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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 gas),
  • and it has been historically 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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    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.

  • 30March 2009

    The EUISS organised a one-day Task Force which focused on the situation on the ground after the Gaza crisis; European actors; European policy instruments; and perspectives from different EU institutions.

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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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  • 10February 2004

    Du Maroc à l'Afghanistan, tout inventaire de la situation - un an après le début de la guerre en Irak - risque d'être comme de coutume complexe, ambigu, pire pour les uns, meilleur pour les autres, à l'exception de deux évidences : la détérioration continue du conflit israélo-palestinien d'une part ; l'extrême difficulté du « state building » en Irak, de l'autre

  • 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

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