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Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean [1st ed.]
 9783030544430, 9783030544447

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xiv
Introduction (Robert Mason)....Pages 1-17
Security Threats from the Southern Mediterranean as Viewed by Europe: A Comparative Analysis of the “Long Year” of 1979 and the 2010s (Martin Beck)....Pages 19-39
Governance and Threat Perception in the Southern Neighborhood (Robert Mason)....Pages 41-57
EU CounterTerrorism Cooperation with the MENA: Optimal or Suboptimal? (Annelies Pauwels)....Pages 59-74
Migration and the Mediterranean: The EU’s Response to the “European Refugee Crisis” (Arne Niemann, Julia Blöser)....Pages 75-113
Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean Energy Resources (Marco Giuli)....Pages 115-145
Russia in Syria and the Middle East: Tactics Disguised as a Strategy? (Robert Mason, Maxim A. Suchkov)....Pages 147-161
Turkey’s Quest for Influence in the Mediterranean in the Post-Arab Uprisings Era (Ismail Numan Telci)....Pages 163-181
European-North African Security: The Complexity of Cooperation (Yahia H. Zoubir, Djallil Lounnas)....Pages 183-207
International and Gulf State Influence in the Southern Mediterranean (Robert Mason)....Pages 209-240
Rethinking the EU Approach (Robert Mason)....Pages 241-263
Back Matter ....Pages 265-276

Citation preview

Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean Edited by Robert Mason

Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean

Robert Mason Editor

Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean

Editor Robert Mason Middle East Studies Center The American University in Cairo Cairo, Egypt

ISBN 978-3-030-54443-0 ISBN 978-3-030-54444-7 (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Cover illustration: JeanUrsala/E+/Getty Image This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

Preface

This book came about from a workshop on enhancing Euro-Med security cooperation held at the Middle East Studies Center at The American University in Cairo on May 13, 2018. This was one of the actions under an EU funded project called “promote dialogue between academic scholars, policy professionals in Egypt and European policymakers,” ENI/2017/389-834, alongside a public lecture series, a student conference, a new MA-level course on Mediterranean politics, as well as other related events and publications. More information about the project can be found here: https://www.aucegypt.edu/gapp/mesc. The contents of this volume are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union. The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), conceived after the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, was not substantive in the face of divergences within Europe itself, which have been crystallized by the rise of populism after the 2007/2008 financial crisis and Brexit. EU relations with the ten states of the Southern Neighborhood (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, and Tunisia) was always going to be problematic due to the latter’s general preoccupation with regime and national security, domestic politics and addressing sources of regional instabilty. A lack of convergent political interests, economic resources and industrial capacity have undermined relations further. National interests are likely to remain divergent for the foreseeable future, both within Europe and between the EU and the Southern v

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Neighborhood following the public health and economic consequences of Covid-19. As discussed further in this volume, the EU as a supranational organization has not dealt with such as threat to unity since its formation. A decade on from the Arab uprisings of 2010 and following a review of the ENP in 2015 and the introduction of the EU’s Global Strategy in 2016, the stability of the wider MENA region remains in peril. The unique selling points of liberal democracy and multilateralism have not drawn a pan-Mediterranean consensus on the future of the region or indeed on a sustainable cooperative formula. Beyond the securitization of relations apparent on both sides, from the European focus on illegal migration, to the narrow Middle East and North Africa (MENA) state focus on authoritarian regime survival and state security, the shift toward multipolarity in the international environment has raised further questions on the future of EU–MENA relations. Indeed, while EU external policy appears to be increasingly impacted by the USA on issues ranging from Iran, Syria, Israel, and Palestine, its broader mission vis-a-vis the Southern Neighborhood looks set to be driven by actors as diverse as the Gulf states, Russia and China. After the EU–League of Arab States summit in Sharm El-Sheikh from 24 to 25 February 2019, a new official multilateral track has been established between the two sides to support the work already undertaken in the Union for the Mediterranean. But the question remains, what next? Beyond promises to boost cooperation, reaffirm commitment to defend multilateralism and a rules based trading system, very little progress has been made. Certainly there is room for more official and unofficial contact and brainstorming, especially in light of a new EU leadership team in Brussels. This volume is one part of that effort to rethink, reframe, and reconceptualize Euro–Mediterranean relations outside of the dominant EU academic and policy discourses and platforms in a rapidly shifting regional, interregional, and global landscape. Paris, France/Cairo, Egypt April 2020

Robert Mason

Contents

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Introduction Robert Mason Evolutions in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Conceptual Considerations for Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean Structure of the Volume References Security Threats from the Southern Mediterranean as Viewed by Europe: A Comparative Analysis of the “Long Year” of 1979 and the 2010s Martin Beck Introduction European Threat Perception of the Mediterranean in the Long Year of 1979 Recent EU Security Challenges Posed by the Southern Mediterranean Conclusion References

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19 19 21 24 34 35

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Governance and Threat Perception in the Southern Neighborhood Robert Mason Introduction The Role of the Military in Governmental Affairs Islamists Vying for Political Legitimacy and Influence Economic Forces that Undermine the Status Quo Social Forces and Political Pluralism Disconnects Between the ENP and MENA State Values Conclusion References

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EU CounterTerrorism Cooperation with the MENA: Optimal or Suboptimal? Annelies Pauwels Introduction Externalizing the EU’s Counterterrorism Model Injecting Pragmatism into CT Cooperation Enhancing Judicial and Law Enforcement Cooperation Laying the Groundwork for CT Cooperation Revisiting the Need for Change Conclusion References Migration and the Mediterranean: The EU’s Response to the “European Refugee Crisis” Arne Niemann and Julia Blöser Introduction The Development of the “European Refugee Crisis” The EU’s Response to the Crisis Conclusion References Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean Energy Resources Marco Giuli Introduction Profiling Euro-Mediterranean Oil and Gas Relations

41 41 43 45 49 51 53 54 55

59 59 60 62 63 66 68 71 71

75 75 76 78 100 101

115 115 116

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Eastern Mediterranean Gas: Opportunities and Challenges for Europe Conclusion References 7

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Russia in Syria and the Middle East: Tactics Disguised as a Strategy? Robert Mason and Maxim A. Suchkov Introduction Domestic Issues Russian Military Costs in Syria Russian Post-Syria Planning Russia and the Kurds Russia and Iran/Israel Relations Russia in Libya Russia and the Arab Gulf States Conclusion References Turkey’s Quest for Influence in the Mediterranean in the Post-Arab Uprisings Era Ismail Numan Telci Introduction: Turkey’s Reorientation Back to the MENA Region Turkey–Egypt Relations: From Cooperation to Conflict Turkish Policy in the Eastern Mediterranean Versus Regional and Global Powers Turkey’s Activism in Libya Turkey and the Maghreb Turkey’s Relations with Tunisia Energy Politics in Eastern Mediterranean Conclusion References European-North African Security: The Complexity of Cooperation Yahia H. Zoubir and Djallil Lounnas Introduction

