Nickolay Mladenov, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, and ECFR's Julien Barnes-Dacey assess the critical dynamics in Iraq and the current conditions…
Director, Middle East and North Africa programme
Areas of expertise
Middle East and North Africa
English, French, Arabic
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 “Principled pragmatism: Europe’s place in a multipolar Middle East,” “Society max: How Europe can help Syrians survive Assad and coronavirus,” and “Guns and governance: How Europe should talk with non-state armed groups in the Middle East.” His work has been published in the likes of Foreign Policy, Politico, the Financial Times, and the New York Times.
Immediately prior to joining ECFR Barnes-Dacey headed the MENA practice at Control Risks, a private sector consultancy. Before this he worked as a journalist across the Middle East. Based in Syria from 2007 to 2010, he reported for publications including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor. He worked across Iraq as editor of Niqash and was also based in Egypt. Barnes-Dacey was an assistant foreign editor for UK television’s Channel 4 News, and a field producer for Al Jazeera International.
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.
Karim Sadjadpour, Senior Associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Julien Barnes-Dacey, ECFR Senior Policy Fellow, discuss the thinking among policy makers in…
Essay collection on the regional dimensions of the IS crisis
The West needs to push regional actors to assume their responsibilities in confronting the threat posed by IS
Both Assad and his rebel opponents hope to leverage the US fight against the Islamic State to help them win the civil war
Both Assad and his rebel opponents hope to leverage the US fight against the Islamic State to help them win the civil war.
While the crisis in Iraq deepens, Europe has been slow to react – reluctant to be drawn into another quagmire in the region.
A fundamental ingredient is still missing in shaping a coherent – though challenging – strategy for targeting IS in Iraq
With Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki resisting calls to step down, US military strikes risk having little effect in combatting the Islamic State (IS)
Europeans need to deal with the Middle East as it is rather than as they want it to be, while staying focused on the principles needed to secure longer-term stability
ECFR’s policy experts examine what the Taliban takeover means for countries and regions around the world: Europe, the US, the Middle East, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, and the Sahel
To achieve greater sovereignty, Europe needs to push back against rival powers, build leverage in armed conflicts, and be more effective in supporting reform
The Trump years galvanised Europeans’ efforts to strengthen their own sovereignty; they now need to agree concrete offers they can make to the new administration
European governments should pivot to a strategy focused on protecting those societal forces that are still standing and that can help salvage a better future
National politics need to be front and centre in de-escalation efforts
Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have so far been resilient to the spillover from Syria’s civil war, but now the region’s stability is hanging by a thread
The sixth ECFR Foreign Policy Scorecard highlights the EU’s diminishing ability to influence its neighbours, and the neighbourhood’s growing impact on the EU
An “Islamic State first” strategy, that neglects the urgent need to secure political progress and de-escalation in Syria will fail
Europe’s relationships with the six Arab Gulf states that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have failed to keep up with their increasing importance
The UAE’s embrace of Assad is central to the construction of a new regional order that preserves Emirati influence
Europe needs to prepare for a breakdown of multilateral cooperation with Russia. Yet, in doing so, it should be careful not to provide space for Moscow to justify unilateral action of its own.
Heightened conflict in Ukraine could have serious consequences for European interests in the Middle East and North Africa. It could further disrupt energy supplies, exacerbate food insecurity, and help states in the region gain leverage over the US and Europe.
The United States and Iran may finally be converging on a shared commitment to a new nuclear deal. This agreement would not be perfect, but the alternatives are far worse.
As countries across the Middle East pause to take stock of recent conflicts, Europeans need to do more to support dialogue
A one-year extension to the current aid arrangements would be no one’s first choice – but would ensure civilians in Idlib continue to receive help
Circumventing the regime to support Syrians on the ground is difficult but Europeans need to adjust their Syria policy in favour of this effort
The US needs to swiftly re-energise diplomacy with Iran rather than be sucked into new tit-for-tat military strikes
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
Victory for Joe Biden is likely to bring three big policy shifts in the region, opening new possibilities and challenges for Europeans
European governments need a deeper engagement strategy to draw these powerful actors into inclusive political processes and power-sharing structures that can help stabilise the region
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An ECFR guide to the key disputes threatening to spark a wider Middle Eastern war
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Does the election of Raisi represent a significant change of direction following the term of President Rouhani?
How can the EU prevent the Turkey-UAE rivalry from destabilising European security and foreign policy?
When Biden enters the White House, he will look for a Europe that brings solutions rather than problems. Europeans should show they can be an equal partner & offer him a new transatlantic bargain.
Last week’s episode saw our experts dissecting the coronavirus’ implications for Europe. In today's episode, we’re breaking down how the crisis is unfolding in the…
The European Union faces a multi-crisis situation at the moment. As the conflict in Idlib and the circumstances at the Greek-Turkish border has erupted, Europe…
How can Europeans more effectively advance their human rights agenda as part of, and while maintaining, their broader relationships with regional states?