The EU and North Africa: Towards a just Twin Transition?

In an era marked by a deficiency in sustainable growth and a profusion of novel […]

Policy Study


In an era marked by a deficiency in sustainable growth and a profusion of novel digital tools, the implementation of mutually-reinforcing green and digital policies comes about as a promising avenue to address the climate emergency.

The European Union has therefore developed a twin green and digital transition agenda that seeks to harmonize its previously autonomous policy areas. This new strategy is both inwards and outwards looking: as it bears a geopolitical dimension. This can be exemplified by the 2021 New Agenda for the Mediterranean which extends the geographical scope of the project to the EU’s Southern neighbourhood.

This research focuses on the Euro-Mediterranean dimension of the twin transition. It estimates the extent of the twin transition, its potential implications on EU-North Africa relations, and its relevance for both parties. To this end, it first presents a historical overview of the evolution of the EU’s digital and energy policies towards its Southern neighbours. It also examines the reception of the EU’s digital and energy policies by North African countries. It then proceeds by assessing the applicability of the twin transition project to the North African context.

Based on its findings, this research formulates policy recommendations revolving around the main consideration that comprehensive cooperation is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of the twin transition.

The EU should engage more with its partners to strengthen the twin transition as a shared agenda between the EU and North Africa. EU institutions should also adapt their goals and strategies in line with the realities and needs of their counterparts. It is imperative to consider the socio-economic and political limitations inherent to the North African context. The EU should also be wary of adopting an approach to cooperation that is mainly anchored in securitization and geopolitical considerations. In light of the ambitious scope of the twin transition, it is essential to develop a sustainable and inclusive strategy.

This publication was presented at the ‘Figuring out the Twin Transition’ event in Barcelona.

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