The Middle East and North Africa

State reform in Arab Transitions

Ezequiel Scagnetti © European Union

State reform will be one of the most difficult tasks confronting Arab states in transition. Experience from other regions offers lessons for the challenges ahead in the Middle East.

Egyptian democracy and the Muslim Brotherhood

Jonathan Rashad/Flickr

As violence returns to Cairo, this essay examines the complex political role played by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's pre-electoral setting.

Constitutional Reform in Young Arab Democracies

By Kristina Kausch (18/10/2011) Policy Brief
Electoral lists/gr33ndata/Flickr

Drawing on constitutional reform experiences around the world, this new policy brief outlines the challenges revolutionary Tunisia, Egypt and Libya are facing as they embark on drafting new constitutions as a clean break with their authoritarian past.

The EU and the Arab spring: from munificence to geo-strategy

By Richard Youngs (05/10/2011) Policy Brief
Jonathan Rashad/Flickr

The EU has in many ways reacted well to the Arab spring, but must now gradually move beyond its stance of ‘listening and helping’ and map out a strategic vision for the long-term.

Is Iran immune from the Arab spring?


Despite the high levels of internet activism, corruption and economic malaise, so far Iran remained unaffected by the change affecting the Middle East and North Africa. The country’s potential for democratic change may ultimately depend on ongoing regional developments.

France and the Arab spring: an opportunistic quest for influence

By Barah Mikaïl (05/10/2011) Working Paper
Pier F/Flickr

France’s lead on NATO’s military intervention in Libya marked a turning point in French policies in the MENA. Yet, French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s policies are beset by ethical inconsistencies, the primacy of commercial interests and a desire to restore French leadership in the Mediterranean.

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

FRIDE ceased its think tank activities on 31st December 2015 for economic reasons. The Board of Trustees had to take this difficult decision since, despite many efforts to diversify its funding sources, FRIDE cannot sustain its think tank operations with a view to 2016 and beyond.

Established in 1999, FRIDE has made a major contribution to shape debate on Europe’s external activities in an increasingly challenging international environment. It has covered issues ranging from democracy and human rights to sustainable development, new approaches to multilateral cooperation and security affairs. FRIDE’s long-standing focus on the extended neighbourhood of the European Union proves today all the more relevant given widespread turbulence in the region. FRIDE’s emphasis on the importance of the values framing Europe’s external activities is central to current political debates in Europe and beyond. This shows the need for continued engagement in the pursuit of a common European foreign policy that is both effective and informed by the core values of European integration.

The Board wishes to thank Diego Hidalgo, FRIDE’s founder, for his tireless commitment and very generous support for many years. The Board also wishes to thank FRIDE’s dedicated staff, the members of the Board and the Advisory Committee for their contribution in making FRIDE one of the top foreign policy think tanks in Europe. We are very grateful to all those who have supported FRIDE’s work and projects over the years and we thank the many partners from all parts of the world who have worked with FRIDE on joint initiatives. We hope that FRIDE’s extensive input to the debate on Europe in the world will continue to inform thinking and action at a very critical time for Europe’s future.

The President of the Board

FRIDE cesó sus actividades como think tank el 31 de diciembre de 2015 por razones económicas. El Patronato tuvo que adoptar esta difícil decisión dado que, a pesar de los intensos esfuerzos realizados para diversificar sus fuentes de financiación, FRIDE no puede sostener sus operaciones como think tank a partir de 2016.

Establecido en 1999, FRIDE ha realizado una gran contribución al debate sobre las actividades exteriores de Europa en un ambiente internacional cada vez más complejo. Ha trabajado en temas que van desde la democracia y los derechos humanos al desarrollo sostenible, los nuevos enfoques en la cooperación multilateral y las cuestiones de seguridad. La atención prestada por FRIDE a la vecindad extendida de la Unión Europea durante mucho tiempo prueba ser hoy aún más relevante debido a la turbulencia que azota a la región. El énfasis de FRIDE en la importancia de los valores que enmarcan las actividades exteriores europeas es central en los debates en Europa y más allá. Esto muestra la necesidad de un compromiso continuo con la búsqueda de una política exterior europea común que sea eficaz y esté basada en los principios fundamentales de la integración europea.

El Patronato desea agradecer a Diego Hidalgo, fundador de FRIDE, por su incansable compromiso y muy generoso apoyo a lo largo de tantos años. También quiere expresar su gratitud a la dedicada plantilla, a los propios miembros del Patronato y del Comité Asesor por sus contribuciones para hacer de FRIDE uno de los principales think tanks de Europa en cuestiones de política exterior. Estamos muy agradecidos con todos aquellos que han apoyado el trabajo y los proyectos de FRIDE a través de los años y también damos las gracias a los numerosos socios de todas partes del mundo que han colaborado con FRIDE en iniciativas conjuntas. Esperamos que las extensas aportaciones de FRIDE al debate sobre Europa en el mundo continuará informando el pensamiento y la acción en un momento muy crítico para el futuro de Europa.

El Presidente del Patronato

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