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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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  • 03April 2006

    This seminar sought to analyse the new political environment following elections in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and reflect on possible courses of action for the European Union as an external actor that has declared support for a peaceful resolution of the dispute.

  • 17March 2006

    Following other seminars on Iraq ('Iraq after the Elections'; 'Federal Aspects of the Iraqi Constitution' and 'The Kurdish Issue and the EU'), the EUISS once again brought together international renowned experts to discuss the present state of affairs in Iraq.

  • 15March 2006

    Die Beziehungen der EU zur Islamischen Republik Iran gestalteten sich seit jeher schwierig. Erst als das Regime in den 1990er Jahren seinen internationalen Pariah-Status überwinden wollte und sich in seiner Rhetorik sowie in seine Außenpolitik mäßigte, war an ein Ausloten gemeinsamer Interessen überhaupt zu denken. Alsbald wurde auf Ebene von Vizeministern ein Gesprächsformat eingerichtet das als kritischer Dialog bekannt geworden ist.

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    01January 2006

    The broader Middle Eastern region has become the central focus of U.S.-European diplomatic relations. Talks between senior European policymakers and U.S. officials are now often dominated by issues that arise from the threats to peace and stability that emanate from this troubled region. The Middle East looms equally large in public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic.

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    01December 2005
    By

    Historically speaking, security and defence are late arrivals on the European agenda. But like all young things, the European security and defence policy is growing fast. We have put in place the necessary decision-making structures and launched a process to enhance European capabilities, which has been given fresh impetus with the creation of the European Defence Agency.

  • 16October 2005

    Groucho Marx famously stated that he would never join a club that would accept him as a member. Today, the Turkish leadership might be well advised to take the same approach to the European Union (EU). Membership for the sake of it should not be the objective. Accession will only succeed when the Union is confident enough to welcome Turkey among its members.

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    01October 2005

    Alors que la crise européenne s’installe dans la durée, c’est au tour des Etats-Unis de connaître une crise similaire, de gouvernance et de confiance, qui fait de Katrina, selon la très juste formule de Karl Kaiser, un phénomène géopolitique de première ampleur.

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    06September 2005

    Since the re-election of President Bush, American foreign policy has undergone a subtle but noticeable and significant transformation. The hawkish attitude demonstrated by Bush during his first term and his cavalier approach towards alliance-building have been replaced by a toning down of the previously aggressive rhetoric and an attempt to reach out to allies and, in particular, to the EU.

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    01July 2005

    The rise of Shia influence in Iraqi politics has caused suspicion among (predominantly Sunni) Arab leaders and Western analysts alike. Questions arose how strongly Iran will be able to influence Iraqi affairs.

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    01July 2005

    Iran, the land of roses and nightingales, remains unpredictable and enigmatic for any Western analyst-it always takes a different turn than what one would expect. When the regime of the Shah appeared to be stable, it was swiped away by a popular left-leaning revolution which replaced the monarchy with an Islamic Republic.

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