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The Unmet Challenge of Interdependence in the EU-MENA Space: A View from the South

Uri Dadush , Karim El Mokri , Rim Berahab , Karim El Aynaoui | May 25, 2016

This paper will take stock of the economic performance of Europe and the Arab world, examining how they can do better by working together. The paper pays special attention to the trade, investment, migration and energy linkages between the two regions, as well as those among the Arab countries, as well as how they can be improved to achieve better development. Whereas we present a southern perspective, with Arab countries as main focus, the purpose is to understand the constraints facing both regions, and come up with measures that benefit all parties. The paper begins with a brief overview of Europe and MENA’s economic performance compared to their peers. It goes on to examine the linkages between the two regions as viewed by the MENA region. These include trade, in which energy plays an especially important role, migration, both voluntary and involuntary, and investment. The paper then discusses the political preconditions for advancing on reforms, especially on those that exploit the latent synergies between the two regions, and their feasibility. It concludes with some critical policy recommendations.