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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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    24January 2011

    The crisis in Tunisia is at the end of its heroic phase: the corrupt presidency has been overthrown by a revolutionary popular uprising and the nihilistic violence of its paramilitary base in the presidential guard and the police has been countered by the intervention of the Tunisian army.  

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    18January 2011

    The recent popular uprising in Tunisia has questioned the EU's policy of supporting the status quo in the South Mediterranean. Europe should back the democratic transition in the country, while a new impetus should be given to the Union's neighbourhood policy.

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    06January 2011

    Le rideau est tombé sur les élections législatives égyptiennes, considérées par les observateurs comme l’une des pires élections en Égypte depuis le retour du « pluralisme contrôlé » en 1967. Parmi les sept scrutins (1979, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1995, 2000 et 2005), le pire fut celui de 1995, marqué par l’absence de supervision judiciaire, laquelle était connue pour son intégrité et sa relative indépendance vis-à-vis du pouvoir exécutif.

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    17December 2010

    The past year has seen new setbacks in efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, while 2011 is hailed by many as a key year for moving towards a two-state solution. This paper aspires to make a timely contribution to policy thinking on European involvement in the conflict by focusing attention on a number of cross-cutting issues, challenges and opportunities for the EU.

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    02November 2010

    L’ancien concept de « sécurité nationale arabe », que l’on croyait définitivement condamné après la disparition progressive des régimes d’obédience nationaliste arabe, perdure, voire même se renouvelle. Qu’en est-il aujourd’hui des conceptions et doctrines ? Que reste-t-il des représentations liées à la problématique de l’État postcolonial, qui avaient prévalu dans le monde arabe au cours des décennies précédentes ?

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    01October 2010

    In this paper, the author seeks to find a way of overcoming the constraints that the EU has imposed upon itself by insisting on simultaneous adherence to the three Quartet principles. Goerzig looks at what room for manoeuvre there remains for the EU and how the Quartet conditions can be modified to facilitate rather than obstruct compliance.

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    20September 2010

    Since 1976, the policies of the EU towards the countries of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) evolved from giving unilateral trade preferences in favour of industrial exports of the Partnership countries to greater financial aid, greater commercial reciprocity and non-economic aspects.

  • 09August 2010

    In this ninth paper in the 10 Papers for Barcelona series, the authors argue that policy-making on Euro-Mediterranean relations needs to pay more attention to the domestic sphere as the key arena in which both identity and democracy evolve.

  • 20June 2010

    Over the last five decades, the quality of the Mediterranean environment has been increasingly degraded by various human activities. These pressures generate major environmental problems expected to be exacerbated by climate change. Consequently, many initiatives have been undertaken at different levels by various bodies and organisations to contribute to the amelioration of the environmental situation, several of which have had promising results.

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    17June 2010
    By

    Looking at the events surrounding the ‘Free Gaza’ flotilla and the violence that took place on its flagship, the Marmara, it is fair to say that Israel made every mistake that it was possible to make. At every turn Israeli decision-makers allowed themselves to fall into a politically-orchestrated ambush. However, for an Israeli, other emotions come into play: Israel was lynched by international public opinion – Arab as well as European – using allegations of a so-called ‘massacre’ perpetrated on the high seas. Whatever happened there, it certainly was not a massacre.

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