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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.






  • Title of the event on Turkish flags backgrounds + photos of speakers © EUISS
    28June 2024

    A webinar exploring Türkiye's aspirations and influence in the Western Balkans and South Caucasus.

  • Title of the event on Turkish flags backgrounds + photos of speakers © EUISS
    13June 2024

    Türkiye's global influence is on the rise, fuelled by a potent mix of economic ambitions, popular TV shows, and cutting-edge drone technology. Watch our webinar on the country's strategic partnerships with MENA, the Gulf region and Africa.

  • HRVP Borrell speaking in front of audience ©EUISS
    11June 2024

    In the wake of the European parliamentary elections, the conference discussed the strategic options and choices facing the EU.

  • 08January 2024

    2023 marked another successful year for the Institute's research. Here we look back at our most popular publications from last year on wide-ranging topics including European defence partnerships, EU strategy towards the Maghreb, and a maps-only volume on the future of AU-EU relations. 

  • Image of people around a table engaged in discussion © EUISS
    17November 2023

    On 17 November, the Institute organised a closed-door roundtable to launch Chaillot Paper 179 on EU and North Africa relations.

  • Image of panellists © EuroMeSCo
    10October 2023

    On 10 October, Dalia Ghanem was invited to the EuroMeSCo Annual Conference in Madrid to discuss Euro-Mediterranean relations. 

  • Image of participants - © EUISS
    13April 2023

    On 13 April, the EUISS hosted and gave a lecture to the Maltese Diplomatic Academy on the impact of the war in Ukraine on the MENA. 

  • Dalia Ghanem on stage
    21March 2023

    Dr Ghanem participated in a hearing at the European Parliament on the on the state of human rights in Algeria.

  • Image of panel - © EUISS
    01February 2023

    On 1 February, the EUISS and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) co-organised a roundtable on Türkiye in the world. 

  • Participants to the discussion sitting around a meeting table © EUISS
    16January 2023

    On 16 January 2023, the Institute welcomed Dr Marc Lynch to debate on the question "How can Europe make sense of the post-American Middle East?"