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MENA

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.

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    12 April 2017

    As the Syrian conflict grows in complexity, so too do the flows of people inside the country and into the neighbouring region. This Alert identifies three major shifts which will affect migration flows.

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    12 April 2017

    A criminal past is a common, yet often overlooked, characteristic of many European jihadists. This Brief examines the link between petty crime and terrorism, as well as the ways in which criminal experiences shape terrorist actions.

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    22 March 2017

    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.

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    08 March 2017

    To step up the fight against terrorism, the EU is looking to forge closer ties with strategic countries in its Southern Neighbourhood. The Union’s initiatives to set up counter-terrorism dialogues in the region have, however, been met with a hesitant response. How can the EU overcome different interpretations of what effective counter-terrorism should look like?

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    21 October 2016

    This Chaillot Paper examines the flaws and failures that have so far impeded a more functional and balanced relationship between civilian and military authorities in the Middle East and North Africa. The paper also highlights the importance of security sector reform (SSR) in consolidating the rule of law and, more generally, sustainable systems of governance.

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    14 October 2016

    This Brief examines the overlooked role of the women in the organisation, and argues they are every bit as dangerous as their male counterparts. But how should European security forces address this issue?

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    29 July 2016

    Both Russia and ISIL/Daesh have engaged in aggressive messaging and deceptive media campaigns, albeit with distinct narratives, targets and audiences. This Report analyses the ‘what’ and the ‘how’; and also draws attention to strategic communications efforts undertaken by the EU.

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    29 July 2016

    This Brief seeks to explain why (and when) coups happen. What conditions are needed to persuade the military to attempt to topple a government? And what elements increase the likelihood of success or failure?

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    13 July 2016

    As the US solidifies its position in the Pacific through the Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP) agreement, China is striving to rebalance to the West. The ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative is now driving the promotion of loans, investments and high-technology in the Middle East. But what are Beijing’s wider strategic goals?

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    01 July 2016

    This Brief shows how, despite the distinct lack of regional integration, the MENA is a continuous space when it comes to conflict. What does the emergence of this ‘conflict Schengen’ mean for wars – and long-suffering civilians – in the region?

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  • 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.

  • 03 October 2013

    On 3-4 October, almost 100 academics and policymakers from over 35 different countries gathered at the Annual EuroMeSCo conference to debate the state of affairs in the Arab world since 2011 as well as Euro-Mediterranean relations.

  • 25 April 2012

    This seminar was organised by the EUISS in cooperation with the Foundation for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities to examine the EU’s current capabilities and practices in the domain of mass atrocity prevention.

  • 16 April 2012

    This seminar, which took place in Brussels on 16 April 2012, brought 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.

  • 30 March 2012

    The latest EUISS book ‘Listening to Unfamiliar Voices – The Arab Democratic Wave’ was launched in Brussels on 30 March 2012. The book, written by the EUISS Director Álvaro de Vasconcelos, was presented to Ambassadors, high profile journalists and EU officials in attendance. 

  • 26 March 2012

    The latest EUISS book ‘Listening to Unfamiliar Voices – The Arab Democratic Wave’ was launched in Cairo on 26 March 2012. 

  • 25 March 2012

    This seminar examined the political transition currently underway in Egypt, drawing on the democratic experiences of other nations such as Brazil, Indonesia and Portugal to analyse the constitution making processes, civil-military relations and the role of political Islam in the Arab world.

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