SAHWA Policy Paper nº. 17
Most of the MENA countries have encountered major political changes over the last five years, following popular demonstrations and demands. The expectations of the people, especially the youth, are high in regard to accessing jobs and prosperity. While the natural aspiration of young graduates was to apply for public jobs, the post-economic crisis context and the security situation puts MENA states under budgetary pressure, with very limited capacity to “buy” social peace through public jobs and subsidies. Moreover, the political, security and migrants’ situation limits the attractiveness of MENA, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) have fallen by a factor of three in ten years (from €70m in 2005 to €25m in 2014). 50% of this FDI is in very capital intensive sectors where jobs versus investment efficiency is limited (conventional energy, public works, cement, telecoms).