development model. One of the chapters will focus more specifically on the role of central banks in private sector development. Finally, the major concern of a more inclusive growth will lead us to consider social entrepreneurship as a potential opportunity for the Mediterranean countries.
A “Science for Business” partnership dynamic with technical and operational support actors
Secondly, FEMISE participates, in partnership with ANIMA, in THE NEXT SOCIETY project, which brings together public and private actors from 7 Mediterranean countries with the aim of supporting innovation ecosystems. This collaboration gives the opportunity to FEMISE and ANIMA to pool their complementary skills, which are analysis and production of academic knowledge on the one hand, and technical and operational support on the other hand.
FEMISE’s contribution is firstly to draw-up a scoreboard and analyze the position of each country in terms of innovation and competitiveness indicators, such as the Global Innovation Index, at different stages of innovation (inputs, process and outputs). FEMISE also carries out an analysis of the national innovation strategies and of the ecosystem of involved actors (government, associations, private operators…).
Next, FEMISE identifies high-performing sectors and products to highlight new national comparative advantages and investment opportunities.
FEMISE presents its findings on the occasion of advocacy panels bringing together academics, entrepreneurs, investors, managers of incubators and innovation structures and public actors. This allows to benefit from their feedback and, above all, from their point of view regarding the factors that led to the emergence of these new comparative advantages. This approach ensures that the findings and recommendations from FEMISE work can contribute to elaborate public policies. The challenge of these panels is to establish, for each country, a roadmap for innovation, from implementation to evaluation, with the objectives of strengthening national innovation systems, fostering coordination between stakeholders, and improving the instruments of innovation policies and strategies.
An opening towards South-Mediterranean institutions in a “Science for Policy” approach
Thirdly, FEMISE is opening-up by cooperating with South Mediterranean actors and institutions directly concerned by these issues. Therefore, FEMISE co-authored and will publish in 2019 the2019 EuroMed report which will identify the constraints to growth and integration in the global value chains of Moroccan SMEs. This document results from the cooperation of the network with the African Development Bank, a main regional funder for development aid, and with the Institut supérieur de commerce et de gestion d’administration des entreprises (ISCAE) established in Morocco.
It is essential for the Mediterranean countries to better integrate SMEs into the global value chains in which most international trade takes place. In this report, we have chosen to focus on the case of Moroccan firms. It will be based on surveys and field interviews of SME managers and representatives of professional associations as well as on the Enterprise Surveys and Doing Business indicators of the World Bank. It is in this approach of discussions between researchers and public and private operators that the preliminary results of the report were presented before publication, in order to gather comments, suggestions and recommendations to enrich the research.
A triple anchoring to obtain research that is relevant from a political and operational dimension
To conclude, in addition to the ongoing academic research conducted by network members and supported financially by FEMISE funds (research available on the website), 3 other types of work devoted to the private sector are currently mobilizing the FEMISE team: (1) an analysis of the situation and a general discussion covering the entire region (EuroMed2018 Report), (2) a targeted and co-authored thematic analysis with a national focus (EuroMed2019 Report) and (3) a project on innovation in partnership with ANIMA.
Our analysis feeds on both (i) the knowledge and contributions of academic research, (ii) the consideration of concrete situations within the countries, as well as (iii) the points of view and insights from politicians and business actors. This triple anchoring allows us to develop products that are relevant from a political and operational dimension.
To get the FEMISE Brochure, with a presentation of the activities of the network and its new thematic approaches please click here.
To find out more about the preliminary findings of the report co-led with the AfDB, some answers are available in the interview below:
Article written by Jocelyn Ventura (Economist Institut de la Méditerranée)
– Deadline extended to September 10th! –
FEMISE is pleased to announce the launch of its fourth and final Internal Competition 2018/2019 within the current Scientific programme (2015-2019)
INTRODUCTION AND THEME OF THE CALL
Members of the FEMISE network who participated as affiliates of FEMISE in the European Commission Call (Access the list of these members) are invited to submit research proposals under the theme of:
Priorities of the EU-MED region
The deadline for the submission is on the 10th of September 2018 (included-French date and time)
Winning proposals will meet the criteria of having a real value added (generating fresh knowledge), using rigorous and sound methodology, and having the potential of offering policy recommendations.
This fourth call for internal competition completes the research agenda for FEMISE for the four years Scientific Programme (2015-2019) by setting the Priorities of the EU-Med region.
Reminder: The first, was launched in 2015 and the selected proposals focused on modernisation in the countries in the south in the long run. The second, was launched in 2016 and the selected proposals focused on the navigating through the transition in the short run. The third round, was launched in 2017, and selected proposals focused on the Role of the EU in facilitating the transition of the South Med countries. A list of accepted proposals under the three rounds is given in the scientific program below to avoid repetition.
Details about the theme of the current Call for proposals, can be found in the link below:
II. TIME TABLE
Deadline for submissions of proposals: 10th of September 2018
Tentative time plan:
Evaluation of proposals: 17 September 2018
Selection and Notification of acceptance: 21 September 2018
Signing Agreements for selected proposals: 24-26 September 2018
Submissions of first drafts: May 2019
Submission of final drafts at FEMISE conference: June 2019
III. SUBMISSION PROCESS
The dossier of the research proposals should include the following documents:
(1) The research proposal should not exceed 5 pages and should include the following:
- Summary (1/2 page)
- Statement of research stating the problem addressed, brief review of the literature and the knowledge gap the paper will fulfil.
