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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