Middle East and North Africa

    • Commentary

    Competing Over Islam: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iran In the Balkans

    • Dimitar Bechev, Ahmet Erdi Öztürk
    • January 11, 2022
    • Middle East Institute

    In the last two decades, the Balkans appear to have become a new arena for religious competition between Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. The strategies used by these very different actors show their efforts in exporting faith in the name of power and in projecting their identity and domestic structures.

    • Research

    Has the EU Failed Democratic Tunisia?

    Tunisia’s democratic crisis is also a reflection of the EU’s weak and fragmented commitment to the country. The EU should encourage a return to democracy by alleviating Tunisia’s economic struggles, spurring political reforms, and pressuring regional partners to stop meddling in Tunisian affairs.

    • Research

    Bolstering Women’s Political Power: Lessons from the EU’s Gender Action Plan II

    The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis have deepened existing gender inequities. The EU should strengthen its efforts to address the barriers to gender equality by promoting and supporting women’s political empowerment.

    • Commentary

    What to Expect From the Iran Nuclear Talks

    While U.S. President Joe Biden has stated his intention to return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Tehran’s nuclear advances and Washington’s unclear diplomatic approach risk derailing the Vienna negotiations.

    • Research

    Reversing the Democratic Gaze

    Alongside its traditional external democracy support, the EU needs to begin drawing on lessons and influences from other countries to help address Europe’s own democracy problems.

    • Event

    Good COP, Bad COP: Key Takeaways From Glasgow

    At the COP26 summit in Glasgow, world leaders agreed to intensify efforts to fight climate change, signed pledges to protect forests and reduce methane emissions, and negotiated new approaches to climate adaptation and justice. This event will reflect on changes European leaders should initiate to ensure a fair and effective climate transition.

    • Research

    Reassessing the European Strategy in Afghanistan

    The United States bears a great deal of the responsibility for the situation in Afghanistan, but the EU should also reflect on how its overly narrow conception of democracy contributed to the shortcomings of Afghan reconstruction efforts.

    • Multimedia

    Erdogan Expels Ten Ambassadors

    Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to expel ten Western ambassadors who called for the release of jailed businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala. Marc Pierini looks at what is behind this move and the implications such a foreign policy decision could have.

    • Research

    How Deep Is the North-South Divide on Climate Negotiations?

    COP26 provides a forum for deliberating about climate adaptation, but such global meetings must also account for the needs of developing nations. A narrow climate agenda will only perpetuate divisions between postindustrial and developing countries.

    • Research

    How Syria Changed Turkey’s Foreign Policy

    In a bid to gain political ground at home, Ankara has launched multiple military operations in Syria. These have laid the groundwork for a more aggressive, nationalist foreign policy with profound implications for relations with the United States, Russia, and the EU.

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