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147 147 149 150 151 154 155 156 157 158 158

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Algeria and the EU: A Difficult yet Unescapable Partnership Morocco: A Privileged Partner Tunisia: A Strong Partnership with Europe Libya: A Major Migration and Security Concern Conclusion References 10

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International and Gulf State Influence in the Southern Mediterranean Robert Mason Introduction US Policies Toward the Mediterranean China’s Engagement in the Mediterranean India’s Engagement in the Mediterranean Japan’s Engagement in the Mediterranean Gulf State Policies in the Southern Mediterranean Economic Actors Non-state Actors The African Union (AU) Conclusion References Rethinking the EU Approach Robert Mason Introduction Addressing the Autocratic—Democratic Divide on Conflict and Development Reviewing Efficacy of Decision-Making and Policy Implementation The EU as a Normative Power A Note on Covid-19 Conclusion References

Index

184 188 195 197 201 202

209 209 210 215 219 221 223 226 229 230 231 232 241 241 244 252 254 255 257 258 265

Notes on Contributors

Martin Beck holds a chair in Modern Middle East Studies at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). He previously worked as an academic teacher, political advisor, and researcher in Germany (Tübingen, Hamburg, and Bremen), the Middle East (Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq), and the USA (Denver, Colorado). His research covers international politics and political economy, in particular regional power relations, the Arab–Israeli conflict, regional oil politics, and comparative analysis of rentier states. His most recent publications include “The Aggravated Struggle for Regional Power in the Middle East: American Allies Saudi Arabia and Israel Versus Iran,” Global Policy 10 (2020), forthcoming; “On the Continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” in: Isabel Bramsen, Poul Poder, and Ole Wæver (eds.), Resolving International Conflict. Dynamics of Escalation, Continuation, and Transformation (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019), pp. 200–214; “OPEC+ and Beyond: How and Why Oil Prices are High,” E-International Relations (2019), https://www.e-ir.info/2019/01/24/opec-and-beyondhow-and-why-oil-prices-are-high/; “How to (Not) Walk the Talk: The Demand for Palestinian Self-determination as a Challenge for the European Neighbourhood Policy,” European Foreign Affairs Review 22 (2017), pp. 59–74; “Israeli Foreign Policy: Securitizing Occupation,” in: Robert Mason (ed.), Reassessing Order and Disorder in the Middle East.

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Regional Imbalance or Disintegration? (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2017), pp. 173–193. Website: www.sdu.dk/staff/mbeck. Twitter: @martinbeck23. Julia Blöser is a Research Assistant and postgraduate student in Political Economy and International Relations at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Having privately engaged with asylum seekers during the evolving crisis since 2014, she focused her research on migration policy and, in particular, on EU asylum policy in its internal and external dimensions. Her Bachelor thesis on the rationales of action behind the EU’s relocation decisions received the Jean Monnet Award for EU in Global Dialogue 2018. Marco Giuli is a Researcher at the Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and an Associate Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre. He works on the external dimension of the EU energy policy, the energy security-climate nexus, and the geopolitics of decarbonization. Prior to this, he coordinated the Climate and Energy Platform of the EPC, he was a Researcher at the Madariaga-College of Europe Foundation and a trainee at the Centre for European Policy Studies. Marco is a regular public speaker, media commentator, and op-ed contributor on EU energy and climate issues. Djallil Lounnas is an Assistant Professor of International Relations in Al Akahwayn University. He is specialized on radicalism and violent extremist movements in North Africa-Sahel. He has conducted fieldwork on this topic in the region and published extensively in academic journals. His latest publication includes his book Le Djihad en Afrique du Nord Sahel: D’AQMI à Daech (Paris: Les presses de la Fondation pour la Recherche Strategique/L’Harmattan). Robert Mason is a Non-Resident Fellow at The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He was an Associate Professor and Director of the Middle East Studies Center at The American University in Cairo 2016–2019. He received his D.Phil. from the University of Exeter and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His research focuses on international relations, with a geographical focus on the Gulf, EU, US, and rising powers. He is author or editor of numerous books, including New Perspectives on Middle East Politics: Economy, Society and International Relations (AUC Press, forthcoming), Reassessing Order and Disorder in the Middle East: Regional Imbalance or Disintegration?

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(Rowman and Littlefield, 2017), Egypt and the Gulf: A Renewed Regional Policy Alliance (Gerlach Press, 2016), Muslim Minority—State Relations: Violence, Integration and Policy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), International Politics of the Arab Spring: Popular Unrest and Foreign Policy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and Foreign Policy in Iran and Saudi Arabia: Economics and Diplomacy in the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 2014). On Twitter @Dr_Robert_Mason. Arne Niemann is a Professor of International Politics and a Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration Studies at the University of Mainz. He is author of Explaining Decisions in the European Union (Cambridge University Press 2006) and has published widely on EU topics, including EU migration policy, in several journals, including the Journal of Common Market Studies, the Journal of European Public Policy and International Migration Review. Arne Niemann previously coedited seven special issues, including “EU Refugee Policies and Politics in Times of Crisis: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives” (Journal of Common Market Studies 2018, together with Natascha Zaun). Annelies Pauwels is a Researcher who specializes in counterterrorism and radicalization. She has conducted research at prominent EU and UN research institutes. Her research at the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) in Paris covered the external dimension of EU Justice and Home Affairs. Prior to that she conducted research on crime prevention and criminal justice at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). Annelies holds an LLM in International Criminal Law and an M.A. in Intercultural Mediation with a specialization in Arabic and Russian. Maxim A. Suchkov is Editor of Al-Monitor’s Russia-Mideast coverage and a Senior Research Fellow at the MGIMO-University. Dr. Suchkov is also an expert of the Russian International Affairs Council and Associate Research Fellow at the Italian Institute for International and Political Studies (ISPI). Previously, he was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and Visiting Fellow at New York University. On Twitter: @Max_A_Suchkov. Ismail Numan Telci completed his B.A. from Istanbul University, M.A. in European Studies at Hochschule Bremen, Germany, and a Ph.D. in

