On Monday, 25 April 2022, the College of Europe in Natolin through its European Neighbourhood Policy Chair had the pleasure of hosting a special round-table event, titled: The EU and the Middle East and North Africa: Past, Present and Future Entanglements and Challenges.
About the event
The EU’s linkages with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are as old as the process of European integration itself. As a result of colonial legacies, geographic proximity, deep-seated inter-cultural and religious ties, economic, political and security-related relations of individual EU Member States with countries and stakeholders in the MENA, as well as increasing geopolitical competition in the region, developments in the latter invariably affect the EU-27. Likewise, EU policies, in particular in fields such as, inter alia, migration, security, trade, energy, humanitarian aid and development, often have a direct bearing on the EU’s (wider) southern neighbourhood. In other words, EU-Middle East relations are multifaceted, varied and complex, and ever evolving.
Covering these dynamics from a broader perspective that also captures continuities, ruptures and entanglements was the objective of this round-table discussion.
On the occasion of the recent publication of the Routledge Handbook of EU-Middle East Relations (edited by Prof. Dimitris BOURIS, Prof. Daniela HUBER and Prof. Michelle PACE), it aimed at providing a clearer understanding of some selected themes and issues, thus contributing to a range of different turns in international relations.
The five speakers have all contributed to the Handbook and addressed the following issues:
Entanglements in EU-Middle East Relations
- Prof. Dimitris BOURIS, University of Amsterdam and College of Europe in Natolin, and co-editor of the Handbook.
Longue-Durée: Reflections on Anti-Colonial Movements in the Middle-East (via Zoom)
- Dr Nora LAFI, Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin.
The EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council: a Troubled Relationship
- Prof. Tobias SCHUMACHER, College of Europe in Natolin and NTNU, Trondheim.
Aid, Security and Fortress Europe: Development Aid in the Middle East and North Africa
- Dr Emile BADARIN, Research Fellow at the College of Europe in Natolin.
Migration and Refugees in EU-Middle East Relations
- Prof. Tamirace FAKHOURY, Aalborg University.