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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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    22February 2008

    George W. Bush will be remembered first and foremost for starting the war in Iraq and the destabilisation of the country that ensued. This means that, unless there is a dramatic improvement in Iraq before 2009, which appears highly unlikely at the present time, Bush will not be remembered as a successful President. Bush took his country into this war although he did not have to – as argued by Zbigniew Brzezinski, this was a ‘war of choice’.

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    29January 2008

    On 6 January 2008 a naval incident took place in the Persian Gulf which gave rise to radically different interpretations by the US and Iran. According to the US, what took place was a major provocation, whereas the Iranians claim that it was a minor incident blown out of all proportion for propaganda reasons. Both versions concur regarding only a few aspects of what happened.

  • 01November 2007

    If the Lisbon Treaty is ratified it will put foreign and security policy back at the heart of the EU debate. In that debate institutional implications such as the new post of 'EU foreign minister' will likely feature prominently,but the future scope and content of EU foreign and security policy will surely dominate.

  • 29October 2007

    This event sought to foster a a transatlantic dialogue on the key questions for a negotiated solution: Palestinian politics; the regional context (including Iran); and the respective roles of the EU and the US in promoting the peace process.

  • 10September 2007

    The EUISS organised a brainstorming session in Paris to dicuss: ‘Is the Barcelona Process at a New Crossroads?’

  • 31July 2007

    The landslide victory of Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party marks a unique moment in Turkish history: a ruling party has hardly ever been re-elected. This win gives Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his team a huge popular mandate to continue. The key reasons behind the AKP’s victory are analysed here and help form my forecasts of possible scenarios and policy options for the mid-term.

  • 21July 2007

    Die Krise der Türkei ist auch ein normales Symptom jener Transformation, die alle EU-Kandidaten durchmachen.

  • 29June 2007

    The seminar was organised in order to evaluate the current situation in the country (especially in view of the recent mass demonstrations and the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections) and to explore the question of whether the EU has a role to play.

  • 13June 2007

    The ongoing crisis in Turkey must be seen against the background of a bifurcated society, a weak political system, an ongoing insurgency in Eastern Anatolia and a military-dominated power elite steeped in a state ideology called Kemalism. This note limits itself to an analysis of this ideology as it relates to the role of the Armed Forces in Turkish politics.

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    01June 2007

    The ongoing crisis in Turkey must be seen against the background of a bifurcated society, a weak political system, a low-level insurgency in Eastern Anatolia and a military-dominated power elite steeped in a state ideology known as Kemalism. But the military could only muster public support once ‘Euro-fatigue’ increased in Turkey and when the fears of the secular middle class became strong enough to drive them out into the streets to protest.

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  • 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

  • 01September 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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    01September 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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    01July 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.

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    15July 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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    01March 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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    01November 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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