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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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    09February 2011

    La « Révolution du jasmin » en Tunisie, les événements en cours en Égypte et les manifestations prévues ici et là dans plusieurs pays arabes semblent indiquer qu’une nouvelle réalité est en train de se dessiner, dans ce qui semblait à tort comme l’exception démocratique dans le monde.

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    07February 2011

    Qui avait prévu un tel chambardement? Qui osait espérer, il y a à peine trois mois, que le peuple tunisien était capable de déboulonner le régime honni, dont on vantait, en Europe et ailleurs, la stabilité et la solidité ? Même ceux, qui ne sont pourtant pas néophytes en matière de politique arabe, ont été pris au dépourvu, ébahis par la tournure des événements, étonnés par la rapidité de la victoire du peuple tunisien, et sidérés par la maturité dont il a fait preuve.

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    07February 2011

    Much has been said about the EU’s response to the uprisings in North Africa. Much has been and will continue to be said on how the EU should radically change its approach to this region. But beyond the criticism, little has been said about how the new foreign policy structures set up by the Lisbon Treaty have met this challenging task.

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    24January 2011

    The crisis in Tunisia is at the end of its heroic phase: the corrupt presidency has been overthrown by a revolutionary popular uprising and the nihilistic violence of its paramilitary base in the presidential guard and the police has been countered by the intervention of the Tunisian army.  

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    18January 2011

    The recent popular uprising in Tunisia has questioned the EU's policy of supporting the status quo in the South Mediterranean. Europe should back the democratic transition in the country, while a new impetus should be given to the Union's neighbourhood policy.

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    06January 2011

    Le rideau est tombé sur les élections législatives égyptiennes, considérées par les observateurs comme l’une des pires élections en Égypte depuis le retour du « pluralisme contrôlé » en 1967. Parmi les sept scrutins (1979, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1995, 2000 et 2005), le pire fut celui de 1995, marqué par l’absence de supervision judiciaire, laquelle était connue pour son intégrité et sa relative indépendance vis-à-vis du pouvoir exécutif.

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    17December 2010

    The past year has seen new setbacks in efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, while 2011 is hailed by many as a key year for moving towards a two-state solution. This paper aspires to make a timely contribution to policy thinking on European involvement in the conflict by focusing attention on a number of cross-cutting issues, challenges and opportunities for the EU.

  • 10November 2010

    The third annual EU-Washington Forum, held on 8-9 November 2010 in Washington DC, addressed the challenge of strengthening the EU-US relationship post Lisbon and explored options for reinvigorating the common agenda.

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    02November 2010

    L’ancien concept de « sécurité nationale arabe », que l’on croyait définitivement condamné après la disparition progressive des régimes d’obédience nationaliste arabe, perdure, voire même se renouvelle. Qu’en est-il aujourd’hui des conceptions et doctrines ? Que reste-t-il des représentations liées à la problématique de l’État postcolonial, qui avaient prévalu dans le monde arabe au cours des décennies précédentes ?

  • 28October 2010

    Taking place at the Pedralbes Palace in Barcelona, the EU Institute for Security Studies collaborated with the Centro de Estudios y Documentación Internacionales de Barcelona (CIDOB) for this seminar which aims to promote dialogue and debate among experts on Mediterranean issues.

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    06November 2008

    Révisé suite au sommet pour la Méditerranée tenu à Paris en juillet dernier, ce rapport souligne la nécessité pour toute nouvelle union de se fonder sur l’acquis politique existant du Partenariat euro-méditerranéen (PEM), ou « Processus de Barcelone », qui considère la réforme comme prioritaire...

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    04November 2008

    This issue of the EUISS newsletter looks at the need to avoid confrontational bipolarity in the wake Georgia conflict, assesses prospects for a regional solution to the Afghanistan conflict, and examines ESDP ten years after the St Malo Anglo-French summit. It also gives a round up of the Institute’s recent seminar series on the European Security Strategy, as well as the latest publications and press clippings.

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    14August 2008

    This paper opens the debate on cooperation with Iran as an alternative to the West’s current confrontational approach. It proposes détente and eventual partnership as a basis for addressing nuclear concerns, as well as Iran’s increasingly influential role in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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    08August 2008

    Iran’s complex and unusual political system is often perceived as opaque and even arcane by Western observers. This policy brief provides an overview of the power structure of the Islamic Republic and offers an insight into the intricacies of the Iranian system’s decision-making process. It also explains how the various centres of power influence Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the international community.

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    30July 2008
    By

    Following Ireland’s ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty, echoing the French and Dutch voters’ rejection of the Constitutional Treaty in 2005, the EU needs to consider carefully how to win back citizens’ support and thus overcome the fears that are crippling its ability to shape world politics.

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    18June 2008

    EU-Sanktionen gegen den Iran wären genau das fehlende Element, das den Anhängern Ahmadinejads noch abgeht, um sich mit ihren anti-westlichen Ansichten voll durchsetzen zu können. Über Iran, Israel und Europas Energiesicherheit.

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    11June 2008

    Le président algérien Abdelaziz Bouteflika est parvenu à tourner la page de la guerre civile à la faveur de la politique de réconciliation nationale et a été à deux reprises plébiscité pour le choix de la paix. Ce que démontrent les élections législatives est que les électeurs algériens ont tourné cette page. Ils attendent du régime la mise en place d’un agenda politique permettant à l’Algérie d’installer une démocratie, seul moyen de ramener les électeurs vers les partis politiques.

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    13May 2008

    The project of a Union for the Mediterranean has relaunched the debate on Euro-Mediterranean relations in a broader context. In this regard, one should not forget that the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) – the ‘Barcelona Process’ – is much more than a mere intergovernmental process of political cooperation. It is also about using the Community approach.

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    22February 2008

    George W. Bush will be remembered first and foremost for starting the war in Iraq and the destabilisation of the country that ensued. This means that, unless there is a dramatic improvement in Iraq before 2009, which appears highly unlikely at the present time, Bush will not be remembered as a successful President. Bush took his country into this war although he did not have to – as argued by Zbigniew Brzezinski, this was a ‘war of choice’.

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    29January 2008

    On 6 January 2008 a naval incident took place in the Persian Gulf which gave rise to radically different interpretations by the US and Iran. According to the US, what took place was a major provocation, whereas the Iranians claim that it was a minor incident blown out of all proportion for propaganda reasons. Both versions concur regarding only a few aspects of what happened.

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