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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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    12March 2012

    Written by the Director of the EUISS, Álvaro de Vasconcelos, this new book assesses how the Arab democratic wave is part of a wider shift towards a post-Western world in which the global agenda is no longer defined by the West alone and other ‘unfamiliar’ voices may be heard.

  • 08March 2012

    A roundtable discussion was organised on 8 March 2012 on the topic of Israel's internal tensions in a changing region where brief presentations were given drawing on recent research carried out by speakers on, respectively: Israel’s Palestinian minority; Israeli territorial identity; and Israel, the EU and international law. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss a variety of questions with external experts, EUISS staff and a Paris-based audience.

  • 07March 2012

     Seldom has it been as justified to be pessimistic about developments between the United States, Israel, and Iran. This dysfunctional state of affairs is getting so out of hand that the danger of war is no longer just a remote possibility but instead looms large on the horizon. David Ignatius reported on Feb. 2 in Washington Post that "[Secretary of Defense Leon] Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May, or June," though he does not believe that the final decision has been taken yet. 

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    21February 2012

    Israel is a more complicated country than meets the eye, with a disturbing increase in intra-Israeli religious tensions which Europeans sometimes fail to take into accoun

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    09February 2012
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    Iran is in the throes of a transition where its fundamental tenets are being called into question. This paper provides an in-depth assessment of Iranian state and society since the 1979 revolution, focusing particularly on the social and political turmoil of the past five years.

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    26January 2012

    Admirers of the European Union frequently point out that it has a comprehensive selection of non-military crisis management tools. These include the bloc’s economic leverage, mechanisms for deploying civilian peace operations and close working relationships with the United Nations and other multilateral organisations.

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    10January 2012

    Le vendredi 6 janvier, considéré par les coordinations locales de la révolution syrienne comme le jour de « l’internationalisation de la protection », résultant du sentiment croissant d’incapacité d’agir de la délégation des observateurs, la ville de Damas a connu un « attentat » meurtrier faisant plus de 25 victimes. 

  • 23November 2011

    The EUISS 2011 Annual Conference aims to provide a high-profile forum for a debate among major global players (the members of the G20) and the international institutions on the most appropriate answers to the transformations that are currently taking place in the Arab world.

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    18November 2011

    This publication examines the current context and future prospects in Egypt ahead of the first round of parliamentary elections in November, with special attention to the role and position of the Muslim Brotherhood. The contributors examine the various options, opportunities and challenges facing both domestic and external actors with regard to the country’s future and the Muslim Brotherhood’s political trajectory.

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    15November 2011

    The Arab democratic wave has not had an effect on Africa as much as some had hoped. But the situation on the other side of the Sahara is more nuanced. Here, the author explores several scenarios where sub-Saharan African nations may face crucial turning points.

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    09February 2011

    La « Révolution du jasmin » en Tunisie, les événements en cours en Égypte et les manifestations prévues ici et là dans plusieurs pays arabes semblent indiquer qu’une nouvelle réalité est en train de se dessiner, dans ce qui semblait à tort comme l’exception démocratique dans le monde.

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    07February 2011

    Qui avait prévu un tel chambardement? Qui osait espérer, il y a à peine trois mois, que le peuple tunisien était capable de déboulonner le régime honni, dont on vantait, en Europe et ailleurs, la stabilité et la solidité ? Même ceux, qui ne sont pourtant pas néophytes en matière de politique arabe, ont été pris au dépourvu, ébahis par la tournure des événements, étonnés par la rapidité de la victoire du peuple tunisien, et sidérés par la maturité dont il a fait preuve.

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    07February 2011

    Much has been said about the EU’s response to the uprisings in North Africa. Much has been and will continue to be said on how the EU should radically change its approach to this region. But beyond the criticism, little has been said about how the new foreign policy structures set up by the Lisbon Treaty have met this challenging task.

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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.

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