Institutional arrangements within the framework of political liberalisation in Morocco

Abdelhak Azzouzi

The objective of this working paper is to study the institutional arrangements that Morocco has enjoyed. This is based on subtle political balances that everyone, from the top to the bottom of the social hierarchy—from the king at the top to the electors at the base—is trying to preserve. Such stability is also founded on judicial norms mixing specific practices with a monarchy that is hundreds of years’ old and foreign influences emanating from countries throughout the Mediterranean, every time this was felt necessary. Far from seeking a paradox at all costs, it is perhaps the ancient character itself of the Sherifian kingdom and the strong traditions it is founded upon, that have made it easier to abandon a number of elements that do not seem adapted to modern times. It is only within the framework of a pact between the monarch, the whole of the political class, and the entire nation that this policy of reform can be shown to have achieved complete success.

Assessing Regional Integration in the Euro-Mediterranean: A Multi-Dimensional Regional Integration Matrix EMEA Study

Rym Ayadi, Kostas Fragkiadakis, Leonidas Paroussos, Emanuele Sessa

The developments in the Euro-Mediterranean region during the last decade highlight a trend towards more fragmentation, which is widening. The COVID-19 crisis put further pressure on the region and fundamentally questioned the process of regional integration, with the enforcement of lockdowns and mobility restrictions and the overall disruption of global value chains.

In view of this context, the objective of this study is to propose a Regional Integration Matrix (RIM) to assess the regional integration process in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The remainder of the study is organised as follows: the first chapter discusses regional integration and its monitoring at a conceptual level, based on a survey of relevant academic literature.
The second chapter builds on and updates the work done by the lead author providing a brief history of Euro-Mediterranean integration, before turning to the question of whether past initiatives have led to economic catch-up between lower and higher income countries in the region. The third chapter proposes the Regional Integration Matrix (RIM) to monitor regional integration in the Euro-Mediterranean.

Link to Statement on the 25 years of the Barcelona Process by Prof. Rym Ayadi

Digitalisation and Firm Performance: Evidence from Tunisian SMEs

Rihab Bellakhal, Rim Ben Ayed Mouelhi
Existing studies suggest that the level of digitalisation amongst Tunisian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) is low. Tunisian SMEs lack the resources and capabilities needed to implement digital technologies. Furthermore, the literature argues that digitalisation offers unprecedented opportunities for SMEs, making digitalisation more than fundamental for their survival and growth. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the relationship between digitalisation and performance, in the context of Tunisian SMEs. Based on a firm-level dataset of 466 SMEs in Tunisia, the results indicate that digitalisation is positively related to firms’ performance, allowing them to develop their activities, boost their sales, and to have a greater presence within foreign markets.  This positive relationship is linked with the firm’s engagement within a global digitalisation strategy, where it considers digitalisation as being an integral part of its business and activities. Thus, the paper gives several policy recommendations to support the digital transformation of SMEs in Tunisia.


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