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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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    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.

  • 18September 2003

    The European Union Institute for Security Studies organised, in cooperation with the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a seminar for the PSC, which was held in Brussels on 18 September 2003.

  • 01September 2003

    With the current 'big bang' enlargement nearing its conclusion, it has become crucial to assess if and to what extent the European Union can and will widen further. The ISS devoted a seminar to this issue, with participants from both current and future member states.

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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

    The current Iraqi crisis led the Institute to convene urgently a meeting between experts and representatives to the Political and Security Committee. The purpose of the seminar was better to understand the depth and the historic nature of the crisis. The discussion was organised in three sessions: why Iraq is a divisive issue, what implications for CFSP/ESDP and the future of Europe, and what implications for transatlantic relations.

  • 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

  • 25November 2002

    A transatlantic ‘brainstorming’ on Iraq brought together more than 40 officials and experts from both sides of the Atlantic. In the seminar, the options for tackling the Iraqi threat, from UNSC-sponsored inspections to military intervention, were considered. Special attention was paid to the difficulties of the aftermath of a war and occupation, and the implications for the transatlantic alliance and the Middle East region.

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