Europe and the 'New' Middle East. Geopolitical shifts and strategic choices
The Middle East has witnessed major geopolitical shifts since 2011 that range from the growing influence of the Gulf states, the pivot to Africa of many of the region’s countries and the new dynamics of global penetration, to the proliferation of regional cleavages and intra-state conflicts, as well as more volatile alliances and rivalries. This article assesses the implications of those shifts for the European Union and its capacity to shape or adapt to new realities. In the past continuities have tended to prevail in the EU’s strategies, policies and toolbox vis-à-vis the region. The intensity of the transformations the Middle East is going through as well as their impact on Europe itself may oblige the EU to make a move now. Europe’s leverage and credibility are at stake.