The Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies (EMNES) organised its Third Annual Conference – 2019: “Towards A Regional Integration and Employment Driven Socio-Economic Model in the Mediterranean: A Comprehensive Policy Roadmap”, at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels on 27-28 June 2019.
The Euro-Mediterranean region brings together a diverse set of countries with different cultural backgrounds as well as economic social realities, which are each developing at a varying pace and with variable geometry. While for centuries such differences were seen as wealth, in recent years, the Mediterranean Sea has become a dividing line between conflicting civilisations. This has led to deeper political uncertainties, mounting economic difficulties, and social tensions without any of the two parts, being able to resort to concrete cooperation. In this perspective, it is difficult to argue that Euro-Med relations delivered on the promise of achieving shared prosperity through enhanced political association and economic integration. The combination of the Arab uprisings, the euro area crisis and the refugee crisis clearly played a major role in shaping the final outcome and populations perceptions. However, the way such crises played out raises a fundamental question about whether the existing model of integration and cooperation among the two regions is appropriate.
Against this background, the EMNES Annual Conference 2019 debated what future model of economic development and cooperation could be envisaged. The conference brought together the views of the EU, the South Med countries and the main players active in the region. The EMNES team contributed to the discussion by featuring key findings on how labour markets can become more dynamic and help delivering shared prosperity, as well a comprehensive policy roadmap towards new models of regional integration and employment creation in the Mediterranean.
The first day – Policy Conference, 27.06.19 – started with welcoming addresses by the Director of EMNES and President of EMEA, Prof. Rym Ayadi and by Daniel Gros, Director of CEPS, as well as, messages from H.E. Hala H. Elsaid, Minister of planning and Administrative Reform, Arab Republic of Egypt, and H.E. Nasser Kamel, Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean.
Keynote speakers of the first day were Michael Koehler, Director of Neighbourhood South, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations – European Commission, H. E. Fathallah Sijilmassi – Former Secretary General Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), and Simeon Djankov – World Bank.
Among the participants of the four discussion panels of the first day were H. E. Jaloul Ayed, Former Minister of Finance – Tunisia, Hamed El Etreby – UfM, H. E. Ibrahim Saif – Former Minister of Planning and Energy , Roger Albinyana – IEMed, Fatima Ezzahra Mengoub – Policy Center for the New South, Ahmet Evin – Istanbul Policy Center (IPC), Ana Pena Segura – EU Neighbourhood & Enlargement, Nathalie Creste – DG Employment, Abdellatif Bencherifa – Université Internationale de Rabat, Léo Vincent – HOMERe, Carlos Conde – OECD, Jihen Boutiba – BUSINESSMED, Gilbert Doumit – BRD, and Atilla Kaiser-Yuecel, – GIZ. Moderators for the first day were Prof. Rym Ayadi – EMEA/EMNES/CEPS, Cinzia Alcidi – CEPS, Nooh Alshyab – Yarmouk University and Rim Mouelhi – IHEC Carthage.
The second day – Scientific Conference 28.06.19 – there were two keynote speakers, Prof. Giovanni Ferri, Università di Roma LUMSA and Ralph Chami, International Monetary Fund. During the 5 sessions of the second day, EMNES researchers presented 17 scientific and policy papers which were discussed by Raja Almarzoqi – IMF, Barbara Casu – Cass Business School, Giorgia Giovannetti – Università degli Studi di Firenze, and Zouhair El Kadhi, ITCEQ.
Photos of the Policy conference are available at https://www.gleamlight.com/Events/GhyG69gfTR3L/n-JRc54X/ For more photos please visit EMNES social media.
For more information of the sessions please check the Conference Program. A report of the Conference will soon be available.
The video message of H.E. Hala H. Elsaid, Minister of Planning and Administrative Reform, Arab Republic of Egypt, for the EMNES Annual Conference 2019.
The video message of H.E. Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, for the EMNES Annual Conference 2019.