An agency of the EU

Overview

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is one of the immediate neighbourhoods of the EU. Linked to Europe both historically and geographically, it is one of the world’s most complex and conflict-ridden regions. Inter-state and civil wars, terrorism, political instability and poverty have caused turmoil in the neighbourhood itself as well as in adjacent areas. In addition to hosting Europe’s most important trade routes, its geographical proximity and abundant energy resources give the region a high degree of strategic visibility.

The existing MENA fault lines are further compounded by the fact that - despite a multitude of cultural, linguistic and historical commonalities - very little economic, political or military cooperation exist amongst the states in the region, making the settlement of existing conflicts even more difficult. 

The geopolitical significance of the MENA explains the EU’s desire to contribute to regional stability through different means such as the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Barcelona Process and the Union for the Mediterranean. The EUISS seeks to contribute to the EU’s overall effort in the MENA by providing in-depth analyses on a number of key issues affecting the region.

Publications

  • After the EU Global Strategy – Building resilience

    As the EUGS approaches its first anniversary, and shortly before the release of a Joint Communication on resilience by the EEAS and the Commission, this volume, the second in the EUISS post-EUGS series, seeks to shed more light on the different definitions of the concept and how these may be applied in specific functional and geographic areas.

  • Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation: what next?

    Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, one of the cornerstones of the Oslo Accords, appears to be under threat. What are the reasons behind the current crisis and what could happen if this cooperation falls apart?

  • SMS – After the Arab Spring: what’s changed?

    The third edition of the EUISS Security Monthly Stats (SMS) illustrates data linked to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). How has the region changed since the 2011 Arab Spring? And what has been the Union’s response in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA)?

  • Defence industries in Arab states: players and strategies

    This Chaillot Paper analyses how Arab states strive to achieve strategic, economic and symbolic goals through indigenous armaments production, with some countries in the region showing a new determination to become more self-reliant in this domain. The paper focuses in particular on how efforts undertaken by Arab states to develop national defence technological and industrial bases (DTIBs) entail new relationships with defence suppliers.