Vol.2, No.1 | [Articles] Economic Reform Prospects




After the successes in macroeconomic stabilization, the Maghreb countries (Algeria, Lybia, Morocco and Tunisia) have pursued the implementation of economic and administrative reforms since the 1980s in order to liberalize the economic system and enter a phase of sustained growth acceleration. This has led to tensions between macroeconomic stabilization and modernization in the region. The present article focuses specifically on the prospects for economic policy reform in the Maghreb and the channels through which it could proceed in the presence of the major economic crisis we are experiencing. The article argues that under current economic circumstances, prospects for microeconomic reform in the Maghreb critically depend on the policy-makers capacity to maintain macroeconomic stability and to anchor microeconomic and institutional reforms. It also put forward that the most effective channel to anchor structural reforms may be to signal commitment to convergence towards the economic institutional setting developed by the European acquis communautaire. Finally, it underlines that the EU s role should be not just to avoid recurring to protectionism, but to deliver sufficient incentives to support economic reformist governments in completing the reform agenda. This also may prove much harder to introduce into EU Member States preferences under the current negative economic expectations.