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The EU’s New Resilience Agenda in the MENA Region

2017 - 2018

The new EU Global Strategy (EUGS) ‘Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe’ unveiled in late June 2016 could represent a point of departure to re-calibrate the EU’s external and security policy towards the MENA. One of the most significant novelties brought about by the EUGS is its emphasis on ‘resilience’ as the main pillar of the new comprehensive vision for the EU’s foreign and security policy. In the EUGS document resilience is understood as the opposite to fragility, namely “the ability of states and societies to reform, thus withstanding and recovering from internal and external crises”. It is further defined as a precondition for sustainable growth and vibrant societies as well as for the ultimate attainment of democracy.

This one-year project – launched in January 2017 and jointly undertaken by IAI and by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) in Brussels – examined the concept of resilience in the context of six in-depth country studies (Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Qatar, Tunisia and Turkey) assessing the challenges confronting state and societal resilience as well as identifying facilitating dynamics and actors that could be picked up by the EU in its efforts to support resilience in these contexts. It also featured a comparative report covering the whole MENA region, offering recommendations to the EU for the revision of its policy instruments vis-à-vis the MENA.

The project held a first workshop in Rome on 5 June and concluded with a final conference in Lebanon at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) on 3 November 2017. The project resulted in an edited volume containing all research deliverables, presented in a public conference in Brussels on 8 March 2018.

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