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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 gas),
  • and it has been historically 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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    30July 2008
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    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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    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.

  • 14March 2008

    This high-level seminar held in Rabat in partnership with the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation examined Morocco's relationship with ESDP, including Moroccan involvement in EU and other peacekeeping missions to date, and priorities for cooperation between the EU and its Mediterranean partners.

  • 07March 2008

    The Institute hosted a roundtable discussion where participants discussed the French-led proposal for a Union for the Mediterranean, revisited the principles, achievements and challenges of the existing Barcelona Process, and assessed evolving Euro-Mediterranean challenges.

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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.

  • 29October 2007

    This event sought to foster a a transatlantic dialogue on the key questions for a negotiated solution: Palestinian politics; the regional context (including Iran); and the respective roles of the EU and the US in promoting the peace process.

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