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International Relations at Sakarya University, Turkey. As part of his Ph.D. field research he spent 10 months at Cairo University from October 2012 to August 2013. Currently, he works as an Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations and lectures in the Middle East Institute (ORMER) at Sakarya University. He is also Vice President and Gulf Studies Coordinator in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (ORSAM) in Ankara. His research focuses on Turkey–Qatar relations, Gulf politics, Egyptian politics, and Arab revolutions. He is editor of Middle Eastern Studies, a peer-reviewed journal published by ORSAM. Telci is the author of three books: Dictionary of Egyptian Revolution (2014), Egypt: Revolution and Counter-Revolution (2017), and Egyptian Foreign Policy Since the Revolution: From Search for Change to Quest for Legitimacy (2019). Yahia H. Zoubir is a Senior Professor of International Relations and International Management and Director of Research in Geopolitics at KEDGE Business School, France. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from The American University, Washington, DC. His publications include books, such as The Politics of Algeria: Domestic Issues and International Relations; North African Politics; Building a New Silk Road: China & the Middle East; Global Security Watch—The Maghreb; and North Africa: Politics, Region, and the Limits of Transformation, and articles in scholarly journals, such as Third World Quarterly, Mediterranean Politics, International Affairs, Journal of North African Studies, Middle East Journal, Journal of Contemporary China, Maghreb-Machrek, Journal of Contemporary European Studies. He contributed entries and articles to several Encyclopedias, such as the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics.

CHAPTER 1

Introduction Robert Mason

European Union (EU) relations with its self-defined Southern Neighborhood: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia, have become an area of increasing study since the Arab uprisings began in Tunisia in 2010. The uprisings then quickly affected Egypt, Libya, and Syria in particular and have even spread to other parts of the Southern Neighborhood once thought to be immune from protests due to their recent history, such as Algeria. When charting subsequent events, including North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervention in Libya from March to October 2014, Russia’s intervention in Syria starting in September 2015, and rising commitments to counterterrorism operations in the Sahel, scholars and policymakers are reminded that insecurity persists around the Mediterranean. Yet insecurity, like so many other themes explored in this book such as religiopolitical challenges, mercenaries and militia, and economic engagement through infrastructure, have been apparent for millennia. The Romans cultivated client states around the fringes of the Mediterranean (Gambash 2017).

R. Mason (B) Middle East Studies Center, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_1

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Machiavelli argued that mercenaries were necessary to strengthen political power, and Lower (2017) concludes this was the case especially where religious differences meant they never threatened their employer. Where the Reformation posed challenges to official state engagement, Pirillo (2017) finds that diplomatic back channels were used instead. Chronic insecurity has become a feature of North African politics, yet insecurity has become a feature in Europe as well. In Cyprus, the ethnic Greek and Turkish communities have been separated since 1974, and in the Balkans, the breakup of Yugoslavia followed a series of upheavals and conflicts in the early 1990s. The Mediterranean refugee crisis from 2015 was a period characterized by the high number of people arriving in the EU from the Mediterranean Sea and overland from Southeast Europe. With drivers extending as far as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria in the East, down to Eritrea and Somalia in Africa, the crisis has exacerbated social tensions. European state responses have varied from initial accommodation and negotiation with important transit countries such as Turkey, to a populist and xenophobic backlash. Political gains have been made by some European far right groups, especially in Switzerland, Austria, and Hungary, who have been able to leverage fears of violent Islamist (inspired) attacks in Europe. The UK referendum to leave the EU (Brexit) in 2016 hails a new era for Anglo-European relations. This at a time when European (including British) hard and soft power influence is under pressure from illiberal states such as Russia as well as the populist, transactional and unilateral politics of the Trump administration. The Trump administration’s decision to temporarily bar flights from Europe during the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020 without prior consultation with EU counterparts appears to confirm that the transatlantic relationship is indeed under threat. This is especially damaging as close transatlantic relations have been a cornerstone of the post-1945 international order. Polarization in mainstream politics and growing inequality in economies have fed populism and fuelled discontent even before allegations of Russian electoral interference are considered. Changes in the global economy have also put the Mediterranean at the forefront of EU responses, including a e289 billion bailout to Greece (the biggest bailout in global financial history) to tackle its sovereign debt crisis in 2010, brought on by the global financial crisis in 2007/2008. The rise of China and the implementation of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is attractive not only to Asian and African states in need

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of new infrastructure projects and financing, but a whole host of developed countries, including Israel, Greece, and Italy. The fear here is that eastern and southern neighbors, as well as EU member states themselves, will fall prey to an increasingly assertive China that could fundamentally undermine Europe’s identity that is based on liberal democratic values, closer cooperation and integration. The EU response to China came in September 2018 when it launched a “Connectivity Strategy” linking the EU with Asia that put more emphasis on nations rather than states, would be rules based, and provide alternative sources of financing. Mobilizing private and multilateral investors could scale up the budget. Apart from increasing competition in the Eurasian region between major powers such as the EU, USA, China, and Russia, there are also growing energy considerations to take into consideration in the Eastern Mediterranean. Israel discovered a giant gas field, Leviathan block, in 2010. Lebanon has also found deposits. Further discoveries have been made in the Israeli and Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), while Italy’s ENI found a large natural gas field, named Zohr, in Egyptian waters. In an age of growing insecurity from non-state and transnational threats, counterterrorism cooperation is an important dimension in Euro– Mediterranean relations. But full political cooperation remains an overthe-horizon objective following the first EU–Arab League summit in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2019. This should not be a surprise given the persistent mismatch of the political philosophies, systems of government, and body politik of the states involved. During the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, Thomas Hobbes referred to the “voice of the people” (1660) while John Locke (1689) wrote about people-driven government and a separation of powers which has largely informed modern secular politics in Europe. In premodern entities in the Middle East, while the notion of sovereignty existed, so did alternative traditions of diplomacy, more personalized systems of governance, and a changing external environment, such as colonial encroachment, that helped give agency to officials in the public domain more than is perhaps the case today. These points are overlaid with more contemporary issues arising from complications, threats, and challenges that can obfuscate advances in bilateral relations and have undermined a comprehensive Mediterranean security system. The wider Middle East is currently experiencing an escalating rivalry and series of proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Rather than mediate, the Trump administration’s rhetoric and policies continue to

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make the USA an actor and force for escalation in this dynamic. Israel remains alert to the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran but also to patterns of asymmetric warfare from its southern flank in Gaza and increasingly, from its northern flank in Lebanon, manifest in Hezbollah which is supported by weapons transfers from Iran. We see many examples where broadly conceived national security policies include repressive tendencies against civil society and the retrenchment of the elite into “bunker states.” While this trend has been evident throughout the region, it has been most recently apparent in Turkey after the failed military coup in 2016. The consequences again, are not favorable to transnational security cooperation. Finally, the EU leadership itself was in flux in 2019. The new EU Commission president has been announced as Germany’s Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen. Charles Michel, formerly Prime Minister of Belgium, will take over as the new Head of the European Council, and Josep Borrell, a Spanish politician, will be the new Head of External Relations. Christine Lagarde, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC, was announced as the new president of the European Central Bank (ECB) in September 2019.

