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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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  • 01 September 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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    01 September 2002

    One year on, the only thing that is systematic about the international system is its disorder. The United States, shaken to the core by the terrorist attacks and the fraud perpetrated by leaders of globalised companies, is relentlessly pursuing its course down the path of unilateralism.

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    01 July 2002

    On s’accorde généralement à dire que, depuis son lancement en 1995 à Barcelone, le Partenariat euro-méditerranéen n’a pas vraiment répondu aux grands espoirs qu’il avait suscités. Les ambitions initiales de cette nouvelle forme de politique méditerranéenne étaient en effet très importantes : assurer la paix et la stabilité régionale, encourager un développement économique partagé, permettre une meilleure connaissance mutuelle de part et d’autre de la Méditerranée.

  • 07 June 2002

    The Madrid conference was organised in cooperation with the Real Instituto Elcano, under the aegis of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union.

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    15 July 2000

    Immigration is certainly not a risk in itself: European countries need the contribution made by immigrant workers, and it is desirable that Europe’s doors remain open in a concerted, controlled way. On the other hand, illegal immigration presents a double risk to the stability of European countries and the security of the clandestine immigrants, who often undertake this adventure at the risk of their lives.

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    01 March 2000

    The WEU Institute for Security Studies organised a seminar on ‘The future of the Euro-Mediterranean security dialogue’, on 13-14 January 2000 in Paris. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibilities of enhancing the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership’s political and security chapter, including the establishment of a military dialogue within the Barcelona Process.

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    01 November 1999

    This paper analyses one of WEU’s several types of membership while addressing the issue of participation of WEU Associate Members in the EU decision-making process for Petersberg operations. European Members of NATO which are not members of the EU (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland, and Turkey) are Associate Members of WEU, with which they maintain a close relationship.

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    01 February 1999

    Cooperative security will increasingly replace the traditional balance of forces mechanisms, to the extent that multilateralism spreads as the means by which states are coping with the manifold new challenges to the prosperity and security of their citizens. The borderline between international humanitarian concerns and the definition of national interests is therefore also fading.

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    01 September 1996

    In December 1994, the WEU Permanent Council gave the Institute for Security Studies the task of analysing the security and defence policies of the Maghreb countries and Egypt, in liaison with security institutes in those countries. This was to become an addition to the Institute's continuing work on Mediterranean security.

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    01 September 1992

    Earlier this year the Institute asked Professor Rémy Leveau to prepare a study on Algeria: adversaries in search of uncertain compromises.' This was discussed at a meeting of specialists on North African politics held in the Institute. In view of the continuing importance of developments in Algeria the Institute asked Professor Leveau to prepare this revised version of his paper for wider circulation.

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