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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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    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.

  • 26January 2009

    The EUISS organised a seminar to consider what relations should be established between the bilateral and multilateral dimensions of Euro-Mediterranean relations to pursue the July 2008 Paris Summit objective, and what agenda Euro-Mediterranean relations should have in the perspective of Barcelona 2010.

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    20January 2009

    This collaborative effort of the EUISS research team highlights what it considers to be the major political event of 2009: the election of President Barack Obama and the impact that the change in the American administration will have on the world. It covers the priority areas for US-EU cooperation of global governance, climate change, disarmament and non-proliferation, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and transatlantic relations.

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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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    27January 2005

    Die gegenwärtige Situation im Irak gibt wenig Anlaß zur Hoffnung auf einen friedlichen und sicheren Verlauf der Wahlen. Die Gewalt wird auch nach den Wahlen nicht aufhören und dennoch wurde am Termin festgehalten. Das hat zum einen mit den Bestimmungen des im März 2004 unterzeichneten Übergangsgesetztes zu tun, zum anderen damit, daß die wichtigsten Machtblöcke im Irak den Wahlgang befürworten: die Amerikaner und die Schiiten.

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    01December 2004

    The discussion on European-Turkish relations is in many cases underpinned with arbitrary historical references and questionable cultural-religious argumentations. These positions are genuinely challenged by the view that Europe is not and should not become a Christian Club, but a zone of cultural and religious diversity.

  • 22November 2004

    Nach zwei Golfkriegen und dreißig Jahren Tikriter Familienherrschaft war die Modernität der irakischen Gesellschaft nur mehr in der Erinnerung vorhanden. Der Irak wurde - wie alle anderen Staaten der Region - von einer Welle der Re-Islamisierung erfaßt, die Saddam für sich zu nutzen versuchte. Seine "Pseudo-Islamisierung der Partei" war aus einer Not geboren: Er wollte lieber auf der islamischen Welle reiten, als von ihr hinweggespült werden.

  • 01October 2004

    Turkey's long-standing relationship with the EU has from time to time been overshadowed by crises. However, there has never been a total breakdown in relations, and Turkey's bid for eventual EU membership has remained alive, if not always well. Now that the time for decisions has come, however, most political analysts expect a positive answer from the EU and the opening of formal accession negotiations some time in 2005.

  • 01October 2004

    Over the past few weeks the debate over Turkey's accession to the European Union has become more intense - and it is likely to continue well beyond the European Commission's report expected next week. In fact, although the pending decision by the European Council is 'only' about the opening of formal accession negotiations, the discussion has focused on the outcome (full EU membership) rather than the process itself.

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    01October 2004

    Lancée en 1999 au Conseil européen de Cologne, la PESD est sans conteste l’une des plus rapides « success stories » de l’Union européenne.

  • 01July 2004

    While various summits in June have introduced several plans to promote political reform and cooperation in the `broader' Middle East, none of them is likely to change the desperate situation of that region. They amount to giving aspirin and applying small plasters to someone who has suffered from a heart attack. The Middle East's afflictions are so complex and serious that they need another kind of treatment

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    01May 2004

    The 2003 Wider Europe/New Neighbourhood initiative and the European Security Strategy that confirmed the EU’s ambition to become a fully fledged regional power and to strengthen its global role could together give fresh momentum to the EU’s Mediterranean policies.

  • 01March 2004

    Trois paradoxes définissent l'attitude de l'Union face au monde extérieur. Le premier est typique de la modernité post-guerre froide : à de rares exceptions près, il est beaucoup plus facile aux Européens de s'entendre sur l'analyse des crises extérieures que sur l'analyse de la politique américaine. Autrement dit, le monde rassemble, l'Amérique divise.

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    01March 2004

    The war on Iraq was without any doubt the main international event in the security arena in 2003. In 2004, the ramifications of the war are taking centre stage as policy-makers gauge the future of Iraq, the Middle East, transatlantic relations and the role of international organisations.

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