19 Sep 2013

High-Level Lecture on the Neighbours of the EU’s Neighbours

From 16:00 till 18:30
Room E

Dijver, Bruges campus
Dijver 11
8000 Bruges

Dijver, Bruges campus

Egypt, Morocco, Syria and their neighbours in the context of the Arab democratic revolutions: Taking stock of recent developments and regional repercussions

The Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies at the College of Europe, Bruges campus, with the financial support of the European Commission, organized a series of events dedicated to the ‘neighbours of the neighbours of the European Union’. This concept was introduced by the European Commission in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and refers mainly to countries in Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. 

The high-level conference considered recent developments in the three countries with a focus on repercussions within the region (in particular in the Middle East, including the countries of the GCC, Iran and Iraq and Saharan Africa) and at the international level. The working language of the conference was French.

Three senior speakers with extensive international experience addressed the following topics:

  • Mr Alvaro de VASCONCELOS: Are the Arab democratic revolutions failing?
  • Mr Salam KAWAKIBI: The Syrian conflict and its regional repercussions;
  • Mr Abdallah SAAF: Morocco’s transition and the regional context.



Mr Alvaro de VASCONCELOS is currently working at the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI). He was previously Director of the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris (2007-2012). Prior to that he led the Institute for Strategic and International Studies in Lisbon which he co-founded. He is the author of a number of books and articles on the CSDP and relations between the EU and the Mediterranean countries, including: ‘La PESC: Ouvrir l'Europe au Monde’, ‘The European Union, Mercosul and the New World Order’ and ‘A European Strategy for the Mediterranean’. Alvaro de Vasconcelos is Chevalier of the order of the Légion d’Honneur (France) and ‘Comendador do Ordem do Rio Branco’ (Brazil).

Mr Salam KAWAKIBI is Deputy Director of ARI (arab-reform.net) and President of the initiative for a new Syria (insyria.org). He holds postgraduate degrees in economics, international relations and political science, is Associate Researcher at the Barcelona Centre for International Studies and Documentation and Associate Professor at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University. From 2000 to 2006 he was Director of the Institut Français du Proche Orient (IFPO) in Aleppo, Syria. From 2009 to 2011, he was Principal Researcher at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. Salam Kawakibi is member of the Consultative Council of Mediterranean Citizens’ Assembly (MCA). He has published numerous essays in edited volumes and specialized journals in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and German. Topics include human rights, civil society, migration, media, North-South relations, and political reform.

Mr Abdallah SAAF is Professor at the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences at Rabat Adgal, Morocco. From 2003 to 2006, he was responsible of the Department of Political and Social Development, Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences, Rabat, University Mohammed V. He was previously Minister of National Education (2000-2001), Minister for Secondary and Technical Education (1998-2000) and Dean of the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Sciences of Mohammedia (1996-1998). He has published extensively.


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