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  • Author: Rouzbeh Parsi
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the past two years the Iranian domestic political scene has undergone a major upheaval where many established norms and institutional frame-works have been abandoned or seriously weakened. A new baseline and sense of normalcy has yet to be established.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics, Insurgency, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Rouba Al-Fattal
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Fifteen years after its launch, the impact of the Barcelona Process on the Palestinian Territories is in need of a reassessment. Despite some initial improvements in the political and economic structures, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership alone has failed to anchor a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. In response, the European Neighbourhood Policy was launched to bring out a number of new foreign policy instruments, which induced substantial reforms. Yet the win by Hamas in the 2006 elections brought a halt to the EU's aid and diplomacy. This boycott proved detrimental, as it widened the rift between the main parties to the point of no reconciliation. Whether the Union for the Mediterranean proves any better than its predecessor policies in the region remains to be seen. This publication aims at providing a broad picture of the EU's policies towards the Palestinian Territories, in order to draw lessons from them and offer proposals for the way ahead.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Sebastien Kurpas, Henning Riecke
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Rarely has an EU Presidency been met with such high expectations as Germany's in the first half of 2007. With hindsight, it might be said that these expectations have largely been fulfilled. The agreement on a detailed mandate for the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) under the Portuguese Presidency now offers a way forward for a Union that has been 'in crisis' since the French and Dutch no-votes. This report offers an overview of the German Presidency's aims in the various policy areas and makes an assessment of the achievements of its six-month term. A summary of the content and structural background of German EU policy is given, explaining developments since unification, Germany's motivations for European integration, public opinion on European integration and the stances taken by the key political players in Germany. Insight into the organisational structures of the Presidency appears in the annex.
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Samir Amghar
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Islamist parties in Morocco have seen an ideological transformation from a radical – even violent – political doctrine to a more pragmatic and progressive strategy in recent years. This paper seeks to understand how the internal ideological evolution of Moroccan Islam and the international context have made collaboration with Europe and the US possible. The key Islamist players on the Moroccan political stage are the Party of Justice and Development and the Association for Justice and Charity, both of which have shown a desire to increase cooperation with Europe but this, they claim, has not been reciprocated by the EU.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Morocco
  • Author: Salam Kawakibi
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Syria is almost unique among Arab states in that the only variant of political Islam to be found here is state–sanctioned. This paper observes how the trends, tendencies and central figures of political Islam in Syria have positioned themselves with regard to relations with Europe, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and European Neighbourhood Policy. Based on a series of (anonymous) interviews with both 'independent' and more government-linked sources, Salam Kawakibi traces the evolution of political Islam in Syria, the growth of civil society agitation and the revival of practices of faith in this country. No party, no organisation and no individual within the country can claim to be both a representative of political Islam and independent, states this author in exile.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Emad El-Din Shahin
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on results from a survey among members of the Muslim Brothers and the Wasat Party, Emad El- Din Shahin, Professor at the American University in Cairo and Harvard University, looks at changes in Egyptian political Islam and examines the views of mainstream Islamists of the European Union polices and initiatives in the Mediterranean. The discussion focuses on the Muslim Brothers, the country's main opposition force, and the Wasat Party, as purporting to represent an evolving Islamic centrist orientation. Despite their seemingly different orientations, the commonalities between the two groups regarding their views of the EU far outweigh their differences. Their shared Islamic frame of reference and a perceived inconsistency of EU policies in the region largely explain this similarity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Egypt, Cairo
  • Author: Emad El-Din Shahin
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The recent legislative elections of May 2007 in Algeria have shown how complex the evolution of Islamist parties is in this country and how crucial an understanding of these mechanisms has become for Europe. Since the civil war of the 1990s, Islamist parties have experienced increased political participation. Drawing on interviews with various Algerian Islamist actors, this paper analyses how Islamist parties are building a new relationship with democratic mechanisms in Europe. In light of these recent changes, a reconsideration of EU democracy promotion policies is now necessary.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, Algeria
  • Author: Robert Springborg
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The social, political and economic power of moderate Middle East and North African Islamist movements has been growing for a generation or so. The question of how to deal with Islamists who reject violence, embrace democracy and outperform their competitors at the polls has therefore become a central concern not only of incumbent Middle East elites, but also of interested foreign actors such as the EU and US. Robert Springborg sees the need for the EU to clarify its policies towards the MENA region and Muslim democrats within it. The present lack of EU policies on engaging with moderate Islamists leads them to be at best curious about the EU and at worse to be suspicious of it. Engagement might itself help to contribute to policy formation in this important area, and serve as a vehicle to disseminate information about relevant EU policies.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries, North Africa
  • Author: Patrick Clawson, François Heisbourg, Vladimir Sazhin
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The definition of European policy objectives and strategies vis-à-vis Iran's nuclear ambitions must take into account the specificities of the case, setting, as it were, its problématique. First, we have the unusual situation of a basically three-way game: the EU (and notably the EU-3, comprising the UK, France and Germany), Iran and the 'significant other', the United States, which is outside of the negotiation but a key player. Any student in strategy knows that a triangle is the most unstable and tricky combination to deal with, and the presence of yet another set of outsiders (notably Russia and China) adds another element of complexity.
