European strategic sovereignty in the Southern neighbourhood

The EU’s lack of strategic sovereignty in the MENA region need not be permanent

, Berlin time (CET, UTC+1)


Julien Barnes-Dacey, Director, MENA Programme, ECFR

Luca Gori, Head, MENA Office, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Daniela Huber, Head, Mediterranean and Middle East Programme, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)

Alessia Melcangi, Professor, La Sapienza University; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council

Chaired by

Arturo Varvelli, Head, ECFR Rome and Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa directly affects Europeans, yet their influence in the region there has never been weaker. In the absence of a significant European role, other powers are determining the course of regional events: Russia, Turkey, Gulf monarchies, and Iran have asserted their influence through direct military engagement in regional conflicts. Nevertheless, the EU’s lack of strategic sovereignty in the MENA region need not be permanent. The EU can gain greater agency if it clarifies its political objectives, makes better use of its assets, and overcomes its internal divisions by building intra-European coalitions.

ECFR recent policy brief “Promoting European strategic sovereignty in the southern neighbourhood”, by Julien Barnes-Dacey, Director of ECFR’s MENA Programme, and Anthony Dworkin, Research Director and Senior Policy Fellow of ECFR will serve to kick off the discussion.

The discussion will be held in English, under Chatham House rules.