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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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    08April 2011

    Le discours de Bachar Assad a déçu non seulement la population syrienne mais aussi et surtout tous ses « amis » sur la scène régionale et internationale. Pour certains, ce discours était une déclaration de guerre puisqu’il a insisté sur la théorie de la conspiration dont la Syrie ferait l’objet. Il a ainsi précisé, à la manière de Bush fils, que celui qui ne soutient pas le régime dans toutes ses politiques est incontestablement considéré comme son ennemi. L’ennemi de la politique du régime devient forcément l’ennemi de la nation. 

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    25March 2011

    The potential for things going badly in Yemen after Saleh’s departure is great. There are already many conflicts and problems there. In the South a strong movement has arisen in favor of restoring its independence. In the far north of the country, there has been armed rebellion by the Houthis. In addition, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has a strong presence in Yemen. Finally, the authority of the Yemeni government is weak outside the major cities where the tribes are well-armed.

  • 10March 2011

    Tenu à Tunis les 9 et 10 mars 2011, ce séminaire a abordé des thèmes tels le rôle de la constitution et le processus de reforme, le processus électoral et la décentralisation, la refonte des lois qui régissent la vie publique, la réforme du système de sécurité, le pacte social, l’inclusion des acteurs politiques et la justice transitionnelle.

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    01March 2011

    With uprisings in the Arab world continuing to spread, the EU needs a radical rethink of its policy in the region. The failed Union for the Mediterranean represents an opportunity to define a new objective: building a Euro-Mediterranean community.

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    01March 2011

    Popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and the intensifying protests in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain have brought the issue of change in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to the fore. While the foreign and security policies of the USA and the EU are being watched closely and calls are being made to review them, the co-existence of Islam with democracy in the Turkish example becomes highly relevant for the future.

  • 01March 2011

    With the fast-moving developments in the Arab world creating wholesale changes in the international arena, the EUISS released this multi-author report as a response to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and the ‘democratic wave’ that has struck the Arab world. Clearly, these democratic uprisings call for a radical shift in the way in which Euro-Mediterranean relations are formulated and conducted.

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    22February 2011

    The Jasmine revolution in Tunisia and the popular uprising in Egypt have opened the way for these Arab countries to initiate their transitions to democracy. The burning question, however, is what sort of democracy will they be? The fear of power falling into the hands of political Islamists has been a recurrent theme of global commentary on these momentous events. Yet some experts have argued that there is the potential for a different, more positive outcome – pointing in particular to Turkey’s experience.

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    16February 2011

    It is easy to see why EU foreign policy comes down to its lowest common denominator when disagreements arise, or why in fact it takes longer to react than any of its constituents. Negotiations and bargaining are the necessary prelude to any agreement, and can sometimes be long and cumbersome.

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    15February 2011

    A major change is sweeping through the Arab world, moving from country to country. While national differences remain vast, the same slogans and demands are being heard everywhere: more freedom, more democracy and more individual rights for the citizens. Without knowing where it will end and what the Arab world will look like in the future, it is already time to ask what it means for Europe, and to Europe’s relations with the region.

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    15February 2011

    At present, there is an explosive lack of consensus within the EU about dealing with irregular migration from North Africa and the Middle East. With southern member states like Italy already experiencing increased irregular immigration, there has been a predictable sharpening of tone in many capitals. The imperative of restrictive immigration control has risen swiftly up the European agenda. At the same time, however, there has been a surprising openness toward liberalising EU migration policy.

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    09November 2009

    The fall of the Berlin Wall led to one of the most dramatic transformation processes in Europe and in the international system. With historical hindsight, it is clear that it was a landmark moment for the European integration process which resulted in the end of ‘divided Europe’, and created an environment conducive to the unification of Europe. As in other parts of Europe, this historical moment was warmly welcomed in Turkey by democratic forces which believed in an inclusionary European integration process that would consolidate democracy throughout the Continent.

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    04November 2009

    'The Obama Moment' provides an authoritative analysis of the most topical global questions of our time: multilateralism, the economy, disarmament and climate change. Will the election of Obama facilitate enhanced transatlantic co-operation in dealing with these and other challenges?

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    19October 2009

    This book breaks new ground by providing the first comprehensive review of every ESDP operation to date. It explains how the EU institutions responsible for international crisis management have developed and functioned, reviews the civil and military resources available to the ESDP, and analyses the key partnerships between the EU and other international organisations.

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    15October 2009

    In this second 'Ten Papers for Barcelona 2010' paper, the authors look at developments based on interdependency and economic integration carried out by the EU in the Mediterranean and how energy efficiency and the development of renewable energies could offer great opportunities for the region.

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    15September 2009

    Muriel Asseburg and Paul Salem look at the prospects for Euro-Mediterranean initiatives against the current troubled backdrop of the Middle East, and in particular the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The long-term objective of creating a Euro-Mediterranean Community will not be fulfilled without a lasting peace in the region.

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    10September 2009

    It came as no surprise to hear Turkish and Armenian policymakers announce that they are launching final talks to establish diplomatic relations. This is the third move towards normalisation – after football diplomacy and the April 2009 road map – which has resulted from Swiss-mediated talks behind the scenes. The new framework proposes the signature of two protocols on the establishment of diplomatic ties and the development of bilateral relations.

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    26June 2009

    Obama chose to travel the road less travelled by recent US policies towards the Muslim world when he decided to deliver a speech in Cairo on 4 June. He set himself an enormous challenge: to transform Muslim public opinion so as to alter the impression that a US President is someone to throw shoes at rather than a potential partner for dialogue.

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    10June 2009

    What’s the best way of getting emotions to run high in a dull European election? The answer: use Turkey. In recent weeks, no other topic has dominated debates on Europe within member countries more than Ankara’s (im)possible entry into the EU.

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    02April 2009

    Le Maghreb est confronté à des défis colossaux : pauvreté, terrorisme, migration, corruption, violation des droits de l’homme. Les réformes nécessaires pour résoudre ces problèmes exigent un engagement des États avec le soutien de leur société civile : elles échoueront si elles ne sont pas portées par des dirigeants politiques légitimes, démocratiquement élus. Comme l’analyse Luís Martinez, la démocratisation au Maghreb doit devenir une priorité de la politique européenne en Méditerranée.

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    11March 2009

    It is difficult to believe that the timing of the attacks on Gaza at the end of last December was simply a consequence of intolerable provocation After all, only a few days after the violence ended, a new president was inaugurated in the United States and, three weeks after that, Israel itself held legislative elections in which two of the three political figures – Kadima’s Tzipi Livni and Labour’s Ehud Barak – who had guided the hostilities were leading contenders.

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