From a Fragmented Cooperation to an Integrated Approach – The Emergence of the Maghreb and Sahel Region and its Consequences for the European Union

March 2022


The analysis provided by Erzsébet Rózsa and Viktor Marsai in this paper starts from the main observation that the EU’s south is expanding while the multi-institutionalised partnerships between the EU and its neighbouring regions maintains the same geographical definitions.

Base don the theory of the Regional Security Complex, the two authors present the concept of a Maghreb-Sahel (MAS) regional security complex, a region which, in their view, gains relevance due to the four key challenges it poses: human smuggling and irregular migration flows, regional conflicts and the presence Jihadist groups. How can the EU implement the existing frameworks and/or develop a more effective and adaptive strategy towards its southern neighbourhood fitting the new realities on the ground better? This paper argues that, in the current context, the EU should re-adjust its terminology and re-define the borders of the regions with which it aims to cooperate.


Picture source/caption: Long boats make are seen from a helicopter at Lake Chad near the Chad capital N’Djamena. REUTERS/ Zohra Bensemra
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