EU–Middle East relations are multifaceted, varied and complex, shaped by historical, political, economic, migratory, social and cultural dynamics. Covering these relations from a broad perspective that captures continuities, ruptures and entanglements, this handbook provides a clearer understanding of trends, thus contributing to a range of different turns in international relations.

The interdisciplinary and diverse assessments through which readers may grasp a more nuanced comprehension of the intricate entanglements in EU–Middle East relations are carefully provided in these pages by leading experts in the various (sub)fields, including academics, think-tankers, as well as policymakers. The volume offers original reflections on historical constructions; theoretical approaches; multilateralism and geopolitical perspectives; contemporary issues; peace, security and conflict; and development, economics, trade and society.

This handbook provides an entry point for an informed exploration of the multiple themes, actors, structures, policies and processes that mould EU–Middle East relations. It is designed for policymakers, academics and students of all levels interested in politics, international and global studies, contemporary history, regionalism and area studies.

chapter 1|11 pages


Entanglements in EU–Middle East relations

part II|78 pages

Theoretical perspectives

part III|80 pages

Multilateralism and geopolitical perspectives

chapter 13|10 pages

In the shadow of the European neighbourhood

Political geographies of EU–Middle East relations

chapter 14|10 pages

The EU and Arab regionalism

chapter 15|12 pages

The EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council

A troubled relationship

chapter 16|12 pages

EU foreign policy incoherence in the United Nations

The case of the Middle East

chapter 17|10 pages

The transatlantic relationship and the Middle East

Converging interests, diverging praxis

chapter 18|13 pages

Turkey and the European Union in the Middle East

Potential for cooperation or continuing discord?

chapter 19|11 pages

Russia and the EU in the Middle East

From mutual distrust to forced cooperation?

part IV|94 pages

MENA–EU relations in the contemporary world

chapter 20|14 pages

Perceptions of the EU

Activists and public opinion in the Middle East

chapter 21|11 pages

Populist politics in Europe and their impact on EU relations with the Middle East

EU–Turkey relations as a case study

chapter 22|11 pages

EU–Israeli relations

Geopolitical perspectives in the wake of nationalist populism

chapter 23|12 pages

On EU–Arab democratisation *

Towards a democratic “learning loop”

chapter 24|11 pages

Moderate Islamist parties in the MENA region and Europe

Between the democracy–human rights nexus and the stability–security nexus

chapter 25|11 pages

Inter-religious dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region

A multi-stakeholder approach

chapter 27|11 pages

Winds of change? Negotiating gender relations

in the Middle East and North Africa 1

part V|90 pages

Peace, security and conflict in the Middle East

chapter 28|10 pages

The European Union and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

How Member States came together only to fall apart again

chapter 29|12 pages

EU–Lebanon relations

chapter 30|11 pages

The EU in post-2003 Iraq

chapter 31|12 pages

EU–Afghanistan relations

chapter 32|11 pages

EU–Syria relations

chapter 33|10 pages

The European Union and Yemen

chapter 34|11 pages

The EU and Iran

How a critical relationship became a troubled one

part VI|71 pages

Development, economics, trade and societal issues

chapter 36|10 pages

Aid, security and fortress Europe

EU development aid in the Middle East and North Africa

chapter 38|10 pages

Europe and MENA youth

chapter 39|15 pages

Assessing EU–Middle East trade relations

Patterns, policies and imbalances

chapter 40|10 pages

Their violence or ours?

EU–Middle East arms sales and military cooperation

chapter 41|13 pages

Clean growth for the benefit of both?

Towards a more inclusive approach to EU–MENA environmental relations