EU support to economic reform in Mauritius: Promoting social inclusion and renewable energy
Philomena Apiko and Sean Woolfrey zoom in on EU support to policy reform on social inclusion and renewable energy in Mauritius, as part of the country’s broader economic restructuring efforts in the mid-2000s, and in particular the Mauritius Multi-Annual Adaptation Strategy Action Plan (MAAS) 2006-2015.
This paper examines the role of European Union (EU) and EU member states’ actions and support measures in sustaining policy reforms for specific non-trade policy objectives (NTPOs) in Mauritius. It focuses on social inclusion and renewable energy, as part of the country’s broader economic restructuring efforts in the mid-2000s, and in particular the Mauritius Multi-Annual Adaptation Strategy Action Plan (MAAS) 2006-2015. The paper also discusses success factors and obstacles to fully implementing the social inclusion and renewable energy objectives of the MAAS and concludes with lessons for EU support towards NTPOs.
Despite some challenges, EU support was relatively successful due to a number of factors. For instance, it built on pre-existing locally-owned plans and processes for which there was already political traction, and hence Mauritius considered EU support to be in line with its own policy objectives. In addition, there was a widely accepted need within Mauritius to cushion the negative impact of reforms on vulnerable segments of the population.
In designing EU support, the objectives, outcomes and performance indicators for these reforms were co-defined with local public and private stakeholders, ensuring buy-in and ownership. This multi-stakeholder engagement was effective because of constructive pre-existing public-private engagement processes in Mauritius. EU support was provided in a coherent way, including through different financial support instruments and tailored support to domestic reforms that were a priority for Mauritius. Also important was the fact that economic reform was needed for Mauritius to take advantage of a changing EU-Mauritius trade regime.
This paper is part of our work for the RESPECT (Realising Europe’s soft power in external cooperation and trade) project.