2 May 2023

Call for Researchers for the Joint Study Group 2023: Ensuring Digital Sovereignty in the MENA Region

As part of the project EuroMeSCo: Connecting the Dots, co-funded by the European Union and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), we are opening calls for researchers to take part in five different Joint Study Groups.

The EuroMeSCo Joint Study Groups 2023 will be made up of four Authors, including a Coordinator, who will jointly produce a Policy Study over a period of 6-7 months. Interested researchers may apply as Author or as Author and Coordinator to each Joint Study Group. In both cases, they will have to complete the online form and submit their application by Sunday 28 May 2023, 23:59 CET..

Here is a brief description of the rationale of this Joint Study Group:

Ensuring Digital Sovereignty in the MENA Region

Digital sovereignty is understood as the ability to act independently in the digital world and should be understood in terms of both protective mechanisms and offensive tools to foster digital innovation.

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, this concept is becoming increasingly important for countries worldwide, as it is critical for national security, economic growth, and protecting citizens’ privacy.

The EU’s Southern Neighbourhood countries are no exception, as the digital transformation in the MENA region presents numerous challenges. As these countries navigate this transformation, they must balance their pursuit of digital transformation and digital sovereignty, two paths that can prove sometimes contradictory.

In this context, the Joint Study Group could:

  • Map how digital sovereignty has become an important concern of these countries (several authorities in the region have stressed the importance of digital sovereignty, with Egypt and Morocco serving as a notable example by implementing regulations to maintain control over their digital landscape)
  • Analyse the legal frameworks and regulations necessary to maintain digital sovereignty and examine strategies for protecting critical digital infrastructure, scrutinize the role of digital diplomacy in promoting cyber sovereignty, explore the impact of emerging technologies on digital sovereignty, considering the importance of capacity building and knowledge-sharing in this field in the MENA region
  • Formulate recommendations that enable MENA countries to leverage digital technologies while maintaining their sovereignty
  • Explore the interlinks between EU’s own quest for digital sovereignty and those of its partners, how should the EU protect its own sovereignty and interests when closer partnerships with these countries involve intensification of data exchange
  • Elaborate on EU’s support to its partners’ digital sovereignty: its added value in supporting efforts to increase sovereignty, ownership and protection of data (collection, processing, analysis); specific potential for sectorial cooperation (chips, manufacturing, data storage…)

You may apply to more than one Joint Study Group but may eventually only be selected to join one of them.

See the EuroMeSCo Joint Study Groups 2023 Terms of Reference for more information.

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