SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION AS DRIVERS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES: WHAT ROLE FOR THE EU?
This paper provides a critical examination of the cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation between the European Union and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries. It provides an overview of the main features of this cooperation and then focuses on two of the main problems facing it, namely the gap between the supply and demand for knowledge in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries, and the asymmetry between the systems of knowledge production and utilisation in the EU and its southern neighbours. It draws attention to the need for spurring industrialisation in the southern Mediterranean, as the engine for enhancing demand for economically useful knowledge. The paper concludes with a set of policy recommendations.
UNLEASHING TRADE POTENTIAL IN THE SOUTH AND EAST MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES: HOW DO NON-TARIFF MEASURES MATTER?
The objective of this policy paper is twofold. First, it analyses how non-tariff measures (NTMs) became more protectionist than tariffs. Second, it provides some policy options to address NTMs in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries (SEMCs) in order to unleash their trade potential. Recent data shows that most of the NTMs deal with conformity assessment as well as rules of origin. Addressing NTMs depends on several requirements namely: more detailed firm-level surveys on NTMs, more accredited laboratories (especially by the EU) in sectors having a comparative advantage and providing technical assistance from both the government and international donors to differentiate.
Female Labour Force Participation and Entrepreneurship: The Missing Pillar for Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Development in MENA?
Despite substantial investment in women’s education in the MENA region and a significant increase in their educational attainment, women’s labour force participation remains very low. In 2017, Women’s Labour Force Participation (LFP) was averaging 21% in the MENA region, well below the OECD average of 51%. In 2015, the rate of Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) of women in MENA was equally low, compared to other regions average. Besides the underutilisation of skills acquired by educated women, low participation rates have additional consequences for individual women and their families, including a lack of financial autonomy and a degrading social status. After reviewing the constraints impeding women to fully participate in the labour market and to develop entrepreneurial activities, we put forward an action plan to raise female LFP and entrepreneurship in this region, in order to develop this missing pillar of inclusive and sustainable economic development in the MENA region.
This action plan must: 1) end all forms of economic gender discrimination by enacting legislative and administrative reforms to ensure women’s equal rights to economic and productive resources; 2) adopt targeted actions to enhance female labour force participation, and 3) to further promote women entrepreneurship in the region via designing new financing mechanisms tailored for women.