In the framework of their strategic partnership, the Istituto Affari Internazionali and the German Marshall Fund of the United States have produced a series of studies on the Mediterranean region. Here are the most recent.
by D.Cristiani, A.Dessì, W.Mühlberger and G.Musso
Three years since the Arab uprisings, security has again emerged as the dominant analytical framework through which events in the Middle East and North African region are being judged and interpreted by the outside world. This study analyses the evolving security environment across the Southern Mediterranean and African Sahel since the advent of the Arab uprisings. By focusing on three specific components - the African Sahel region, post-Gaddafi Libya, and Egypt's African policy under the Muslim Brotherhood - the study sheds light on the deeply intertwined nature of the security threats that have arisen across this area and widens the scope of analysis from a purely North African focus to a more in-depth understanding of the profound links connecting the Mediterranean, Africa, and the wider Arab world.
• Algeria Three Years after the Arab Spring, by D.Huber, S.Dennison and J.D.Le Sueur
As Algerians prepare for presidential elections in April, mounting political uncertainty surrounds the fate of this major North African country seemingly spared from the turmoil of the Arab revolutions. In the wake of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s pledge to run for a fourth presidential term, opposition groups and civil society have taken to the streets to call for a ‘peaceful’ transfer of power and an end to the fifteen-year rule of the president whose ailing health remains a topic of major concern. This study takes stock of these and other developments in Algeria since the outbreak of the Arab Spring. The first chapter focuses on the socio-economic challenges facing a country overwhelmingly dependent on the export of hydrocarbons, while the second assesses Algeria’s security strategy in light of the heightened regional tensions across the Maghreb and Africa.
Op-Med: Opinions on the Mediterranean
Ongoing series of opinion pieces on topical issues in Mediterranean politics from a transatlantic perspective
With international peace efforts failing to put an end to the bloodshed in Syria, regional governments and international aid agencies are struggling to deal with the waves of Syrian refugees escaping the war zone. Can Europe realistically keep its eyes – and borders – closed to the men, women and children fleeing Syria? Europe has only taken in a small segment (2.9 percent) of the overall Syrian refugee population and European nat ions have responded to the refugee crisis in an uneven fashion. While asylum opportunities have grown, so have the obstacles that Syrian asylum seekers encounter on their way into the EU. Europe is currently discussing burden-sharing, or "responsibility-sharing" between those member states that are geographically exposed to irregular entries, and those that are not. While this discussion will be crucial to improve the Common European Asylum System, its results will come too late to address a refugee crisis that risks undermining or even overturning fragile states in the Middle East.
• Egypt Sets out on a Dangerous Path: Treating Political and Diplomatic Problems as Security Threats, by N.J.Brown
Political uncertainty is mounting as Egypt moves towards presidential elections and the likely candidacy of Fatah al-Sisi is only increasing the polarization within Egyptian society. Egypt's leaders must not only overcome a deep division within Egyptian society but also an equally challenging divide between the perception of Egypt inside and outside of the country. While the move to depose President Muhammad Morsi was wi dely supported by the public, the Muslim Brotherhood and its sympathizers objected to the move, and they did so loudly and publicly. As time has passed, the developments have only deepened the division in Egyptian society. The opposition camp is likely a minority - perhaps at most one-quarter of the society. Nevertheless, the task of national reconciliation is urgent.