Evolutions in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) The Middle East is a contested geographical area, bound up with religious significance in the holy sites of Mecca and Jerusalem, along with significant energy resources in the Gulf region. After the Gulf War in 1991, the US-sponsored Middle East Peace Process and accompanying diplomatic activity in the 1990s gave cause for optimism about the prospects for enhanced regional security. Into this came European efforts, the EuroMediterranean Partnership (EMP), which was a multilateral approach launched in Barcelona in 1995. As Del Sarto (2006) asserts, the EMP relied on a regional-building approach to regional security based on common interests between the EU and southern neighbors. While the European interest is to remain free from direct military threats, resolve conflicts, improve cooperation, and prevent south–south conflicts which could lead to spillover in the Mediterranean, the EMP was not the instrument to achieve this according to Biscop (2003). The Barcelona Process had a broad, but not military, agenda in promoting cooperation and a very different DNA to the specific events and processes that generated

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the institutions of the EU and NATO. A lack of Mediterranean security cooperation could thus initially be chalked up to a poor institutional toolkit and the failure of Arab–Israeli peacemaking, notably in the breakdown of the Camp David Summit and the onset of the second intifada in 2000. The EU’s inability to resolve existing or potential conflicts has been a persistent theme. Included in this is the lack of confidence and security-building measures with southern neighbors. Following the enlargement of the European Union in 2004, the ENP was conceived in order to promote prosperity, stability and security, and avoid creating new dividing lines between the enlarged EU, candidate countries, and immediate neighbors in the east and south. Prior to the Arab uprisings in 2010, the ENP pro-democratization policies were still judged to be incoherent and weak, although small-scale programs existed (Youngs 2006). The EU was mindful of failed democratic elections in Algeria in 1991 and the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, followed by the battle of Gaza which brought Hamas to power in the Gaza strip in 2007. Democracy had its downside. The EU was also probably aware of the broad range of literature on the nature of democratization from notable authors such as Huntingdon (1991). Recent analysis shows that democratization stems not from political leverage but from longer-term changes taking place involving socioeconomic conditions and patterns of governance (Levenex and Schimmelpfenig 2011). While the EU attempted to balance norms and values with other, notably security interests, a laissez faire approach effectively gave (and continues to give) repressive authoritarian regimes the upper hand and insulation they require to survive and consolidate. The Barcelona Process was relaunched as the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in 2008, including a range of projects from economy and environment to migration and social affairs, but still put political and economic ties (prizing security and stability) ahead of democracy and human rights. Thus, in the lead up to the Arab uprisings, closer ties were being sought with Gaddafi’s Libya and Ben Ali’s Tunisia. The elitecentric focus has fundamentally undermined the UfM and has caused significant difficulties in generating closer political ties between the EU and some member states such as France and Southern Neighborhood states in transition, such as Tunisia (Khalaf and Daneshkhu 2011). In the words of Behr (2014), the ENP has effectively gone “full circle.” The European Commission (2011) adjusted the ENP following the Arab uprisings with A Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the

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Southern Mediterranean. It encouraged more reform efforts with additional support, including financial. The ENP was revised again in line with the EU’s new Global Strategy (EUGS) which was adopted in June 2016 and focuses on new aspects such as resilience. The revised ENP launched on November 18, 2015 (notably after the Arab uprisings refocused attention on the Southern Neighborhood) removed many of the enlargement related tools and reduced EU focus on democracy promotion, good governance, the rule of law and human rights (Delcour 2017, 1). In other words, it has become de-politicized. Bilateral issues appear to be related to inconsistent use of conditionality, failure to empower civil society and other change agents, and an unwillingness to offer substitutes for political accession (ibid.). Systematic upgrades have helped the policy survive a rapidly changing Europe and Middle East but still the use of conditionality grinds. The ENP review also focused on the differentiation approach which had been a feature of the ENP but was not adequately implemented. It recognizes the regions do not form a coherent bloc in geographical, political or economic terms and that state responses to the ENP also vary widely. Whether the ENP can be considered to be a neighborhood policy at all remains to be seen for these reasons and since shared values and interests remain unclear.

EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) The 2009 Lisbon Treaty established the European External Action Service (EEAS) under the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This fundamentally altered the context in which ENP would operate (Delcour 2017, 285). The CFSP puts the European Council in the lead for identifying EU strategic interests and broad objectives but voting on decisions must be unanimous with only aspects eligible for qualified voting. The Council of the EU votes on the actions or positions to be taken. Although European roots on common defense go back to the Treaty of Brussels in 1948, including the Western European Union (WEU) from 1954 to the late 1990s, and NATO, the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDF) was only created by the Treaty of Lisbon. EU countries must make civilian and military capabilities available, and the European Defense Agency (EDA) helps member states improve their military capabilities, but there is no predetermined level of EU country commitment. EU defense policy is progressive and

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deepening in areas such as conflict prevention, crisis management, military assistance and post-conflict stabilization (EUR-Lex). For many states, including those in the Southern Neighborhood, Smith (2017) says that it is Europe’s position as a “power multiplier” for member states, its collective resources (including promise of enlargement, large aid budget, and the fact that it is the largest trading bloc in the world) that are more relevant to its foreign policy impact. There has also been e15 billion of neighborhood funding available from 2014 to 2020 and unparalleled political support for partners to draw on (Hahn 2017, xvii). These aspects are relevant in terms of trade, development, sanctions, and energy. However, EU member state vetoes can be an inherent weakness to EU efficacy, as well as slow policymaking, possibly leading to decisions being made at the lowest common denominator which can affect outcomes (Smith 2017). Being 27 member states makes the bloc inherently influential in world affairs, and as a values-driven supranational organization, it means that many of the EU states do align, especially on critical issues. EU enlargement, sanctions on Syria and Russia, and the UK, France, and Germany (E3) convergence on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran are just some examples.

