Middle East and North Africa

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.

Don’t just speak with one voice: Act!

EU member states worry too much about speaking with one voice. But endless unified expressions of 'interest and concern' about the situation in Tunisia and Egypt show that the problem is that others aren't listening because we often have little to say.  

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.

Time for Europe to think bold thoughts

Europe has a lot to gain from being inventive. A Turkish-EU troop offer could help unlock Gaza – and the Middle East peace process

Memo to President Ahmadinejad

Iran looks set to defy President Obama?s offer of engagement and the international community ?- including the EU -? will have to decide how to react. But what is Tehran thinking?