Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

EMEA economists gauge Euro-Mediterranean regional integration

on Wednesday, October 7th 2020 à 11:45 | Read 499 times

Using a multidimensional approach, economists at the EMEA have put forward a regional integration matrix that measures the degree of convergence between sub-regions in the Mediterranean through a set of 80 indicators. Version française

EMEA economists gauge Euro-Mediterranean regional integration

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Euro-Mediterranean regional integration still has a long way to go (photo :
Euro-Mediterranean regional integration still has a long way to go (photo :
“The measuring of regional integration efficiency in the Euro-Mediterranean Region is, unfortunately, disappointing,” points out Rym Ayadi, president of the EMEA (Euro-Mediterranean Economists’ Association) and director of the EMNES (Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies) in a statement on the subject.
According to the EMEA economists, the Barcelona Process, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020, has not fulfilled its regional facilitation role. One of their studies shows that “the Euro-Mediterranean Region’s development over the past decade reveals a tendency towards greater division, one that is increasing.”
“In addition to the growing rifts between the Mediterranean’s shores, several decades of economic integration have not resulted in the poorer countries catching up with the rich,” adds Rym Ayadi. For the EMEA president, “The problem lies in an approach to integration with the EU at its centre, since it has fostered bilateral cooperation and competition between countries rather than focussing on their complementary areas, which cannot produce the desired result.”
Interruptions in the world’s value chains, restrictions on travel, lockdowns… the health, social and economic crisis brought about by Covid-19 is now adding to the obstacles encountered. As Rym Ayadi notes, the pandemic “has increased the pressure on the region and has fundamentally called into question the regional integration process.”

A regional integration matrix containing 84 indicators

The EMEA study has developed a regional integration matrix (RIM) that enables existing barriers to, and potential accelerators of, this regional economic integration to be closely monitored and better documented. The new tool assesses the process by looking at the degree of convergence between four sub-regions representing the member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (Maghreb, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Balkans and European Union).
Comprising 84 indicators, updated annually, the RIM uses a multi-dimensional approach covering seven main sectors: governance, trade, finance, foreign direct investment (FDI), infrastructure, freedom of movement of people and higher education and research.
The matrix will provide a yearly analysis of how the regional integration process in the Mediterranean is progressing and will also provide insights into other countries such as those members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in the Middle East, West Africa and Russia.
Since the advent of Covid-19, the EMEA has identified three main factors that need to be made to interact in order to create regional integration models and processes that are more robust: the role played by digitalisation, alignment with the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG) and regional value chains.
Read the Emea study "Assessing regional integration in the Euro-Mediterranean - A multidimensional regional integration matrix" by Rym Ayadi with contributions : Kostas Fragkiadakis, Leonidas Paroussos, Emanuele Sessa.  

Read the statement "25 years of the Barcelona Process : What has been achieved and what are the prospects of regional integration in the Euro-mediterranean post Covid-19 ?" by Rym Ayadi

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