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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 2011

    The Jasmine revolution in Tunisia and the popular uprising in Egypt have opened the way for these Arab countries to initiate their transitions to democracy. The burning question, however, is what sort of democracy will they be? The fear of power falling into the hands of political Islamists has been a recurrent theme of global commentary on these momentous events. Yet some experts have argued that there is the potential for a different, more positive outcome – pointing in particular to Turkey’s experience.

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    16February 2011

    It is easy to see why EU foreign policy comes down to its lowest common denominator when disagreements arise, or why in fact it takes longer to react than any of its constituents. Negotiations and bargaining are the necessary prelude to any agreement, and can sometimes be long and cumbersome.

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    15February 2011

    A major change is sweeping through the Arab world, moving from country to country. While national differences remain vast, the same slogans and demands are being heard everywhere: more freedom, more democracy and more individual rights for the citizens. Without knowing where it will end and what the Arab world will look like in the future, it is already time to ask what it means for Europe, and to Europe’s relations with the region.

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    15February 2011

    At present, there is an explosive lack of consensus within the EU about dealing with irregular migration from North Africa and the Middle East. With southern member states like Italy already experiencing increased irregular immigration, there has been a predictable sharpening of tone in many capitals. The imperative of restrictive immigration control has risen swiftly up the European agenda. At the same time, however, there has been a surprising openness toward liberalising EU migration policy.

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    10February 2011

    Les événements qui viennent de se produire en Tunisie, puis en Égypte, avec leurs spécificités, font apparaître, de manière indubitable, un phénomène lourd de conséquences : la sous-estimation de l’autonomie du peuple.

    Durant des décennies, on a peu à peu fait disparaître une réflexion sérieuse sur la réalité de ce qu’étaient les peuples du monde arabe en leur substituant une vision caricaturale et réductrice.

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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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    10June 2009

    What’s the best way of getting emotions to run high in a dull European election? The answer: use Turkey. In recent weeks, no other topic has dominated debates on Europe within member countries more than Ankara’s (im)possible entry into the EU.

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    02April 2009

    Le Maghreb est confronté à des défis colossaux : pauvreté, terrorisme, migration, corruption, violation des droits de l’homme. Les réformes nécessaires pour résoudre ces problèmes exigent un engagement des États avec le soutien de leur société civile : elles échoueront si elles ne sont pas portées par des dirigeants politiques légitimes, démocratiquement élus. Comme l’analyse Luís Martinez, la démocratisation au Maghreb doit devenir une priorité de la politique européenne en Méditerranée.

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    11March 2009

    It is difficult to believe that the timing of the attacks on Gaza at the end of last December was simply a consequence of intolerable provocation After all, only a few days after the violence ended, a new president was inaugurated in the United States and, three weeks after that, Israel itself held legislative elections in which two of the three political figures – Kadima’s Tzipi Livni and Labour’s Ehud Barak – who had guided the hostilities were leading contenders.

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    20January 2009

    This collaborative effort of the EUISS research team highlights what it considers to be the major political event of 2009: the election of President Barack Obama and the impact that the change in the American administration will have on the world. It covers the priority areas for US-EU cooperation of global governance, climate change, disarmament and non-proliferation, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and transatlantic relations.

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    06November 2008

    Révisé suite au sommet pour la Méditerranée tenu à Paris en juillet dernier, ce rapport souligne la nécessité pour toute nouvelle union de se fonder sur l’acquis politique existant du Partenariat euro-méditerranéen (PEM), ou « Processus de Barcelone », qui considère la réforme comme prioritaire...

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    04November 2008

    This issue of the EUISS newsletter looks at the need to avoid confrontational bipolarity in the wake Georgia conflict, assesses prospects for a regional solution to the Afghanistan conflict, and examines ESDP ten years after the St Malo Anglo-French summit. It also gives a round up of the Institute’s recent seminar series on the European Security Strategy, as well as the latest publications and press clippings.

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    14August 2008

    This paper opens the debate on cooperation with Iran as an alternative to the West’s current confrontational approach. It proposes détente and eventual partnership as a basis for addressing nuclear concerns, as well as Iran’s increasingly influential role in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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    08August 2008

    Iran’s complex and unusual political system is often perceived as opaque and even arcane by Western observers. This policy brief provides an overview of the power structure of the Islamic Republic and offers an insight into the intricacies of the Iranian system’s decision-making process. It also explains how the various centres of power influence Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the international community.

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    30July 2008
    By

    Following Ireland’s ‘No’ to the Lisbon Treaty, echoing the French and Dutch voters’ rejection of the Constitutional Treaty in 2005, the EU needs to consider carefully how to win back citizens’ support and thus overcome the fears that are crippling its ability to shape world politics.

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    18June 2008

    EU-Sanktionen gegen den Iran wären genau das fehlende Element, das den Anhängern Ahmadinejads noch abgeht, um sich mit ihren anti-westlichen Ansichten voll durchsetzen zu können. Über Iran, Israel und Europas Energiesicherheit.

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