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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a fragmented region: in spite of its relative cultural and historical homogeneity, it has some of the lowest levels of intra-regional trade, political cooperation and legal migration in the world. This is largely due to the fact that, since the end of the Second World War, it has experienced the full spectrum of political violence. Conventional, hybrid, and civil wars, revolutions, and terrorism have hindered political and economic development, and created fertile ground for further violence. Breaking this ‘conflict trap’ is imperative for the states of the region, as well as those actors who have a stake in it.

For the EU, the MENA is of strategic importance for three reasons: it is an immediate geographic neighbour, a crucial passage for goods traveling to and from Europe (including oil), and it is notoriously unstable. The region’s security and economic situation is consequently closely intertwined with that of Europe. This explains the Union’s desire to contribute to regional stability through different means such as the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), 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.




  • 22 March 2018

    Florence Gaub testified at the Subcommittee on Security and Defence of the European Parliament.

  • 02 October 2017

    On 2 October 2017, the EUISS and the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU organised a high-level conference on hybrid threats. During three panels focusing on the current state of play, cyber resilience and strategic communications, the conference encouraged debate about the efforts made by the EU to counter hybrid threats.

  • 19 May 2017

    The seminar discussed a more tailored approach to Security Sector Reform (SSR) in the EU’s South, looking at challenges in the fields of criminal justice, policing, border control, and counter-terrorism.

  • 25 May 2016

    The 2016 EUISS Washington Forum took place on 25 May and was hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP).

  • 24 May 2016

    Two EUISS Senior Analysts were hosted by the Atlantic Council in the US capital to discuss developments in defence industries in the Middle East.

  • 22 May 2015

    On 22 May, the Atlantic Council hosted the European Union Institute for Security Studies for the latter’s annual transatlantic conference in Washington DC.

  • 06 November 2014

    In partnership with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the EUISS presented the abridged German version of its Yearbook of European of European Security 2014 on 6 November in the Austrian capital.

  • 11 September 2014

    The EUISS held its annual conference on 11/12 September in central Paris. This year’s event, entitled ‘European security in a changing global environment’, was an opportunity to convene numerous policy planners and think tankers from across the Europe to discuss European security during a period of major institutional change within the Union.

  • 30 July 2014

    The Arab Foresight Group was an initiative undertaken by the EU Institute for Security Studies to bring together experts on the Arab World from Europe and the southern neighbourhood to discuss the most pressing issues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region over the next the ten years.

  • 20 May 2014

    The annual transatlantic event of the EUISS – organised this year in collaboration with the Middle East Institute – brought together over 100 participants from both sides of the Atlantic to debate current pressing issues in the MENA region.