MENA-EU Cooperation Position Paper


In this paper prepared in collaboration with the European Liberal Forum and the European Parliament, we provide answers to challenges that impede fruitful cooperation between the MENA and EU.

Firstly, we explain how complex systems theory such as the modelling of bird flocks can be used to craft more effective coalitions in EU and MENA.

Secondly, we identify a range of issues that are of mutual interest to policy makers in the EU and MENA and we explain why these intractable, so called “wicked” issues are so hard to solve. Furthermore, we discuss a process to prioritize issues and define levers that can be effectively dealt with, thus ‘cleaving’ the wicked issues into smaller blocks that can be solved.

Thirdly, we zoom in on which institutions can be most effective in solving these identified issues, and delivering results.

This paper is divided into two parts.

  • Part one is comprised of six main points:

1. Mare Nostrum: A Shared Past

2. EU-MENA Relations

3. EU Policy Towards MENA   

4. How it Started --- How it’s Going

5. Towards Successful EU-MENA Cooperation

6. Key Issues

  • Part two tackles four main points:

1. MENA-EU Relations

2. MENA Policy Towards EU: Fragmented Policy Lines

3. The Peculiarities of MENA-EU Relations Lines - How it Started --- How it’s Going                                        

4. Towards Successful EU-MENA Cooperation

Read the Full MENA-EU Cooperation Position Paper