Experts & Staff

Julien Barnes-Dacey

Director, Middle East and North Africa programme

Areas of expertise

Middle East and North Africa

Languages

English, French, Arabic

Biography

Julien Barnes-Dacey is the director of the Middle East & North Africa programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He works on European policy towards the wider region, with a particular focus on Syria and regional geopolitics.

Barnes-Dacey’s recent publications include “Society max: How Europe can help Syrians survive Assad and coronavirus,” “Promoting European strategic sovereignty in the southern neighbourhood,” and “Guns and governance: How Europe should talk with non-state armed groups in the Middle East.” His work has been published widely including in Foreign Policy, Politico, the Financial Times, and the New York Times.

Barnes-Dacey has worked as a researcher and journalist across the Middle East. Based in Syria from 2007 to 2010, he reported for the Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor. He worked across Iraq as editor of Niqash.Org and was previously based in Egypt, reporting for the Cairo Times. He also headed the MENA practice at Control Risks, a private sector political consultancy based in London.

Barnes-Dacey holds a BA in history from the London School of Economics, an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and studied Arabic at the Institut Français du Proche-Orient.

Syria and Iraq: One conflict or two?

Recent weeks have highlighted more clearly than ever the growing symbiosis between the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. 

Making the most of Geneva II

The Geneva II conference on Syria will finally convene in Switzerland next week. Prospects for an immediate or dramatic breakthrough are decidedly bleak, yet that should not be the bar against which the merits of convening Geneva II should be measured.

Eight things to consider before intervening in Syria

Before any Western intervention in the Syrian conflict, eight key issues need to be considered – from the goals of intervention and the legal issue to the regional impact and the possibility of a diplomatic alternative

The regional struggle for Syria

Two years after the beginning of an uprising against President Bashar-al-Assad, Syria is gripped by an ever deepening civil war that is having a significant impact on the entire region.  

Publications

Articles

Children sit on top of a destroyed building in Gaza

Cooling-off: How Europe can help stabilise the Middle East

As countries across the Middle East pause to take stock of recent conflicts, Europeans need to do more to support dialogue

The narrow path to agreement: How Europe should support the Iran nuclear deal

If European governments want to salvage the deal before it is too late, while also opening up the prospect of negotiations with Iran on regional security, they need to quickly and clearly reject the argument that the two issues should be bundled together

Specials

Podcasts

In the media