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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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    13 July 2016

    As the US solidifies its position in the Pacific through the Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP) agreement, China is striving to rebalance to the West. The ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative is now driving the promotion of loans, investments and high-technology in the Middle East. But what are Beijing’s wider strategic goals?

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    01 July 2016

    This Brief shows how, despite the distinct lack of regional integration, the MENA is a continuous space when it comes to conflict. What does the emergence of this ‘conflict Schengen’ mean for wars – and long-suffering civilians – in the region?

  • 25 May 2016

    The 2016 EUISS Washington Forum took place on 25 May and was hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP).

  • 24 May 2016

    Two EUISS Senior Analysts were hosted by the Atlantic Council in the US capital to discuss developments in defence industries in the Middle East.

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    28 April 2016

    In the arid region of the Levant, water is a growing driver of instability and conflict. This Brief examines the role water plays in local and regional instability, its place in international aid in the past and present, and ways in which the matter may be addressed in the future.

  • 20 April 2016

    Florence Gaub was invited to testify at the Subcommittee on Security and Defence.

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    15 February 2016

    This Alert examines the adverse economic conditions which Egypt is facing: in addition to mounting political pressures in the form of protests and labour strikes, the risk of a currency crisis is running high. What has gone wrong since President Sisi came to power?

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    05 February 2016

    The first EUISS Brief of 2016 looks at the newly created Saudi-led Islamic military alliance, and explains how its purpose is threefold: counter-balance Iranian influence in the region, restore Saudi Arabia’s somewhat tarnished Muslim reputation and create military synergies between signatories.

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    05 February 2016

    Over the years, Saudi-Iranian relations have seen numerous ups and downs. This Brief tells the story of their rocky relationship in their own words, starting with the crowning of Saudi Arabia’s first king in 1924 and continuing up until today's latest developments.

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    29 January 2016

    One common assumption has been that refugees are leaving camps in Jordan and Lebanon due to difficult conditions and moving on through Turkey into the EU. But because of the northward shift of the Syrian conflict, the reality is somewhat different.

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  • 10 March 2011

    Tenu à Tunis les 9 et 10 mars 2011, ce séminaire a abordé des thèmes tels le rôle de la constitution et le processus de reforme, le processus électoral et la décentralisation, la refonte des lois qui régissent la vie publique, la réforme du système de sécurité, le pacte social, l’inclusion des acteurs politiques et la justice transitionnelle.

  • 01 March 2011

    With the fast-moving developments in the Arab world creating wholesale changes in the international arena, the EUISS released this multi-author report as a response to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and the ‘democratic wave’ that has struck the Arab world. Clearly, these democratic uprisings call for a radical shift in the way in which Euro-Mediterranean relations are formulated and conducted.

  • 10 November 2010

    The third annual EU-Washington Forum, held on 8-9 November 2010 in Washington DC, addressed the challenge of strengthening the EU-US relationship post Lisbon and explored options for reinvigorating the common agenda.

  • 28 October 2010

    Taking place at the Pedralbes Palace in Barcelona, the EU Institute for Security Studies collaborated with the Centro de Estudios y Documentación Internacionales de Barcelona (CIDOB) for this seminar which aims to promote dialogue and debate among experts on Mediterranean issues.

  • 16 September 2010

    This preparatory seminar for the EU-Washington Forum 2010 focused on understanding the deadlock and connections in the Middle East Peace Process and on considering alternative options for conflict resolution in the US and EU for the Arab-Israeli conflict and resolving the stand-off with Iran.

  • 02 July 2010

    This EUISS taskforce took place in Paris and focused on the EU's strategy towards the Middle East Peace Process and what policy options are available to it in the ongoing situation.

  • 18 June 2010

    Organised with the support of the Instituto Español de Estudos Estratégicos (Spanish Ministry of Defence), Middle East Technical University (METU, Ankara) and the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this seminar explored Turkey's role in CSDP operations and ways ahead for future cooperation.

  • 09 February 2010

    Examining and analysing Iranian domestic developments and the way ahead for EU-Iran relations, this working group meeting took place at the EUISS in Paris on 9 February 2010.

  • 11 December 2009

    The EUISS co-hosted the second Seminar on Turkey and the ESDP at Bosphorus University in Istanbul on 11 December 2009. The debate centred on the assumption that an open CSDP is not only a viable idea, but could also constitute a suitable framework for enhanced security cooperation with third countries in a multipolar world.

  • 30 March 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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