  • Topic: Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Middle East, France, Germany
  • Author: Tanya Salem
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The refugee question is at the core of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians were first displaced as a direct consequence of the 1948 war and its aftermath. Twenty years later, another wave of Palestinian refugees was created as a consequence of the war during which Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Shira Kamm
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Arab minority in Israel are in a unique position to contribute to the resolution of the Middle East conflict and stabilise relations between the different nations and countries in the region. This paper reviews the history of the Arab minority in Israel and reports on their legal, socio-economic and political status. It examines relations between the Arab minority and the Jewish majority, the Israeli government and the rest of the Palestinian people. On the basis of the review, this paper makes recommendations that aim to improve the situation of the Arab minority, strengthen the dialogue between the Arab minority and Jewish majority in Israel, and enable the Arab minority to act as a mediator in the Middle East peace process.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Gershon Baskin, Sharon Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: 'Good fences make good neighbours' wrote the poet Robert Frost. Israel and Palestine are certainly not good neighbours and the question that arises is will a fence between Israel and Palestine turn them into 'good neighbours'. This paper deals with the Israeli decision to construct a fence that will divide Israel and the West Bank. Almost all public debate of the wall in Israel has been limited to the security aspects. In light of the success enjoyed so far by the wall or fence around the Gaza Strip in preventing suicide bombers from getting through, the defence for needing a similar wall around the West Bank seems like an easy task.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Paul Brenton, Miriam Manchin
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The economic prospects of the Mediterranean countries are currently constrained by the lack of ambition in their relationships with each other and with their major export market, the EU. These economic relationships are limited by a lack of coverage (agriculture and services are effectively excluded), by a lack of depth (substantial technical barriers to trade remain due to differences in regulatory requirements and the need to duplicate testing and conformity assessment when selling in overseas markets), and they are limited by rules (restrictive rules of origin and lack of cumulation limit effective market access). In addition, the rest of Europe, including Turkey, is integrating at a faster pace to create a Wider European Economic Space. If nothing is done to invigorate the integration process in the Mediterranean, then the region will fall (further) behind relative to other regions on the periphery of the EU, such as the Balkans and Russia and the Ukraine.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, Middle East, Balkans
  • Author: Eric Philippart
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Many things have changed since the launch of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP). Despite the virtual collapse of the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), the Partnership has survived, has slowly moved forward on many fronts and seems to be gathering pace on the economic side. This working paper aims at presenting the new contours of the Partnership, as well as evaluating its scope of action, logic of intervention, organisational setting and policy output from 1995-2003. A brief mid-term outlook is offered by way of conclusion.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Theodoros Koutroubas
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The paper discusses the relation between religion and politics in the Southern Mediterranean and its consequences for the democratisation and peaceful co-existence of the different confessional communities of the region. Its aims are to draw attention to the mechanisms responsible for the perpetuation of an "umbilical cord" between religious and political discourse in the region, to highlight the dangers this could mean for Europe's multicultural society model and to propose secularisation and inter-religious dialogue as a tool for the acceleration of the democratisation process.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Michael Emerson, Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The Quartet was born at a meeting of foreign ministers in Madrid in April 2002, in response to Israeli army incursions into the Palestinian territories and in an attempt to give a fresh impetus to Western efforts to revive the lapsed Middle East peace process. The Quartet consists of the EU, Russia, the US and the United Nations. Given the relative passivity of the Russian and UN participants, the Quartet is effectively being driven by the US and the EU. While not yet successful in re-activating the peace process, it confirms in principle for the EU for the first time since the end of the Clinton period that the peace process is no longer the exclusive domain of the US, and that the US appears to welcome a more active European role as a political player, rather than just a payer of aid.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, United Nations
  • Author: Alfred Tovias
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The nature of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership will change with the Enlargement of the EU to include 13 additional members since all Mediterranean non-Arab countries will be in the EU but Israel. Israel will be obliged to revise its relations with the EU. The paper explores some possible policy options open to Israel. After discarding a continuation of Israel's present status in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, a second policy option gauges advantages and disadvantages for Israel of obtaining membership in the European Economic Area, i.e. full economic integration without political integration in the EU. Taking into consideration quantum political changes which have taken place in and around the EU, as well as in the Middle East, a third Israeli policy option postulates EU membership, so as not to be left behind and which would bring a "new vision" for Israel, once peace with its neighbours is in the offing, allowing for a complete change of the present terms of reference.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Bjørn Møller
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the present paper, a sketch is offered of a possible resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a special view to how the European Union might help bring this about. Consideration is also given to the larger framework of a lasting peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Democracy should be conceived as an important element of European strategic policy towards North Africa and the Middle East, but the complex prerequisites to its stability- enhancing potentiality also recognised. While EU policy has come to incorporate such a perspective, its approach to democracy promotion in the Arab-Muslim world has remained tentative and nebulous in its conceptualisation of how stable and sustainable political change can best be encouraged. A summary of European democracy and human rights aid projects reveals the notable extent to which these have expanded, but also raises concerns over imbalances in the profile of EU political aid. In sum, this calls for a number of changes to EU policy that broaden the understanding of how different levels of policy instruments can dovetail together in a more comprehensive and sophisticated approach to democracy promotion.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa