Experts & Staff

Hugh Lovatt

Senior Policy Fellow

Areas of expertise

Middle East; Israel/Palestine; Western Sahara; conflict resolution; international law and armed conflict

Languages

English, Arabic, French

Biography

Hugh Lovatt is a senior policy fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Lovatt has focussed extensively on regional geopolitics and advised European policymakers on the conflicts in Israel-Palestine and Western Sahara. He is regularly interviewed and quoted in international media, including by the New York Times, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, Financial Times, AFP, Le Monde, France24, and Al Jazeera.

Lovatt co-led a 2016 track-II initiative to draft an updated set of final status parameters to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has worked to advance the concept of EU Differentiation, which was enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Lovatt also co-developed an innovative online project mapping Palestinian politics. His publications include Rethinking Oslo: How Europe can promote peace in Israel-Palestine (July 2017), Free to choose: A new plan for peace in Western Sahara (May 2021), and Principled pragmatism: Europe’s place in a multipolar Middle East (April 2022).

Lovatt previously worked as a researcher for International Crisis Group and as a Schuman Fellow in the European Parliament focusing on Middle-East policy. He also worked for Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations as an Arabic translator.

Lovatt studied Arabic at the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter University as well as at the Institut Français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) in Damascus. He then went on to earn an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where he majored in Anthropology. Lovatt is Chairman of the Brussels-based European Middle East Project (EuMEP).

Why Incitement runs both ways in Israel/Palestine

In working to rein in manifestations of incitement to violence, Europe must not lose sight of the factors that, while never justifying violence, create conditions that are particularly conducive to radicalisation

Publications

Articles

Seeing Red: Towards a diplomatic solution to Houthi attacks

The US and UK strike on Houthi targets in Yemen has done little to deter the Iranian-backed group from its attacks in the Red Sea. Europeans should instead launch their own maritime operation, engage in diplomacy, and call for a ceasefire in Gaza

Ceasefire and beyond: Advancing a post-conflict plan for Gaza

As the devastation mounts in Gaza, European leaders need to call for a ceasefire and a broader diplomatic track to secure urgent humanitarian objectives, before turning to a realistic post-conflict plan that can address security needs for Israelis and Palestinians

After Jenin: A European response to West Bank escalation

Israel’s operations on the West Bank are a counterproductive way to deal with armed groups. European action should focus on helping to address the drivers of the recent surge of violence.

Specials

Podcasts

Events

In the media