Conceptual Considerations for Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean There are a number of international relations (IR) theories and frameworks which are worth pointing to in our study of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa region, and their interactions across the Mediterranean. In selecting the most appropriate foreign policy analysis (FPA) and IR concepts from the toolkits available it is necessary to bear in mind the region under study is both diverse and multifaceted. The Mediterranean is certainly a historic area of littoral state interaction through transport, trade, and social exchange, but it is also one which is found to have been fragmented at various intervals (Wickham 2007). Contemporary EU engagement in the Mediterranean draws on state influence as far north as Finland and as far south as Greece. As we will detail in this volume, influence from international powers cannot be discounted both in terms of increasing multipolarity and power differentials in the Mediterranean region. Contentions and alliances also have a role to play through which proxy struggles and wider regional influences are channelled, most notably from the Gulf.

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The Southern Neighborhood being a largely artificial construct also highlights other more “rational” modes of engagement, most recently evident in the Eastern Mediterranean where growing energy interests, EU efforts at stabilization in Libya, and a convergence of subregional contention, notably focused on the role of political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular, is becoming more evident. Energy has often been at the heart of Euro–Arab relations, as illustrated by the Euro–Arab Dialogue (EAD) established by the European Economic Community in 1974 to improve relations after the October 1973 Arab–Israeli War and the global energy crisis. Miller (2014) asserts that this was actually a failure due to the politicization of the framework, internal divisions over its mandate and goals, and US hostility toward it. In delving into conceptual models, we should start with the EU and theories related to actorness, power, and alliances. As for the ENP, it is rooted in the EU’s enlargement policy (and yet without the prospects of EU membership) and shared values and so theories related to regional integration would be relevant here. Rationalist theories of international relations versus constructivism would account for the possible logic(s) of action best summarized as “values versus interests” (Gstöhl 2017, 5). By focusing on conditionality, the EU has been focusing on an “external incentives model” over empowering domestic change agents (ibid.). The ENP is also a composite policy, drawing together foreign policy, sectoral EU policies, and different groups of policymakers together. The ENP attempts to draw on the EU’s experience of economic and political transitions, economic development, and modernization (Schumacher 2017, 4). Yet, little in the ENP literature draws on the socioeconomic experiences, political philosophy, and decision-making apparatus from the Southern Neighborhood, thus there is often a lacuna in many ENP studies. The Arab states in the Southern Neighborhood are generally considered to form part of the developing world. Since President Nasser of Egypt was a leading proponent and advocate for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which held its first conference in 1961, much emphasis has been placed on south–south relations, cooperation, and unity. Many of the EU member states on the other hand have been closely involved in the development of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since its inception in 1949. Only EU members Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Malta, and Sweden are not part of NATO. The EU is firmly of the mind that a partnership—the EMP—is the vehicle through which to deliver and enhance cooperation in the Southern Neighborhood. It

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goes beyond détente which is designed to ease hostility or strained relations and yet in so doing fails to recognize that significant tensions exist, especially on human rights. However, it stops short of a formal alliance, defined as: “formal associations of states for the use (or non-use) of military force, intended for either the security or the aggrandizement of their members, against specific other states” (Snyder 1990, 104). However, NATO has been active since 1994 in initiating a Mediterranean Dialogue with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. In 2004 NATO launched the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative to expand cooperation in the Middle East with Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE, on matters such as countering WMD, counterterrorism, NATO exercises, interoperability, advice on civil–military relations and border security (NATO 2019). There is potential for the number of MENA states involved in this to increase. The second conceptual framework is the history of engagement, from the third millennium BCE when sailors were trading across the Mediterranean to the arrival of the Greeks in Egypt in 332 BC through to the years of Islamic conquests across North Africa, in Egypt in 641, and into Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) in 711. This served to shift North African orientation back to the Arabian Peninsula, the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia. The successive waves of Christian crusades from 1095 to 1492 into the Holy Land, encompassing Jerusalem and the battles therein, have been etched into the history taught on all sides of the Mediterranean, in Turkey, Syria and Egypt, to France and Spain, which only drove out Arabs from their territories in 1492 after a series of wars known as the Reconquista. Chinese engagement in the Mediterranean is regarded as a new development and yet it rests on a history of Chinese engagement in the wider Middle East (Hormuz, Aden and East Africa). For example, Admiral Zheng He, who led China to become a superpower in the Indian Ocean, embarked on his first voyage in 1405 (Roell 2018, 2). From 1299 until its slow dissolution from 1792 to 1923, the Ottoman Empire served to influence the Southeast Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, interrupting Middle East–European contact and connections despite it being based in Europe. The French capture of Algiers in 1830, followed by the Ottoman reoccupation of Tripoli in 1835, interrupted North Africa’s attempts to follow Muhammad Ali, Pasha of Egypt, in gaining greater independence and control over their internal affairs. Muhammad Ali is widely credited with

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being the “Founder of Modern Egypt”, but the economic system based on expanding trade relations with Europe was already growing based on Egypt’s strategic location between the Ottoman Empire, Syria, and the Red Sea. The disparity in volume between commodities from Egypt such as rice, flax and wool, and finished goods from Europe such as medium quality cloth, coupled with the Mamluk’s purchase of European arms to bolster their efforts to control Egypt, made Europe a major trading partner (al-Sayyid-Marsot 1984). Not only did this make Egypt subject to European trade pressures and economic directives but also led to the reintroduction of exceptional taxes which were once used as a means to fund the civil wars between the Ojakat and Mamluks for control of the country. Although Morocco was defeated by France at the Battle of Isly in 1844 and by Spain at Tetuan in 1860, the support of Great Britain gave it some independence. Immigration from France, Italy and Spain to Algeria meant that around one sixth of the total population by 1900 were expatriates until the Algerian Revolution, led by the National Liberation Front (FLN), in 1954. A French protectorate was imposed on Tunisia in 1881– 1883 after the British withdrew their objections on French expansion in North Africa at the Congress of Berlin in 1878. The Morocco protectorate was established in 1912 which the French divided with Spain. Spain took control of the Rif Mountains in the North and the borderlands with the Sahara in the south. Libya was invaded by Italy in 1911 but resistance was put up by the Sennusiya Muslim Sufi sect who delayed Italian control of the whole country until 1931. Only after the Second World War were national liberation movements able to get a foothold, supported by the Arab League, but sometimes at a heavy cost from a protracted civil war as in the case of Algeria. Colonialism has thus sowed another layer of mistrust and antipathy across the Mediterranean, often within living memory. From this to effective and efficient EU relations with the Southern Neighborhood seems quite a leap, especially considering that the EU’s institutional history dates back only to 1950. The EU’s security response (e.g., from conditionality to taking the path of least resistance in cooperation agreements) and in follow-through (e.g., state-building after NATO intervention in Libya) has been insufficient to meet security challenges. Constructivism, that is the significance of historical and social aspects in international relations, would generally appear to hold here. Realism is also significant given the regional

