Euromed Survey Results | Digital Transformation in the Southern Neighbourhood
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, what with the lockdowns and travel bans, has manifested in no uncertain terms the significance of digitalisation processes. While the digital transformation of economies has been recognised as one of the cornerstones of sustainable development for some time now, it was only last year when its importance for day-to-day functioning of societies became quite so obvious.
In the southern neighbourhood region, in many ways this has been a painful lesson to learn. Despite progress made over the past decade, digitalisation levels, as measured by the Network Readiness Index (NRI; Dutta & Lanvin [Eds.], 2020), have remained unsatisfactory in all countries in the European Union (EU)’s southern neighbourhood, with a notable exception of Israel, which – as an outlier – will not be covered in the present article. Ranked between 69th (Jordan) and 107th (Algeria) out of 134 countries surveyed, the states in the region are all positioned in the lower bottom of the NRI.
Their performance is not homogenous, however. For instance, while throughout the southern neighbourhood relatively best results can be observed in the ”People” pillar, in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia it is predominantly due to relatively good performance in the “Government” sub-pillar, but in Jordan the highest rank was achieved in “Businesses” and in Lebanon in “Individuals”.
Euromed Survey Results
Experts and researchers have carefully processed and analysed the answers of the nearly 800 respondents of the EuroMeSCo Euromed Survey, launched in December 2020 coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Process and ahead of the Joint Communication on a Renewed Partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood released last February 2021 by the European Union .
The questionnaire was organised into five thematic blocks including 23 questions on main aspects that were expected to feature in a renewed partnership with the southern neighbourhood which cover various issues of strategic importance.
The consultation was open to the general public, targeting respondents from both the European Union and its Southern neighbourhood, including experts, civil society representatives and policy-makers. This open part was considered of great importance for a Survey of this kind as it contributes to improving the interpretation of its overall results and provides with additional valuable material.
The qualitative report (also available in Arabic), presents in-depth analyses written by experts and policy-makers offering keys to better understand some of the main issues at stake.
- Can the EU Share Values with its Partners in the Southern Neighbourhood? – James Moran, Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies, Belgium.
- From Hot Seat to Powerhouse: Managing Climate Change in the Southern Neighbourhood – Florence Gaub, Deputy Director at the European Union Institute for Security Studies. France.
- Digital Transformation in the Southern Neighbourhood – Katarzyna W. Sidło, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the Center for Social and Economic Research. Poland.
- The New EU Agenda for the Southern Mediterranean: Prospects for Morocco – Nezha Alaoui M’Hammdi, Senior Fellow at thePolicy Center for the New South. Morocco.
- Reflections on EU-Jordanian Cooperation: Towards Tertiary Economics – Kareem Sharabi Rosshandler, Lead Researcher at the West Asia-North Africa Institute. Jordan.
- A Quick Survey of EU-Israel Bilateral Relations 25 Years After the Barcelona Process – Alfred Tovias, Professor at The Hebrew University, Israel.
- Egypt and the EU: Ten Years After the Arab Uprising – Gamal A. Gawad Soltan, Senior Research Fellow at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. Egypt.