2 May 2023

Call for Researchers for the Joint Study Group 2023: Megaprojects 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:

Megaprojects in the MENA Region

Megaprojects, defined as large scale investment projects in strategic sectors such as transport or energy, are key pillars of economic strategies for many governments in the Middle East and North Africa. Authorities expect that such projects will boost the competitiveness of their economy, create employment opportunities, and attract investments. For foreign donors, they can also be visible and impactful channels of assistance.

The paradigm shift of EU’s cooperation and assistance policy, with the growing importance of investment schemes (see for instance the “Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbours” outlined in the February 2021 EU Joint Communication on a renewed partnership with the southern neighbourhood), combined with EU’s interest in supporting the green and digital transitions of its partners and in promoting interconnectivity, seem to call for renewed interest in EU’s support to such projects, although a critical analysis needs to be factored in.

The Joint Study Group could therefore focus on:

  • Mapping megaprojects in the MENA region
  • Analysing their financing schemes as well as public oversight mechanisms
  • Assessing the socio-economic impacts in the medium and long term of such mega-projects, also in terms of inclusiveness and sustainability (ongoing work of ILO looking at the potential labour market impact of key investment projects could be taken into account).
  • Exploring the regional and cross-regional integration and cooperation potential of megaprojects
  • Analysing the EU’s approach in relation to previous and future mega-projects in the region, in particular in the context of the Global Gateway and the Economic Investment Plan

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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