Why Tunisia’s path looks brighter than Egypt’s

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS – It’s been five years since Egypt and Tunisia underwent regime change, and both countries are still suffering from low economic growth, large fiscal deficits, high unemployment and rising public debts. Having failed to institute reforms on their own, both have turned to the International Monetary Fund, which entered into an arrangement with Tunisia in 2013 and has just approved a $12 billion loan program for Egypt — the country’s first since 1991, and the largest ever for a Middle Eastern country. On the face of it, countries…

Mediterranean Basin: An Assessment of Economic Cooperation

Although the Mediterranean Basin is home to countries of three continents, and was the world’s center for many centuries, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries (SEMCs) often complain that the only way to attract the attention of policymakers in Washington is via security issues. Apart from seeing the Mediterranean as part of European security, these countries reiterate the need to see the importance and the necessity of economic development and cooperation in the Mediterranean. In fact, there were initiatives launched in the pre-Arab Spring era with the aim to develop economic…

Credit Suisse Research Institute published Global Wealth Report 2016

  The Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) published its seventh annual Global Wealth Report. According to the publication, the overall growth in global wealth remained limited in 2016, continuing the trend that emerged in 2013 and contrasting sharply with the double-digit growth rates witnessed before the global financial crisis of 2008. In the mid-term, only moderate acceleration is expected. Switzerland once again ranked as the global leader in terms of average wealth per adult in 2016. As the latest edition of the CSRI Global Wealth Report shows, total global wealth…

Club de Madrid supports the “InspiringTunisia” campaign for succes of “Tunisia 2020” conference

Former Premier Mehdi Jomaa addressed to Club of Madrid members a message entitled “Inspiring Tunisia”, to rally international solidarity for Tunisia, on the occasion of the International Investment Conference “Tunisia 2020” to be held on November 29-30 in Tunis. The message, delivered by Jomaa on Thursday, was signed by 11 figures including former leaders of Spain, South Korea, Netherlands, Portugal, Mexico, and Uruguay… The signatories affirmed their commitment to turn words into actions by helping Tunisia achieve its democratic process and stressed their readiness to use their official relations network…

A Palestine Succession Story

On two occasions, a Palestinian political entity has had its leader die in office. The first time, in 1963, the event attracted little attention because the entity in question had all but disappeared. By sharp contrast, the second time, in 2004, Palestine had a variety of political structures with some viability and clear succession mechanisms, all of which were followed. When a third succession occurs, the likely outcome will be somewhere between those two experiences. In 1963, Ahmad Hilmi, prime minister of the All-Palestine Government, passed away in Lebanon. A…

A Europe with nowhere to go

When Donald Trump was elected the next president of the United States on November 8, the doom and gloom across most EU countries was palpable. Some former foreign ministers opined that this was the end of the West as we know it, that the transatlantic relationship was in peril, and that the post-1945 liberal order had come to an end. Europe had to react. Some EU leaders, notably Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said Trump’s election showed why the EU needed its own army—as if European governments were going…

Beirut 1982, Aleppo 2016

The waiting is over for those who pinned their hopes and fears for the next phase of the Syrian conflict on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. But whatever approach is eventually adopted by the incoming administration of Donald Trump once it picks up the foreign policy reins in the early months of 2017, the fate of Aleppo will not wait. While the opposition perseveres in trying to lift the siege of the eastern part of the city, the arrival of Russian air and naval reinforcements in the Eastern…

Make Europe Defend Again?

Donald Trump is making Europe think again, especially about European defense. Some European politicians are so concerned that the U.S. president-elect may scale back American military commitments in Europe that they are making radical proposals. The foreign policy spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, Roderich Kiesewetter, told Reuters on November 16, “The U.S. nuclear shield and nuclear security guarantees are imperative for Europe. . . . If the United States no longer wants to provide this guarantee, Europe still needs nuclear protection for deterrent purposes.” He added that…

Live revelation of Tunisian autocracy’s abuses: way to achieve accountability

Tunisian victims who suffered abuses during decades of authoritarian rule are revealing live their sufferings and grievances to the Truth and Dignity Commission Thursday evening. They are seeking accountability for the torture crimes they had endured before the Revolution of 2011. More than 62,000 complaints have been filed to the Truth and Dignity Commission since its creation in 2013. Complaints include police torture, corruption, and even murder. The commission is investigating each case to determine eventual reparations and punishment. The first televised  public hearing is  described as a turning point…

The End of Europe’s Comfort Zone

Shortly before Donald Trump was elected U.S. president on November 8, leading EU officials paid a visit to NATO’s headquarters in Brussels. Led by Nathalie Tocci, who is the top security and foreign policy adviser to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, the delegation spent two hours briefing the alliance’s ambassadors during their regular Wednesday meeting of the North Atlantic Council. Tocci explained in detail the implications of the EU’s global strategy, a document that sets out Europe’s foreign, security, and defense ambitions. The EU, she told her audience,…