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disorder currently being experienced and the high threat perception. Foucauld’s understanding of power might also prove appropriate in dissecting the ENP and contributing to our understanding of how knowledge and leading by example can shape power and norms in the Southern Neighborhood. Identity (including religious ties), experience and national independence will continue to trump new EU incentives. History has also left behind non-state actors still in search of a state, whether the Tuareg in the Sahara region or the Kurds living in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. They seek to enhance their nation-building activities which, their political legitimacy aside, have become an added complication in contemporary measures aimed at stabilization. The third conceptual issue to consider is socioeconomics, domestic politics, and regime security. Given the popular demand for “bread, freedom and social justice” during the Arab uprisings it is clear that popular political and economic concerns persist. As Morganthau (1974) found, all political action has moral consequences—there is no way to keep social and political life separate and therefore the onus is on moral judgment to chart the least evil course of action. In authoritarian regimes this might be hard to do as many economies remain state-led and open to accusations of crony capitalism and the marginalization of youth. Poverty, corruption, a bloated public sector, legislative and bureaucratic insufficiencies, dependence on foreign remittances from oil and gas exporters, and a limited number of industries such as tourism, keeps many Middle East and North African (MENA) economies rentier or semirentier, unstable and vulnerable to external shocks. A multilevel approach advanced by David and Nonneman (2005) helps to deal with the plethora of broad policy inputs at the domestic, regional, and international levels, and how their boundaries are often blurred. Linked to socioeconomic concerns are notions of governance, national security, and conflict. The lack of security sector reform (SSR), political contestation over the plethora of socioeconomic issues raised above, and authoritarian upgrading measures to ensure regime security and survival, all continue to pose threats to human security. This is clearly demonstrated by Dagher (2019) who explains the political calculations that President Assad made at the onset of the Arab Uprising which engulfed Syria. Again, elite politics gives credence to constructivist interpretations of political decision-making and policy outcomes. The fourth set of conceptual considerations includes the concepts of regionalism, inter-regionalism and borderlands. As Buzan (2007) notes,

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the scope of security should be broadened to include regional security, societal and environmental factors, and indeed any areas where the state feels threatened or vulnerable or has a major security interest. While structural realists such as Walt would assert that states look out for their own security interests first in an anarchic environment (and certainly the Middle East lacks the regional security institutions and capacities available in some other parts of the world), this creates a “security dilemma” due to the actions they take leading other states to take countermeasures (Lawson 2009). Arms races and antagonisms don’t often lead to war, but disagreements over the regional and international balance of power can. Balancing and alliance formation is key, but there remain many questions of how balancing will occur in an international environment undergoing rapid changes toward multipolarity. Meanwhile, Democratic Peace Theory, which dates back to at least the eighteenth century and enlightenment thinkers such as Immanuel Kant, suggests that the spread of democracies, including the strength of their domestic political institutions, political norms, and constructed identities, substantially mitigates against the risk of conflict (Reiter 2012). One of the main criticisms of the ENP is that it does not take into full consideration drivers of instability in the Mediterranean because many emanate from outside the Mediterranean (Heijl 2007; Browning and Joenniemi 2008). Significantly, Gulf and Levant politics have become well connected through Saudi–Iranian competition, proxy conflicts, and directed regional economic interventions. Enhanced economic integration between the EU and Gulf, through the renegotiation of a Free Trade Agreement (negotiations collapsed in 2009) and de-escalation measures, starting with dialogue as advanced by Sager and Mousavian (2019), could be a good place to start. Many controversies remain, including Germany blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia due to the Yemen conflict, concerns over human rights, and European states such as France trying to keep the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on track with Iran (BBC News 2019). Some of the states contributing to the Mediterranean refugee crisis are located in Central Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa. EU-MENA borderlands as researched by Del Sarto (2011–2017) shows that the EU has been trading access to the internal market for security and stability, without offering political participation to MENA states, and has therefore maintained an uneven balance of power. She also found that the EU co-opted MENA states in the EU’s management of migration, counterterrorism, and border controls. Because the ENP has been

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applied inconsistently, it challenges assumptions about the EU’s normative approach but also challenges any universal assertions of EU policy successes or failures. This study argues that there are a number of policy disconnects between the EU and Southern Neighborhood, especially as the shifting domestic, regional, and international landscape does not favor enhanced Mediterranean security cooperation. It points to the changing international environment and prospects for the maintenance of a loose federation of states in the regional system that favors maximum control over the domestic sphere as well as mistrust of other states, notably between Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, this volume identifies issues and areas which could impact favorably on EU-Southern Neighborhood (Mediterranean) security cooperation. Should the overarching and ambitious objective of Mediterranean security continue to falter, such measures could at least foster greater human security, contrary to Bull’s assertion that human rights principles risk undermining the international order (Dunne 2011). During a period of MENA state weakness and collapse, coupled with cases of emerging alliances with illiberal international powers, this volume also calls into question the existing states system (sovereignty and regional order) and any regional security construct based upon it.

Structure of the Volume In Chapter 2, Beck outlines the security threats as viewed by Europe and the key events, dynamics and complexities in the EU’s perceptions and relations with pivotal actors. In Chapter 3, Mason focuses on the mode of governance and perceptions in the MENA region and its impact on threat perception as well as EU–MENA cooperation. In Chapter 4, Pauwels zeros in on EU counterterrorism cooperation in the MENA region and discusses reasons why there have been successes and failures in this form of cooperation. Niemann and Blöser discuss migration in the Mediterranean and the “European refugee crisis” in Chapter 5, charting its development and impact. In Chapter 6, Giuli analyzes European energy security and subregional political dynamics with reference to oil and gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. In Chapter 7, Mason and Suchkov assess Russia’s participation in the Syria conflict and its relations with major regional actors to determine whether it has a Middle East strategy and what it might be, with ramifications for both the EU

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and NATO. In Chapter 8, Telci delves into the complexities of Turkey– EU relations over the last decade, noting the reorientation of Turkish foreign policy back to the Middle East following obstacles in the EU accession process and the realization of new geopolitical realities closer to home. In Chapter 9, Zoubir and Lounnas discuss the difficulty of merging the European and North African security complexes but also the necessity in doing so along the lines of counterterrorism, tackling illegal migration, and securing borders from the instability in the Sahel. They include specific reference to EU relations with Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya. In Chapter 10, Mason broadens out the geographical focus to assess the policies and actions of the USA, China, India, Japan, and the Gulf States in the Mediterranean. He also assesses the roles played in the region by the International Monetary Fund, the African Union and nonstate actors. All with the objective of contextualizing shifting and often strengthening interactions in the Southern Neighborhood which may challenge our assumptions about the EU’s current and possibly future role in the region. In Chapter 11, Mason sets about rethinking the current EU approach, followed by some concluding remarks about the state of the Euro-Mediterranean relationship.

