Europe must be ready to support the creation of a regional mechanism for collective security in the Persian Gulf when the opportunity arises. Launching initial talks on concrete issues such as maritime security and nuclear safety would be a good first step toward conflict de-escalation and confidence-building.
Eight years of European thinking that Tehran could be a partner will end when hardliner Ebrahim Raisi becomes Iran’s next president. The EU should update its approach to the Persian Gulf by going beyond the nuclear file and focusing on regional security.
With the election of a hardliner as Iranian president, eight years of European thinking that Tehran could be a partner will come to an end. It’s time for the EU to address not only the nuclear file but also regional security threats.
Climate change will increase the potential for humanitarian crises and instability. To strengthen the EU's capacity to prevent conflict and manage crises, climate security should be integrated into the Common Security and Defense Policy.
Russia’s steady development of military capabilities on the ground, in the air, and at sea has enhanced its overall military posture in the region. This experience, and lack of resistance from NATO, is likely to enhance Russia’s military posture and ambitions outside the Mediterranean.
The EU’s hollow statements expressing “concern” over the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflagration will not deter either party. Unless the Europeans use what little leverage they have, they can forget about having a strategic role in the region.
The renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas should be a catalyst for ending the unsustainable status quo in the region. Negotiating a ceasefire and rebuilding trust will require an immense diplomatic effort by the United States and regional actors.
The Europeans have paid lip service to a two-state solution based on an independent Palestine alongside Israel. But without a clear plan to make it happen, such a solution will remain unattainable.
Palestinian elections slated for 2021 offer the EU a chance to reassess its engagement. That means linking financial support to democratic values and supporting civil society.
A recent cyber attack on Iran's Natanz nuclear facility, which Iran blames on Israel, has put further pressure on U.S.-Israeli relations. As the United States seeks to revive the JCPOA, Israel wants to stop the deal at all costs.