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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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  • 12May 2011

    Held on 12 May in Brussels, in cooperation with the Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA), this workshop focused on the economic and societal trends facing democracy in the Southern Mediterranean.

  • Palestinian reconciliation: a step towards peace and democracy
    05May 2011

    Hamas and Fatah's reconciliation is a crucial step towards peace and democracy. Without it, no agreement on the creation of a Palestinian state has any chance of success. The author explores why.

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    04May 2011

    To date, the Bahraini uprising has resulted in nothing but a return to martial law and the possible end of the participative experiment. This failure was predictable. At least three reasons can be put forward. First, the protestors were divided about the aim of the movement, so al-Wifaq’s attempts to engage in dialogue with the regime were sabotaged by the hard-liners of al-Haqq and al-Wafa. The main loser of the uprising is al-Wifaq, whose efforts to transform into a party that collaborates with the government have been nullified.

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    28April 2011

    The West needs to return to the drawing board over its dysfunctional relationship with Iran. The author argues that there is no convincing evidence of a link between the negative impact of sanctions on the Iranian economy and an inducement of popular discontent and a change in nuclear policy.

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    18April 2011

    The future in Libya is extremely hard to predict and that, too, has been the ultimate triumph of the Gaddafi regime. It ensured that there should be no potential alternative and the legacy it bequeathes to the country it saw as the ultimate political laboratory will be chaos and uncertainty.

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    14April 2011

    La situation politique et militaire en Libye préoccupe actuellement tous les observateurs pour des raisons diverses. Pour les voisins, à cause de leurs compatriotes coincés à l’intérieur de ce pays par une guerre fratricide, et aussi parce que c’est de l’avenir politique de la Libye que dépend en partie l’avenir de la construction démocratique chez eux.

  • 11April 2011

    Taking place on 11-12 April 2011 and organised by the Arab Reform Initiative in collaboration with the EUISS and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, this seminar examined the role of external actors in political reforms in the Arab world.

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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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    19November 2009

    Sans doute la chute du mur de Berlin en 1989 ne semble avoir eu que peu d’effets directs sur le pays. Les gauches locales, comme toutes les gauches du monde, en ont le plus souffert en perdant de leur superbe. Le mur dans sa chute signifiait alors une certaine mort de la gauche. Mais au moins sa destruction introduisait, dans le contexte marocain, l’idée que les choses les plus solides, les plus durables, celles que l’on croit le moins susceptibles de s’écrouler, peuvent s’effondrer.

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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?

  • 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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