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A new political landscape in the MENA countries: how to fine-tune our modes of engagement?

16 April 2012

It has become evident in recent months that the transformation process occurring in several countries across the MENA region will require a redefinition of relationships with actors from the whole range of the political spectrum, including with Islamist political parties. 

The objective of this seminar was to bring together a group of European and American experts and policymakers to brainstorm, ‘compare notes’ and discuss ways of strengthening the EU-US dialogue on addressing the new dynamics in the MENA region.

Although there are clear differences between individual countries in the region, the structure of this seminar was guided by three cross-cutting issues: 

  1. Mapping a new political landscape (i.e. who are the relevant players on the ground and what are their priorities?);
  2.  Defining the modes of engagement with actors across the political spectrum (i.e. who to talk to, how, and about what?);
  3. Understanding how external factors play a role in domestic politics. 

Finally, the seminar critically assessed scenarios for future EU-US cooperation.