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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 gas),
  • and it has been historically 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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    18February 2010

    From EU’s perspective, the geostrategic importance of the Mediterranean region has increased significantly in the post-Cold War period. To meet new security challenges, the EU initiated the Barcelona Process. However, the authors argue that going forward, EU policies in the Mediterranean need to go beyond conventional understandings of security by focusing on ‘human security’ in helping to resolve ongoing regional political conflicts.

  • 09February 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.

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    05February 2010

    President Saleh faces two internal security threats that pose a more serious challenge to his continued rule than al-Qaeda: the ongoing Houthi rebellion in the north of the country that began in 2004, and the growing movement to restore the independence of South Yemen.

  • 11December 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.

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    19November 2009

    Sans doute la chute du mur de Berlin en 1989 ne semble avoir eu que peu d’effets directs sur le pays. Les gauches locales, comme toutes les gauches du monde, en ont le plus souffert en perdant de leur superbe. Le mur dans sa chute signifiait alors une certaine mort de la gauche. Mais au moins sa destruction introduisait, dans le contexte marocain, l’idée que les choses les plus solides, les plus durables, celles que l’on croit le moins susceptibles de s’écrouler, peuvent s’effondrer.

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    09November 2009

    The fall of the Berlin Wall led to one of the most dramatic transformation processes in Europe and in the international system. With historical hindsight, it is clear that it was a landmark moment for the European integration process which resulted in the end of ‘divided Europe’, and created an environment conducive to the unification of Europe. As in other parts of Europe, this historical moment was warmly welcomed in Turkey by democratic forces which believed in an inclusionary European integration process that would consolidate democracy throughout the Continent.

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    04November 2009

    'The Obama Moment' provides an authoritative analysis of the most topical global questions of our time: multilateralism, the economy, disarmament and climate change. Will the election of Obama facilitate enhanced transatlantic co-operation in dealing with these and other challenges?

  • 19October 2009

    This book breaks new ground by providing the first comprehensive review of every ESDP operation to date. It explains how the EU institutions responsible for international crisis management have developed and functioned, reviews the civil and military resources available to the ESDP, and analyses the key partnerships between the EU and other international organisations.

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    15October 2009

    In this second 'Ten Papers for Barcelona 2010' paper, the authors look at developments based on interdependency and economic integration carried out by the EU in the Mediterranean and how energy efficiency and the development of renewable energies could offer great opportunities for the region.

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    15September 2009

    Muriel Asseburg and Paul Salem look at the prospects for Euro-Mediterranean initiatives against the current troubled backdrop of the Middle East, and in particular the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The long-term objective of creating a Euro-Mediterranean Community will not be fulfilled without a lasting peace in the region.

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    01December 2004

    The discussion on European-Turkish relations is in many cases underpinned with arbitrary historical references and questionable cultural-religious argumentations. These positions are genuinely challenged by the view that Europe is not and should not become a Christian Club, but a zone of cultural and religious diversity.

  • 22November 2004

    Nach zwei Golfkriegen und dreißig Jahren Tikriter Familienherrschaft war die Modernität der irakischen Gesellschaft nur mehr in der Erinnerung vorhanden. Der Irak wurde - wie alle anderen Staaten der Region - von einer Welle der Re-Islamisierung erfaßt, die Saddam für sich zu nutzen versuchte. Seine "Pseudo-Islamisierung der Partei" war aus einer Not geboren: Er wollte lieber auf der islamischen Welle reiten, als von ihr hinweggespült werden.

  • 01October 2004

    Turkey's long-standing relationship with the EU has from time to time been overshadowed by crises. However, there has never been a total breakdown in relations, and Turkey's bid for eventual EU membership has remained alive, if not always well. Now that the time for decisions has come, however, most political analysts expect a positive answer from the EU and the opening of formal accession negotiations some time in 2005.

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    01October 2004

    Lancée en 1999 au Conseil européen de Cologne, la PESD est sans conteste l’une des plus rapides « success stories » de l’Union européenne.

  • 01October 2004

    Over the past few weeks the debate over Turkey's accession to the European Union has become more intense - and it is likely to continue well beyond the European Commission's report expected next week. In fact, although the pending decision by the European Council is 'only' about the opening of formal accession negotiations, the discussion has focused on the outcome (full EU membership) rather than the process itself.

  • 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

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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

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