- Conceptual Framework of the research analysis and how challenges are addressed
- Research Methodology stating the research question, the hypothesis to be tested, and the methodology that will be employed (e.g case studies, empirical evidence, etc.) and explain the rationale for using the selected methodology.
- Policy implications, how will the expected results of the paper contribute to the policy making.
- Time Frame, expected output (number of research reports produced), dissemination plan and division of labour in the consortium. Please note the duration for the projects in this call cannot exceed 10 months.
(2) The filled Application form 2018 (download here);
(3) The CVs of the members of the research consortium (standard forms can be downloaded here)
The dossier of the research proposal of the consortium can be sent to FEMISE bureau by email, fax or courier before: 10 th of September (included -French date and time)- More details in VIII. below
Any applications received after this date will not be considered.
(1) Only Affiliates members’ to the FEMISE-EU Contract on “Support to dialogues, political and economic research and studies of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership” can be funded in this call (Please click here to download the list of those Affiliates to find out if your institute is eligible).
(2) All proposals have to be submitted in Consortiums as follows: at least one Affiliate member from the North AND one Affiliate member from the South.
Each consortium should have one Team Leader who will send the proposal on behalf of the consortium and will be responsible for the project (in terms of its executing, deliverables and admin process); he/she will be the contact person for all correspondence with FEMISE. Details of the legal representative who will be signing the agreement if the proposal is successful should also be provided in the application form. Proposals submitted with ONE member only will not be considered.
(3) Each researcher can only be involved in one funded project. In the case where a researcher is involved in several proposals, only the highest ranked proposal will be selected. The others (less well ranked) will be automatically eliminated.
V. Funding Scheme
The total budget envelope for all selected proposals in this fourth round of the internal competition will be approximate €64,000. Each consortium needs to specify in the application form provided the total amount requested for the honorarium of the team that will work on the project.
FEMISE will contribute a maximum of 80% of the final amount and the 20% amount will be considered as an “own contribution” from the consortium.
For example, if the approved budget for a selected proposal is Euros 8,000, FEMISE will contribute up to a maximum of Euros 6,400 towards this proposal and the remaining amount of Euros 1,600 will be considered as an “Own contribution” from the members of the consortium towards the project.
Teams are encouraged to produce more than one paper. The requested amount in the proposal needs to match the number of research papers produced and their quality, and will be part of the evaluation. The Selection committee reserves the right to modify the requested amount.
The funding through this call will ONLY cover the honorarium of the researchers (verified by Time sheets) that will be working on the selected proposals.
VI. EVALUATION AND SELECTION PROCESS
Following the initial screening for eligibility, proposals will go through the following evaluation process:
I. Evaluation: The FEMISE Evaluation Committee will perform the technical evaluation of the proposals, addressing the following criteria:
- Scientific quality of the proposal, in terms of:
- Relevance of the topic to the economic policy issues of the Euro-Med Partnership
- Value added of the proposed topic to the existing knowledge
- The quality of the methodology and its ability to address the issue efficiently
- Integration of the ‘policy oriented’ dimension and its relevance to South Med policy framework.
- Other evaluation criteria
- Degree of cooperation between teams (North and South)
- Geographic coverage (number of countries covered, coverage of countries poorly studied (e.g. Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon). Though comparative approach is encouraged, proposals that are addressing one country specific topics could be accepted;
- Overall Experience of the team of researchers while encouraging the participation of young researchers.
- The Dissemination plan included in the proposal
II. Selection: Based on this technical evaluation, a selection process will take place for the proposals that will receive funding.
The decision of the selection committee will be one of the following:
- The proposal is accepted
- The proposal is accepted with a modification in the requested budget
- The proposal is accepted with suggested modifications (coverage, scope, etc.)
- The proposal is rejected
Team leader of all proposals will be informed of the decision of the selection committee. The reports of evaluation received by the referees will be sent to all teams. For the accepted proposals, the bureau will send the necessary agreements, general conditions and forms.
VII. Research Quality and Dissemination
The output of the research should be made in terms of one ore more research report of an average of 40-50 pages, ensuring a good focused analysis and increasing publications’ potentials in scientific journals, articles and policy briefs.
Expected outputs and peer reviewing:
(1) Drafts of the submitted research reports will go through an ex-post evaluation process (‘Peer Review’).
(2) Dissemination plans (other than the channels provided by FEMISE) are very much encouraged but needs to be discussed with FEMISE to ensure proper acknowledgements are made to the support of FEMISE and the European commission.
(3) the Submission of a Policy Brief based on your research work is highly encouraged.
VIII. CONTACT DETAILS
Please send your proposals (before the deadline of 10th September 2018) by:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject; Submission of a research proposal)
or by fax: Fax ++ 33 4 91 31 50 38
or by Post to:
CMCI, 2 rue Henri Barbusse,
13 241 Marseille Cedex 01, France
Tel: ++ 33 4 91 31 51 95
This funding is provided by the European Union through the FEMISE project on “Support to Economic Research studies and Dialogues of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership”. The content of the submitted proposals and the output of these projects are the sole responsibilities of the authors and can under no circumstances be representing the position of the European Union or FEMISE.
 The title of the contract is « Support to dialogues, political and economic research and studies of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership » launched in March 2014.