References Al-Sayyid-Marsot, A. (1984). Egypt Under the Mamluks. In Egypt in the Reign of Muhammad Ali. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 1–23. BBC News. (2019). Iran Nuclear Deal: Macron and Rouhani Agree to Look at Conditions for Talks. 6 July. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middleeast-48897621 [accessed 19 March 2020]. Behr, T. (2014). The European Neighbourhood Policy: Going Full Circle? In R. Mason (ed.) The International Politics of the Arab Spring: Popular Unrest and Foreign Policy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 61–83. Biscop, S. (2003). EU Interests and Mediterranean Security. In EuroMediterranean Security: A Search for Partnership. Aldershot: Ashgate. Browning, C. and Joenniemi, P. (2008). Geostrategies of the European Neighbourhood Policy. European Journal of International Relations 14(3): 520–551. Buzan, B. (2007). People, State and Fear: An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era. Colchester: ECPR Press. Dagher, S. (2019). Assad or We Burn the Country: How One Family’s Lust for Power Destroyed Syria. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company.

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Delcour, L. (2017). Conclusions: Plus ça change, plus c’est le me me chose? The European Neighbourhood Policy and Dynamics of International and External Change. In Bouris, D. and Schumacher, T. (eds.) The Revised European Neighbourhood Policy: Continuity and Change in EU Foreign Policy. New York: Palgrave: 285–297. Del Sarto, R. (2006). Introduction. In Contested State Identities and Regional Security in the Euro-Mediterranean Area. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Del Sarto, R. (2011–2017). Borderlands: Boundaries, Governance and Power in the European Union’s Relations with North Africa and the Middle East. EUI Research Programme. https://www.eui.eu/DepartmentsAndCentres/Robert SchumanCentre/Research/ArchivesMigration/Borderlands. Dunne, T. (2011). The English School. In Goodin, R. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Political Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 730–748. EUR-Lex. The EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy. https://eur-lex.eur opa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=legissum:ai0026. European Commission. (2011). A Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean. 8 March. https://ec.europa.eu/res earch/iscp/pdf/policy/com_2011_200_en.pdf. Gambash, G. (2017). Servincing the Mediterranean Empire: Non-State Actors and Maritime Logistics in Antiquity. In Watkins, J. Non-State Actors in the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Studies 25(1): 9–32. Gstöhl, S. (2017). Theoretical Approaches to the European Neighbourhood Policy. In Gstöhl, S. and Schunz, S. (eds.) Theorizing the European Neighbourhood Policy. Abingdon: Routledge: 3–23. Hahn, J. (2017). Foreward. In Gstöhl, S. and Schunz, S. (eds.) Theorizing the European Neighbourhood Policy. Abingdon: Routledge: xv–xx. Heijl, N. (2007). Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Euro-Mediterranean Security Revisited. Mediterranean Politics 12(1): 1–16. Hobbes, T. (1660). The Leviathan or the Matter, Forme and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiastical and Civil. Huntington, S. (1991). The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. Khalaf, R. and Daneshkhu, S. (2011). France Regrets Misjudgement over Ben Ali. Financial Times. 18 January. https://www.ft.com/content/68bef0 c2–232a-11e0-b6a3-00144feab49a. Lawson, F. (2009). International Relations Theory and the Middle East. In Fawcett, L. (ed.) International Relations of the Middle East. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 21–36. Levenex, S. and Schimmelpfenig, F. (2011). EU Democracy Promotion in the Neighbourhood: From Leverage to Governance. Democratization 18(4): 885–909.

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Locke, J. (1689). Two Treatises of Government: An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent and End of Civil Government. Awnsham Churchill. Lower, M. (2017). New Wars, Old Wars, and Medieval Wars: European Mercenaries as State Actors in Europe and North Africa, ca. 1100–1500. In Watkins, J. Non-State Actors in the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Studies 25(1): 32–52. Morganthau, H. (1974). Scientific Man vs. Power Politics. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Miller, R. (2014). The Euro-Arab Dialogue and the Limits of European External Intervention in the Middle East, 1974–77. Middle Eastern Studies 50(6): 936–959. NATO. (2019). Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI). 5 December. https:// www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_58787.htm? [accessed 19 March 2020]. Nonneman, G. (2005). Analyzing the Foreign Policies of the Middle East and North Africa: A Conceptual Framework. In Nonneman, G. (ed) Analyzing Middle East Foreign Policies: And the Relationship with Europe. Abingdon: Routledge: 6–19. Pirillo, D. (2017). Espionage and Theology in the Anglo-Venetian Renaissance. In Watkins, J. Non-State Actors in the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Studies 25(1): 53–75. Reiter, D. (2012). Democratic Peace Theory, Oxford Bibliographies. 25 October. https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-978 0199756223/obo-9780199756223-0014.xml. Roell, P. (2018). China’s Interests and Challenges in the Mediterranean. ISPSW Strategy Series: Focus on Denfence and International Security. 578. September. https://ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/gess/cis/ center-for-securities-studies/resources/docs/ISPSW_578_Roell%20Langver sion%20Vortrag%20Athen%20Sep%202018.pdf [accessed 24 March 2020]. Sager, A. and Mousavian, S. (2019). It’s Time for the Leaders of Saudi Arabia and Iran to Talk. The New York Times. 14 May. https://www.nytimes.com/ 2019/05/14/opinion/saudi-arabia-iran.html. Schumacher, T. (2017). The European Neighbourhood Policy: The Challenge of Demarcating a Complex and Contested Field of Study. In Schumacher, T., Marchetti, A., and Demmelhuber, T. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook on the European Neighbourhood Policy. Routledge: 3–15. Smith, K. (2017). After Brexit, House of Lords EU External Affairs SubCommittee. 6 April. https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/e6a38ead-7c7e4a97-9d72-ec93b0d3dd62. Snyder, G. (1990). Alliance Theory: A Neorealist First Cut. Journal of International Affairs 44(1): 103–123.

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Wickham, C. (2007). Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400–800. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Youngs, R. (2006). Europe and the Middle East: In the Shadow of September 11. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.

