Middle East and North Africa

Taming Libya’s mad dog

If there ever was a need and an opportunity for Europe to show its muscles, Colonel Gaddafi is providing one. The test is a different one for the EU after the turmoil in Tunisia, Egypt and beyond, but European leaders can no longer look the other way.

The Middle East needs Germany

The fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt has not so much given Israel a headache as a migraine. Europe - and Germany in particular - needs to play a leading role in reassuring Israel and keeping Middle East peace on track.  

Who Lost the Eastern Mediterranean?

For all the talk of a 'global Europe', the EU struggles to influence its neighbours in the Eastern Mediterranean. Its uncertainty over Egypt is indicative of a wider loss of direction in the EU's regional policies. 

Europe must stand behind Egypt’s democrats

Europe went through its own year of democratic revolutions in 1989, yet its reaction to events in north Africa has lacked passion and purpose. European leaders meeting for a summit in Brussels must seize the opportunity to commit themselves to a strategy that puts them firmly on the side of democracy in the Middle East.

Lessons from Tripoli

There are two important lessons to be learned from last month's EU-Africa summit. First, Europe needs to reassert its diplomatic clout after a post-Lisbon period of uncertainty. Second, it needs to think more cleverly about how to promote its values in a world where our economic and political models are no longer unquestioningly accepted.

Egypt’s election: Watch this space

The first round of Egypt's elections suffered from irregularities and unfair competition, yet this received little coverage abroad. This must change, especially if Egypt is to be thought of as a benchmark for political progress in the wider Middle East.

Why Europe’s military cutbacks will hurt Africa

Rampant defence cuts throughout the EU will probably spell the end of European countries' little-known but important interventions in African conflicts. This invites humanitarian disasters on parts of the map that increasingly small numbers of European citizens could identify.