Employment in the Arab Mediterranean countries is a major challenge for the region – and for Europe – in the next 10 to 15 years, calling for immediate action before permanent damage is caused to development prospects in the region. This is the main conclusion of a paper produced by the EC’s Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs.
The study, which analyses the key labour market determinants of migration flows from selected Arab Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and the Occupied Palestinian Territories), says public policies in the countries are ill equipped to face the challenge. Labour migration remains a key feature of the labour markets in these countries – yet cannot by itself solve the labour market challenges there.
The study makes a number of recommendations including: upgrading the statistics available and conducting further in-depth analysis; upgrading education and training systems; mainstreaming the policy goal of job creation and higher productivity; promoting active labour market policies; creating incentives to hire new graduates and women; creating incentives to transform informal into formal employment; and establishing social protection systems guaranteeing universal coverage, with the emphasis on worker rather than job protection.
It also recommends that the EU upgrade its existing framework for migration from Arab Mediterranean countries, not only as a unilateral strategy, but as a cooperative framework for true co-development. (ENPI Info Centre)
DG ECOFIN Press release
Labour Markets Performance and Migration Flows in Arab Mediterranean Countries: Determinants and Effects
ENPI Info Centre webpage – migration
ENPI Info Centre webpage – economy
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