Focus: Public Management in the Mediterranean – Interview of Basel Natsheh, Young Mediterranean Leader

A Focus on Public Management in the Mediterranean Area (Interview transcript).

We have interviewed Basel Natsheh from the Uiversity of Hebron (Occupied Palestinian Territories), enrolled in the Young Mediterranean Leader Initiative about the needs in governance and Public Administration in the Mediterranean and the importance of dialogue in this geo-cultural area.

Based on the experience of the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue on Public Management (MED), which are, from your point of view, the needs of countries in the Mediterranean area with regard to dialogue on changes in Public Administration and how the North Shore of the Mediterranean can contribute.

Basel: Well, I think that the need of the Mediterranean countries is just to have a platform to discuss and to exchange experience on public management and public administration. This platform should be a place for exchanging new ideas and analyzing the public management issues in order to ameliorate and improve the practice of public management. In addition to this, this platform must be an important place to cooperate between these countries in terms of governance and meanwhile to cooperate and to exchange researches on public management with administration.

You participate in the Young Mediterranean Leaders Initiative. Can you describe your role in this context and give us the highlights of your experience?

Basel: I can say that I got a chance to be selected as a New Mediterranean Leader and it’s a great privilege. One of the things that I benefited from being a New Mediterranean Leader is to participate in dialogue with the policymakers on the local level and on the regional level which is the Mediterranean region. So, this gave me the opportunity to discuss with policy makers and to show the interest of youth in the Mediterranean and to try to suggest some ideas in order to better find our place in the society.

Education and employability are closely related, what are the findings that you established after more than a year of monitoring public policies in this area in the partner countries of the Initiative?

Basel: We always talk about high unemployment in the Mediterranean countries and we think always that the absorptive capacity of labour markets is very weak, which is true. But something we have to take into consideration is, from the other side, the education system in the Mediterranean countries is also very low in terms of outcomes. So, what we need is to improve the education system in order to make the results of our education system fitting and meeting the needs of labour market. I’m talking here for the Palestinian case but, meanwhile, I’m talking about the South Mediterranean region.

What is the place and the role of Young Mediterranean leaders in the process of reviewing public policies to improve education and training and its links with input of young people into the market for employment?

Basel: Among others factors, you know, the Mediterranean countries mainly the south of Mediterranean the population is young. I mean more than 50% of the population is young. So we can’t ignore the role of young people in terms of improving and developing the society. So, I think that young people like us from different experience or from different fields can contribute everybody from his experience. For example, I’m from the educational sector so I can contribute by enhancing and ameliorating and improving my way of teaching in order to arm those students that I teach by the skills needed in their nearest future for them to find a job or to create their business.

Given the geopolitical developments in the Mediterranean countries and seen the consequences of the global economic crisis in the management of public administration, according to you, is a change possible and what kind of policy should be put in place to ensure good governance in these countries?

Basel: There is nothing impossible in the world. So, the changes are really possible. And I think when we are talking about governance, we need to talk about dialogue. And when we talk about dialogue we need to talk about dialogue between partners in the society. On the local level-dialogue between partners, local partners, the civil society, the government and the institutions. is really vital to promote governance and to develop a country. Meanwhile, on the regional and international level also, dialogue is important between the partners like governments, associations and people from different countries. So, I think promoting governance is one of the goals which should be highlighted in the Mediterranean region by dialogue.

Basel Natsheh is French-Palestinian, and was doing an internship at the International Institute of Administrative Sciences for one week.

He is an economist and obtained his PhD in economics in 2006 from the University of Aix Marseille about “Economic analyses of the Palestinian labour market and employment policies in the Palestinian territories”.

During his PhD, he had the chance to teach and to participate in many research groups then he continued to conduct research with the IREMAM and their work was published.

He participated in many international events, especially the events organized by the European training foundation ETF, in which he got a chance to be selected as Young Mediterranean Leader “YML”.

His current job is assistant professor at Hebron University where he is in charge to teach several economic courses and supervise research dissertations for his students in master’s level.

He worked as Macroeconomic policy advisor for the Minister of economy in Palestinian territories, manly the macroeconomic policies, the industrial reform policy and a macroeconomic research plan.

He worked with French ministry of finance for the Adetef , to establish the Public finance Institute in the Palestinian territories , hence, He was in charge of organising the need assessment missions for public finance experts, preparing training module for macroeconomic training. This work was in a permanent coordination with the French consulate at Jerusalem and the AFD, French Agency for Development, as he was the representative of the Adetef in the Palestinian territories.

He speaks French, English and Arabic and is interested in cultures, history and politics