How to Europeanize French Middle East policy?

Discussion about the potential for Franco-German cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa.


Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, Head of Paris Office and Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Dr. Ulrich Ernst, Head of Maghreb Division, Federal Foreign Office

Dina Fakoussa, Head of MENA programme, DGAP

Chaired by

Julien Barnes-Dacey, Director of MENA programme, ECFR

Venue: ECFR Berlin office, Entrance: Rosmarinstraße 1, 10117 Berlin
Date: Friday, 6 July 2018, 12.00-13.00

Despite shared ambitions to strengthen wider Franco-German cooperation, this ambition is almost non-existent across the Middle East and North Africa. Here, an active French position appears largely removed from Germany’s more limited role, to say nothing of broader European cooperation. This conversation will ask whether the Middle East and North Africa can nonetheless be an area for enhanced Franco-German cooperation given the significant challenges emanating from the region. It will focus on better understanding the drivers of French regional policy, considering why President Macron’s approach towards the Middle East is not rooted in a wider European approach and the extent to which Germany could play a role shifting the dynamic?

The conversation will bring together ECFR Paris head and former French diplomat, Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, whose latest publication Alone in the desert? How France can lead Europe in the Middle East was released in April, Dina Fakoussa, head of MENA programme at DGAP, and the head of the Maghreb division at the German Federal Foreign Office, Dr. Ulrich Ernst. The discussion will be moderated by Julien Barnes-Dacey, director of ECFR’s MENA programme.

The discussion will take place in English. Light lunch will be served.