Regional Crises and Europe: How the Middle East Conflict and Iraq War Affect the EMP

January 2005


The Middle East has been strongly affected by the war in Iraq and the constellation of regional powers to emerge from the conflict is still an open question. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) is not equipped to resolve political crises or conflict in the Mediterranean and Middle East, as it is essentially an economic instrument of European foreign policy. However, in light of the American “Wider Middle East Initiative”, the EMP as a political concept gains new relevance. Arab governments and populations view the “Wider Middle East Initiative” (WMEI) with great suspicion. By contrast, European policy is seen to be closer to the concerns of the region.

The future of the EMP is an open question in light of the changed international context. On the one hand, the EMP is being rediscovered as a sophisticated model for cooperation with the region. On the other hand, its future as an institutional framework is not at all clear. The paper analyses what may be the EMP´s place in the “Strategic Partnership between the EU and the Mediterranean and the Middle East”. 

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