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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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  • 27September 2004

    The Institute organised this Conference in Paris to evaluate the potential implications of Turkish membership (or non-membership) for the EU’s security policy. Turkish officials and experts were also invited in order to engage in a common assessment of bilateral relations.

  • 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

  • 03May 2004

    The purpose of this seminar was to analyse the current situation in the Middle East and to assess the various Western initiatives to deal with the region. How can the European Union and its member states support the ‘Greater Middle East Initiative’ of the US whilst reaffirming the commitment to their own initiatives.

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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.

  • 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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