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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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    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.

  • 14March 2008

    This high-level seminar held in Rabat in partnership with the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation examined Morocco's relationship with ESDP, including Moroccan involvement in EU and other peacekeeping missions to date, and priorities for cooperation between the EU and its Mediterranean partners.

  • 07March 2008

    The Institute hosted a roundtable discussion where participants discussed the French-led proposal for a Union for the Mediterranean, revisited the principles, achievements and challenges of the existing Barcelona Process, and assessed evolving Euro-Mediterranean challenges.

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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.

  • 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.

  • 29October 2007

    This event sought to foster a a transatlantic dialogue on the key questions for a negotiated solution: Palestinian politics; the regional context (including Iran); and the respective roles of the EU and the US in promoting the peace process.

  • 10September 2007

    The EUISS organised a brainstorming session in Paris to dicuss: ‘Is the Barcelona Process at a New Crossroads?’

  • 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.

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  • 22January 2004

    The Bertelsmann Foundation has convened a European task force on Iraq, whose main aim is to assess a possible EU involvement in the political reconstruction of that country

  • 01January 2004

    In the Middle East, we the Europeans should tell our transatlantic friends that American policies are not working satisfactorily. The capture of Saddam Hussein or other positive developments on the ground will not offset the overall unstable situation in Iraq.

  • 01January 2004

    One year after the war in Iraq, the EU is still confronted with two major challenges. The first is in Iraq itself, where the US strategy of stabilisation and democratisation is encountering dramatic setbacks. The second challenge arises from the growing terrorist threat to Western interests and citizens, as seen in the terrible attacks in Madrid on 11 March.

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    01January 2004

    This paper tries to focus on the crisis in the Middle East region in general; suggest new definition of the Middle East and divides it into five sub-regions based mainly on geography and ethnicity and finally tries to evaluate how far the CSCE-OSCE experience could serve as a model for confidence building in the region.

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    01July 2003

    In this Chaillot Paper, five European authors put forward their views on the role played by the European Union in attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the beginning of the intifada in September 2000.

  • 01January 2003

    Depending on the moment, it is not uncommon to note two coexistent views of Europe’s political future. The first foresees a disintegration of the Union as an international actor, while the other sees it becoming more resilient and dynamic.

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    01December 2002

    Most Americans see the regime of Saddam Hussein as a major threat to regional and international security that must be thwarted, even if that means threatening or even using military force. If Saddam were to acquire nuclear weapons, they fear, he would seek to use them to dominate the Middle East, possibly invading his neighbours as he has in the past and perhaps deterring the United States from stopping him.

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    01December 2002

    UNSC Resolution 1441 has given the Iraqi regime a last opportunity to abandon any WMD programmes. If Iraq does not comply fully with the resolution or if inspections show that Iraq is indeed hiding WMD, the Security Council will have to consider the situation and decide what measures must be taken to maintain international peace and security.

  • 01December 2002

    Bearing in mind that the Iraqi issue is and will remain high on the European and transatlantic agendas, the EU Institute for Security Studies has decided to examine it thoroughly through a series of publications and activities. The following texts are so far available

  • 01September 2002

    In the last two years or so, the situation in the Middle East has been quickly evolving from instability to war, while neither the local actors nor the United States, individual European countries or the European Union have been able to react to prevent it. Many new factors shaping the region are making it more dangerous.

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