3 June 2020

Call for Researchers for the Joint Study Group on Cyber-security 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 2020 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 Authors or as Authors & Coordinators to each Joint Study Group. In both cases, they will have to complete the online form and submit their application before 14 June (included).


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

Cyber-security in the MENA region

With digitalization becoming a top priority of the new European Commission, and the EU acknowledging that this agenda cannot advance without a strong focus on cybersecurity, the EU is likely to reinforce its engagement both internally and externally. The Communication from the European Commission published in February 2020 on “Shaping Europe’s digital future” calls for “a strong digital presence in the EU’s enlargement, neighbourhood and development policy” to “enable growth and drive sustainable development”. While the EU should release a new EU Security Union Strategy this year, and a Global Digital Cooperation Strategy next year, the EU will most likely seek to expand its engagement and cooperation with Southern partners on cyber security, moving beyond the cyber diplomacy toolbox presented in the 2017 Council conclusions dealing mainly with cyber security threats. With the objective to feed the ongoing mapping of opportunities to promote cooperation between the EU and its partners, and seeking synergies with the CyberSouth project, the EuroMeSCo Policy Study could look into issues such as: (1) cyber security threats in MENA countries and how vulnerable they are to those threats; (2) how authorities in MENA countries are dealing with them; (3) to what extent is this possible vulnerability also jeopardizing EU interests and how this needs to be factored into the EU external policies related to the digitalization agenda; (4) how cyberspace is being politicized in international fora; and (5) what the EU could do to help these countries in dealing with cyber threats.


The other four Joint Study Groups will be dealing with the following topics: green economy in the MENA region; Covid-19 related opportunities for terrorist groups in Africa and the MENA; human smuggling 2.0; and post Covid-19 trade relations between the EU, its Southern Neighbours and Africa. 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 2020 Terms of Reference for more information.

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