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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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    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.

  • 10November 2010

    The third annual EU-Washington Forum, held on 8-9 November 2010 in Washington DC, addressed the challenge of strengthening the EU-US relationship post Lisbon and explored options for reinvigorating the common agenda.

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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 ?

  • 28October 2010

    Taking place at the Pedralbes Palace in Barcelona, the EU Institute for Security Studies collaborated with the Centro de Estudios y Documentación Internacionales de Barcelona (CIDOB) for this seminar which aims to promote dialogue and debate among experts on Mediterranean issues.

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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.

  • 16September 2010

    This preparatory seminar for the EU-Washington Forum 2010 focused on understanding the deadlock and connections in the Middle East Peace Process and on considering alternative options for conflict resolution in the US and EU for the Arab-Israeli conflict and resolving the stand-off with Iran.

  • 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.

  • 02July 2010

    This EUISS taskforce took place in Paris and focused on the EU's strategy towards the Middle East Peace Process and what policy options are available to it in the ongoing situation.

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    11June 2008

    Le président algérien Abdelaziz Bouteflika est parvenu à tourner la page de la guerre civile à la faveur de la politique de réconciliation nationale et a été à deux reprises plébiscité pour le choix de la paix. Ce que démontrent les élections législatives est que les électeurs algériens ont tourné cette page. Ils attendent du régime la mise en place d’un agenda politique permettant à l’Algérie d’installer une démocratie, seul moyen de ramener les électeurs vers les partis politiques.

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    13May 2008

    The project of a Union for the Mediterranean has relaunched the debate on Euro-Mediterranean relations in a broader context. In this regard, one should not forget that the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) – the ‘Barcelona Process’ – is much more than a mere intergovernmental process of political cooperation. It is also about using the Community approach.

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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 01April 2007

    When the US and Iran sat face to face in Baghdad last March, this did not signify the start of bilateral negotiations. In a sense, it was a direct continuation of several meetings held by states neighbouring Iraq that commenced immediately after the US intervention in Iraq four years ago. These meetings have always functioned as a consultation mechanism and have also been good for confidence-building.

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