You are here

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.

Pages

  • Download document
    10September 2009

    It came as no surprise to hear Turkish and Armenian policymakers announce that they are launching final talks to establish diplomatic relations. This is the third move towards normalisation – after football diplomacy and the April 2009 road map – which has resulted from Swiss-mediated talks behind the scenes. The new framework proposes the signature of two protocols on the establishment of diplomatic ties and the development of bilateral relations.

  • Download document
    26June 2009

    Obama chose to travel the road less travelled by recent US policies towards the Muslim world when he decided to deliver a speech in Cairo on 4 June. He set himself an enormous challenge: to transform Muslim public opinion so as to alter the impression that a US President is someone to throw shoes at rather than a potential partner for dialogue.

  • Download document
    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.

  • Download document
    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.

  • 30March 2009

    The EUISS organised a one-day Task Force which focused on the situation on the ground after the Gaza crisis; European actors; European policy instruments; and perspectives from different EU institutions.

  • Download document
    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.

  • 26January 2009

    The EUISS organised a seminar to consider what relations should be established between the bilateral and multilateral dimensions of Euro-Mediterranean relations to pursue the July 2008 Paris Summit objective, and what agenda Euro-Mediterranean relations should have in the perspective of Barcelona 2010.

  • Download document
    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.

  • Download document
    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...

  • Download document
    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.

Pages

Pages

  • Download document
    01July 2005

    The rise of Shia influence in Iraqi politics has caused suspicion among (predominantly Sunni) Arab leaders and Western analysts alike. Questions arose how strongly Iran will be able to influence Iraqi affairs.

  • Download document
    01July 2005

    Iran, the land of roses and nightingales, remains unpredictable and enigmatic for any Western analyst-it always takes a different turn than what one would expect. When the regime of the Shah appeared to be stable, it was swiped away by a popular left-leaning revolution which replaced the monarchy with an Islamic Republic.

  • Download document
    01July 2005

    Two years after George W. Bush declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq, the country is still far from stable. A fierce insurgency is still hampering the reconstruction of the country’s infrastructure and the development of the political process. On the other hand, success, however limited, cannot be denied: on 30 January 2005 Iraqis cast their ballots to elect a Transitional Assembly in most provinces of the country and a new government was inaugurated by the end of March 2005.

  • Download document
    27January 2005

    Die gegenwärtige Situation im Irak gibt wenig Anlaß zur Hoffnung auf einen friedlichen und sicheren Verlauf der Wahlen. Die Gewalt wird auch nach den Wahlen nicht aufhören und dennoch wurde am Termin festgehalten. Das hat zum einen mit den Bestimmungen des im März 2004 unterzeichneten Übergangsgesetztes zu tun, zum anderen damit, daß die wichtigsten Machtblöcke im Irak den Wahlgang befürworten: die Amerikaner und die Schiiten.

  • Download document
    01December 2004

    The discussion on European-Turkish relations is in many cases underpinned with arbitrary historical references and questionable cultural-religious argumentations. These positions are genuinely challenged by the view that Europe is not and should not become a Christian Club, but a zone of cultural and religious diversity.

  • 22November 2004

    Nach zwei Golfkriegen und dreißig Jahren Tikriter Familienherrschaft war die Modernität der irakischen Gesellschaft nur mehr in der Erinnerung vorhanden. Der Irak wurde - wie alle anderen Staaten der Region - von einer Welle der Re-Islamisierung erfaßt, die Saddam für sich zu nutzen versuchte. Seine "Pseudo-Islamisierung der Partei" war aus einer Not geboren: Er wollte lieber auf der islamischen Welle reiten, als von ihr hinweggespült werden.

  • 01October 2004

    Turkey's long-standing relationship with the EU has from time to time been overshadowed by crises. However, there has never been a total breakdown in relations, and Turkey's bid for eventual EU membership has remained alive, if not always well. Now that the time for decisions has come, however, most political analysts expect a positive answer from the EU and the opening of formal accession negotiations some time in 2005.

  • 01October 2004

    Over the past few weeks the debate over Turkey's accession to the European Union has become more intense - and it is likely to continue well beyond the European Commission's report expected next week. In fact, although the pending decision by the European Council is 'only' about the opening of formal accession negotiations, the discussion has focused on the outcome (full EU membership) rather than the process itself.

  • Download document
    01October 2004

    Lancée en 1999 au Conseil européen de Cologne, la PESD est sans conteste l’une des plus rapides « success stories » de l’Union européenne.

  • 01July 2004

    While various summits in June have introduced several plans to promote political reform and cooperation in the `broader' Middle East, none of them is likely to change the desperate situation of that region. They amount to giving aspirin and applying small plasters to someone who has suffered from a heart attack. The Middle East's afflictions are so complex and serious that they need another kind of treatment

Pages