On the 9th July, members of the Economic Working Group (EWG) of the Helsinki Policy Forum (HPF) met online. The meeting had a twofold purpose – to share insights on the Middle East’s economic situation in light of Covid-19 and to identify areas where the HPF should focus in the second half of 2020.

Even before the pandemic hit, most countries in the region were confronting the question of how to reform existing economic models to ensure sufficient growth and job-creation. Covid-19 makes this challenge simultaneously harder and more urgent. Whether governments can succeed in this task will be a central factor in determining the region’s long-term stability. As near neighbours, Europe has a vested interest in helping policymakers in the Middle East achieve this .