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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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    18February 2010

    From EU’s perspective, the geostrategic importance of the Mediterranean region has increased significantly in the post-Cold War period. To meet new security challenges, the EU initiated the Barcelona Process. However, the authors argue that going forward, EU policies in the Mediterranean need to go beyond conventional understandings of security by focusing on ‘human security’ in helping to resolve ongoing regional political conflicts.

  • 09February 2010

    Examining and analysing Iranian domestic developments and the way ahead for EU-Iran relations, this working group meeting took place at the EUISS in Paris on 9 February 2010.

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    05February 2010

    President Saleh faces two internal security threats that pose a more serious challenge to his continued rule than al-Qaeda: the ongoing Houthi rebellion in the north of the country that began in 2004, and the growing movement to restore the independence of South Yemen.

  • 11December 2009

    The EUISS co-hosted the second Seminar on Turkey and the ESDP at Bosphorus University in Istanbul on 11 December 2009. The debate centred on the assumption that an open CSDP is not only a viable idea, but could also constitute a suitable framework for enhanced security cooperation with third countries in a multipolar world.

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    19November 2009

    Sans doute la chute du mur de Berlin en 1989 ne semble avoir eu que peu d’effets directs sur le pays. Les gauches locales, comme toutes les gauches du monde, en ont le plus souffert en perdant de leur superbe. Le mur dans sa chute signifiait alors une certaine mort de la gauche. Mais au moins sa destruction introduisait, dans le contexte marocain, l’idée que les choses les plus solides, les plus durables, celles que l’on croit le moins susceptibles de s’écrouler, peuvent s’effondrer.

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    09November 2009

    The fall of the Berlin Wall led to one of the most dramatic transformation processes in Europe and in the international system. With historical hindsight, it is clear that it was a landmark moment for the European integration process which resulted in the end of ‘divided Europe’, and created an environment conducive to the unification of Europe. As in other parts of Europe, this historical moment was warmly welcomed in Turkey by democratic forces which believed in an inclusionary European integration process that would consolidate democracy throughout the Continent.

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    04November 2009

    'The Obama Moment' provides an authoritative analysis of the most topical global questions of our time: multilateralism, the economy, disarmament and climate change. Will the election of Obama facilitate enhanced transatlantic co-operation in dealing with these and other challenges?

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    19October 2009

    This book breaks new ground by providing the first comprehensive review of every ESDP operation to date. It explains how the EU institutions responsible for international crisis management have developed and functioned, reviews the civil and military resources available to the ESDP, and analyses the key partnerships between the EU and other international organisations.

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    15October 2009

    In this second 'Ten Papers for Barcelona 2010' paper, the authors look at developments based on interdependency and economic integration carried out by the EU in the Mediterranean and how energy efficiency and the development of renewable energies could offer great opportunities for the region.

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    15September 2009

    Muriel Asseburg and Paul Salem look at the prospects for Euro-Mediterranean initiatives against the current troubled backdrop of the Middle East, and in particular the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The long-term objective of creating a Euro-Mediterranean Community will not be fulfilled without a lasting peace in the region.

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  • 01June 2006

    Der Wahlsieg der fundamentalistischen Hamas in Palästina kommt nicht überraschend. Befremden muss eher das ungläubige Erstaunen, mit dem der Wahlausgang im Westen aufgenommen wurde. Schließlich war die jahrzehntelange Misswirtschaft der Fatah selbst Außenstehenden bekannt. Genauso wenig war es ein Geheimnis, dass Hamas aufgrund ihres sozialen Engagements großes Ansehen in der zunehmend verarmenden palästinensischen Bevölkerung genoss.

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    15May 2006

    It is the general perception in Washington that EU-US relations are on the road to recovery after Iraq, though overall interest in the EU remains moderate in the United States. The EU needs to capitalise more systematically on the fact that its opinions on Iran are listened to in Washington. In this way, the EU can contribute to and influence the American debate.

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    01May 2006

    It is no exaggeration to say that the Islamic Republic of Iran has posed a challenge to the West since the very day of its inception. However, since 2002, concerns about Iran's nuclear issue have further worsened relations, to such an extent that the US identified Iran as a main security challenge in its National Security Strategy of March 2006.

  • 18April 2006

    Three years after the US-led intervention, Iraq has become neither more secure nor more democratic. Formal democratic procedures do not necessarily amount to democracy. National sovereignty, a non-negotiable prerequisite for democracy, exists on paper only and the country's nascent democracy needs a secure environment in order to be able to take root.

  • 15March 2006

    Die Beziehungen der EU zur Islamischen Republik Iran gestalteten sich seit jeher schwierig. Erst als das Regime in den 1990er Jahren seinen internationalen Pariah-Status überwinden wollte und sich in seiner Rhetorik sowie in seine Außenpolitik mäßigte, war an ein Ausloten gemeinsamer Interessen überhaupt zu denken. Alsbald wurde auf Ebene von Vizeministern ein Gesprächsformat eingerichtet das als kritischer Dialog bekannt geworden ist.

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    01January 2006

    The broader Middle Eastern region has become the central focus of U.S.-European diplomatic relations. Talks between senior European policymakers and U.S. officials are now often dominated by issues that arise from the threats to peace and stability that emanate from this troubled region. The Middle East looms equally large in public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic.

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    01December 2005
    By

    Historically speaking, security and defence are late arrivals on the European agenda. But like all young things, the European security and defence policy is growing fast. We have put in place the necessary decision-making structures and launched a process to enhance European capabilities, which has been given fresh impetus with the creation of the European Defence Agency.

  • 16October 2005

    Groucho Marx famously stated that he would never join a club that would accept him as a member. Today, the Turkish leadership might be well advised to take the same approach to the European Union (EU). Membership for the sake of it should not be the objective. Accession will only succeed when the Union is confident enough to welcome Turkey among its members.

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    01October 2005

    Alors que la crise européenne s’installe dans la durée, c’est au tour des Etats-Unis de connaître une crise similaire, de gouvernance et de confiance, qui fait de Katrina, selon la très juste formule de Karl Kaiser, un phénomène géopolitique de première ampleur.

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    06September 2005

    Since the re-election of President Bush, American foreign policy has undergone a subtle but noticeable and significant transformation. The hawkish attitude demonstrated by Bush during his first term and his cavalier approach towards alliance-building have been replaced by a toning down of the previously aggressive rhetoric and an attempt to reach out to allies and, in particular, to the EU.

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