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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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    01October 2010

    In this paper, the author seeks to find a way of overcoming the constraints that the EU has imposed upon itself by insisting on simultaneous adherence to the three Quartet principles. Goerzig looks at what room for manoeuvre there remains for the EU and how the Quartet conditions can be modified to facilitate rather than obstruct compliance.

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    20September 2010

    Since 1976, the policies of the EU towards the countries of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) evolved from giving unilateral trade preferences in favour of industrial exports of the Partnership countries to greater financial aid, greater commercial reciprocity and non-economic aspects.

  • 16September 2010

    This preparatory seminar for the EU-Washington Forum 2010 focused on understanding the deadlock and connections in the Middle East Peace Process and on considering alternative options for conflict resolution in the US and EU for the Arab-Israeli conflict and resolving the stand-off with Iran.

  • 09August 2010

    In this ninth paper in the 10 Papers for Barcelona series, the authors argue that policy-making on Euro-Mediterranean relations needs to pay more attention to the domestic sphere as the key arena in which both identity and democracy evolve.

  • 02July 2010

    This EUISS taskforce took place in Paris and focused on the EU's strategy towards the Middle East Peace Process and what policy options are available to it in the ongoing situation.

  • 20June 2010

    Over the last five decades, the quality of the Mediterranean environment has been increasingly degraded by various human activities. These pressures generate major environmental problems expected to be exacerbated by climate change. Consequently, many initiatives have been undertaken at different levels by various bodies and organisations to contribute to the amelioration of the environmental situation, several of which have had promising results.

  • 18June 2010

    Organised with the support of the Instituto Español de Estudos Estratégicos (Spanish Ministry of Defence), Middle East Technical University (METU, Ankara) and the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this seminar explored Turkey's role in CSDP operations and ways ahead for future cooperation.

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    17June 2010
    By

    Looking at the events surrounding the ‘Free Gaza’ flotilla and the violence that took place on its flagship, the Marmara, it is fair to say that Israel made every mistake that it was possible to make. At every turn Israeli decision-makers allowed themselves to fall into a politically-orchestrated ambush. However, for an Israeli, other emotions come into play: Israel was lynched by international public opinion – Arab as well as European – using allegations of a so-called ‘massacre’ perpetrated on the high seas. Whatever happened there, it certainly was not a massacre.

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    15June 2010

    There is no doubt that the drama surrounding the raid by Israeli elite troops on 31 May  on an aid flotilla carrying supplies to the Gaza strip – an incident in which eight Turkish passengers and another of Turkish descent were killed – has shaken relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv to their core. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening serious consequences if Israel fails to apologise and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu even compared the ‘psychological’ effect of the event on Turkey with that of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US.

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    10May 2010

    Le numéro sept des 10 Papers for Barcelona 2010 série nous interpelle sur l’une des questions les plus sensibles des relations euro-méditerranéennes : la circulation des personnes. Bichara Khader examine les contradictions entre « les discours généreux » et « les réalités observables au sol » en termes de politique migratoire de l’UE, alors que Catherine de Wenden met en lumière certains aspects de cette problématique auxquels sont confrontés différents Etats membres.

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  • 01November 2007

    If the Lisbon Treaty is ratified it will put foreign and security policy back at the heart of the EU debate. In that debate institutional implications such as the new post of 'EU foreign minister' will likely feature prominently,but the future scope and content of EU foreign and security policy will surely dominate.

  • 31July 2007

    The landslide victory of Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party marks a unique moment in Turkish history: a ruling party has hardly ever been re-elected. This win gives Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his team a huge popular mandate to continue. The key reasons behind the AKP’s victory are analysed here and help form my forecasts of possible scenarios and policy options for the mid-term.

  • 21July 2007

    Die Krise der Türkei ist auch ein normales Symptom jener Transformation, die alle EU-Kandidaten durchmachen.

  • 13June 2007

    The ongoing crisis in Turkey must be seen against the background of a bifurcated society, a weak political system, an ongoing insurgency in Eastern Anatolia and a military-dominated power elite steeped in a state ideology called Kemalism. This note limits itself to an analysis of this ideology as it relates to the role of the Armed Forces in Turkish politics.

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    01June 2007

    The ongoing crisis in Turkey must be seen against the background of a bifurcated society, a weak political system, a low-level insurgency in Eastern Anatolia and a military-dominated power elite steeped in a state ideology known as Kemalism. But the military could only muster public support once ‘Euro-fatigue’ increased in Turkey and when the fears of the secular middle class became strong enough to drive them out into the streets to protest.

  • 01April 2007

    When the US and Iran sat face to face in Baghdad last March, this did not signify the start of bilateral negotiations. In a sense, it was a direct continuation of several meetings held by states neighbouring Iraq that commenced immediately after the US intervention in Iraq four years ago. These meetings have always functioned as a consultation mechanism and have also been good for confidence-building.

  • 30March 2007

    Der Iran wird als aufstrebende Regionalmacht beschrieben. Doch an seiner strategischen Isolation hat sich nichts geändert. Im Gegenteil, sie wurde über das letzte Jahr noch verschärft.

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    19January 2007

    America is failing in Iraq. It has disintegrated into a civil war and the domestic situation in the country is constantly deteriorating. The American public has turned against the war and Bush's popularity has declined sharply. Iraq proved a major factor in the Congressional elections on 7 November 2006, which returned a Democratic majority in both Houses.

  • 27November 2006

    L'intégration régionale au Maghreb, comme solution possible à l'impasse. La situation dans les pays du Maghreb ne s'est pas améliorée visiblement au cours des dernières années. Le rapport des Nations unies sur le développement humain de 2006 place les trois pays du Maghreb central au niveau de développement moyen, aux postes 87 pour la Tunisie, 102 pour l'Algérie, et 123 pour le Maroc, soit à des niveaux inférieurs à ceux de la Chine, du Pérou et de l'Ukraine, par exemple. Tous ces pays ont des populations très jeunes, des carences sérieuses au niveau de la santé et de l'éducation et, dans une vaste mesure, sont en marge des processus de la mondialisation.

  • 03November 2006

    In the winter of 2002-03, supporters of regime change in Iraq were upbeat in their vision of the post-invasion phase of the war. Yet a sober assessment of the difficulties ahead would have helped to avoid many of the mistakes that have proved to be so costly in terms of American lives and resources - not to mention the suffering of Iraqis.

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