In the latest EDA Insight, Senior Research Fellow Saskia van Genugten analyses the newfound political will of EU leaders’ to cooperate on matters of defence and security and looks at the potential implication for EU engagements in the wider MENA region.
The author sees in these new European ambitions an acknowledgment of a changing geopolitical outlook, in which both external and internal developments are compromising Europe’s security. The Brexit vote, Trump’s ‘America First’ policies and a more assertive Russia are increasingly forcing the Europeans to become a more autonomous security player. The UK has historically been sceptical about deeper EU cooperation in this area and its decision to leave the EU by March 2019, has quickly lifted the level of ambitions of other key EU member states, France and Germany in particular.
She concludes that, given the convergence of threat perceptions of key EU member states around issues related to the MENA region, a more enabling environment is likely to lead to concrete proposals and operational actions in the area of (limited) stabilisation efforts in North Africa and the Sahel. At the same time, the EU is also likely to further strengthen its efforts in the MENA region to cooperate with respective authorities on border management, countering terrorism and countering radicalisation.
Please note that EDA’s research outputs do not necessarily represent the views of the UAE government but seek to address issues that foreign-policy experts and practitioners both in the UAE and worldwide will find informative and relevant.