3 June 2020

Call for Researchers for the Joint Study Group on Post Covid-19 EU-MENA-Africa Trade Relations

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:

What future for post-Covid-19 trade relations between the EU, its Southern Neighbourhood and Africa?

Even before COVID-19, the EU was engaged in re-evaluating its trade relations with its Southern Neighbourhood and the African continent. While talks on DCFTAs are either stalled or progressing only moderately with Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, a DG TRADE-commissioned evaluation of the impact of six Free Trade Agreements (with the four countries mentioned above, plus Algeria and Lebanon) is about to be concluded. In March 2020, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy released a new EU strategy with Africa. The progress towards the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), a pan-African trade deal (ratified by 30 AU countries in February 2020), and how the EU might support it, will be important issues in the discussions leading to the EU-AU Summit due to be held in autumn 2020. This EuroMeSCo Policy Study should focus on how COVID-19 may affect these trade dynamics between the EU, its Southern Neighbourhood and the African continent (both quantitatively and qualitatively), complicating trade relations in some cases and/or reinforcing ongoing trends (e.g. by demonstrating the vulnerabilities of global value chains and dependency on China, and potentially accelerating the creation of value chains within the MENA region and Africa). The role of North Africa in the implementation of the African Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement should feature prominently in the Study. Subject to the calendar, the Policy Study should aim at feeding into the discussions and/or incorporate developments related to the UfM Trade Ministerial Meeting and the AU-EU Summit to be held later this year.


The other four Joint Study Groups will be dealing with the following topics: cyber-security in the MENA region; Covid-19 related opportunities for terrorist groups in Africa and the MENA region; human smuggling 2.0; and green economy in the MENA region. 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.

circle graphic