CHAPTER 2

Security Threats from the Southern Mediterranean as Viewed by Europe: A Comparative Analysis of the “Long Year” of 1979 and the 2010s Martin Beck

Introduction It is now common wisdom that significant parts of the Southern Mediterranean experienced turmoil after the Arab uprisings. This assertion may hold particularly true of the Levant, where a brutal civil war has been ongoing in Syria since 2011 and a new sort of militant Islamist actor— the Islamic State—temporarily controlled Syrian and Iraqi territories as big as the territory of the UK (Beck et al. 2015). Moreover, conflicts that existed long before the Arab uprisings have recently witnessed increased violence, particularly in the form of striking down Gazan resistance against Israeli occupation (Osborne 2018). Yet, as the virtual breakdown of the central state in Libya as a result of the NATO intervention to bring down

M. Beck (B) University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_2

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the rule of Muammar Gaddafi shows (Western and Goldstein 2011), the turmoil does not stop short of the borders of the Levant but reaches out to other areas of the Southern Mediterranean. Although there are no “classic” immediate threats to European security, developments on the southern shore of the Mediterranean are to be considered relevant for the study of European security. Due to the omission of the overlying global East–West conflict, regional affairs and conflicts gained much closer attention and studies of regional security complexes rose in significance (Buzan and Wæver 2003; Hurrell 2007). In the light of the increased relevance of regional security complexes and their interlinkages, the European Union (EU) is not inclined to turn a blind eye to a war in its “backyard,” even less so as American engagement in the ongoing Syrian civil war has been much lower than previously, when Iraq had been the security hotspot of the Levant. Although most of the 5.6 million Syrians who fled the country stayed in the Levantine countries of Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, UNHCR (2018) shows a significant number of Syrians made it to territories of the EU. The count of Syrians submitting initial applications for asylum to countries of the EU (plus Norway and Switzerland) increased significantly in 2015 and exceeded the level of 750,000 in May 2016 (Migration Policy Center 2016). The refugee influx from Syria has become a major object of extreme politicization—or securitization—policies in Europe. Last but not least, the turmoil in the Levant touches upon security interests of Israel, which is considered by the political elites of the EU as an integral member of the “civilized Western world” whose security must be guaranteed. In order to identify the European perception on major security threats from the Southern Mediterranean in the 2010s and their linkages with one another, section two of this paper sketches a historical analysis whose pivot is the year 1979: After the Israeli–Egyptian peace treaty brokered by the USA in Camp David, security threats posed by actors from the Southern Mediterranean to the West in general and Europe in particular were lower than at any point before and after in contemporary history. By what features was this situation characterized in which—contrary to present times—security threats from the Levant appeared vastly absent? While attempting to answer this question, we refer to the “long” year of 1979, i.e., other structural features of significance beyond the Israeli– Egyptian peace treaty stretched out to the time before 1979 and the decade to follow.

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The reflections on the European perception of security threats stemming from the Southern Mediterranean in and around the year 1979 are meant to sharpen the analytical view on security threats posed in the 2010s by the Southern Mediterranean as perceived by the Europeans. In other words, applying the comparative perspective between the situation then and the 2010s helps to clarify the identification of challenges that the EU recently has had to cope with. Thus, the third section of this paper presents an analysis of what security threats Europe views itself as being exposed to and how it perceives them. As some but not all the security threats as perceived by the Europeans can be made sense of by applying a Rationalist logic (with “objective” threats), this chapter employs a Constructivist approach which, however, takes Rationalist insights (as derived from Realism and Institutionalism) seriously. Securitization is a special form of politicization created by speech acts. A securitizing speech act differs from regular ways of politicization insofar as the issue is dramatized and presented as a matter of “supreme priority,” i.e., something “which calls for extraordinary measures beyond the routines and norms of everyday politics” (Williams 2003; Buzan et al. 1998).

European Threat Perception of the Mediterranean in the Long Year of 1979 European actors were very active in contributing to making the Levant a “troublesome” region throughout the twentieth century. However, it is more than fifty years ago that the major imperialist powers of Europe— the United Kingdom (UK) and France—took the lead among Western nations in a war south of the Levant: the Suez War of 1956, in which the European actors in alliance with Israel attacked Egypt without the consent of Washington. From the last third of the twentieth century on, Hahn (1991) asserts that it has been the USA that has taken the lead when the West has directly or indirectly projected military power toward the Middle East in general and the Southern Mediterranean in particular. With decolonization and the European retreat from its role as the leading external military power in the Southern Mediterranean, the European perception has become increasingly shaped by the idea that it is the Southern Mediterranean that emanates (potential) security threats to which Europe (or the West) has to respond. At the same time, again from a European point of view, the year 1979 marked a low point in security

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threats posed by Levantine actors to the West. Thus, the question arises as to what features characterized this situation in contrast to the 2010s. First, in the 1950s, while other world areas such as Europe and major parts of Asia had long become hotspots of the Cold War, the Arab Mediterranean remained largely outside of the East–West conflict. At the same time, the USA created a Western stronghold in the region with Turkey becoming a member of NATO in 1952. In the 1960s and 1970s, however, the Southern Mediterranean, in particular Egypt and the Levant, became increasingly caught in the maelstrom of the global Cold War. In this period, Israel and the leading Arab republics—Egypt and Syria—took the roles of proxies of the two superpowers. Therefore, the peace treaty concluded between Israel and Egypt in Camp David in 1979 ended the Cold War in the Middle East ten years before its termination on a global scale. The then two most powerful Middle Eastern actors in terms of military capabilities—Israel and Egypt—terminated a war-prone constellation with the potential of a global spillover, as had become crucial in the October War 1973 (Rabinovich 2012). The end of the Cold War in the Southern Mediterranean in 1979 notwithstanding, the Europeans could rely on a pronounced readiness of the USA to invest in Western security interests in the whole of the Middle East until the end of the East–West conflict and beyond under the conditions of unipolarity after 1989. Second, the Egyptian–Israeli peace treaty of 1979 also marked a year in which the security complex of the Levant was de-linked from North Africa after Egypt had linked the security complexes of North Africa and the Levant for more than two decades. From a European perspective, de-linking the security complexes in the Southern Mediterranean from one another became particularly beneficial after the end of the East–West confrontation in the 1990s and the early twenty-first century. Thus, Camp David 1979 contributed to a long-term reduction of threats from the Southern Mediterranean toward Europe in the sense that the EU enjoyed a reduction in complexity in its security relations with the Southern Mediterranean. Third, after having achieved a compelling victory in the June War of 1967, Israel also managed to win peace in 1979: The Egyptian attempt to replace Israel as the major Western ally failed (Telhami 1990). Thus, occasional criticism of the Israeli occupation policy in Palestine notwithstanding, the West, under the leadership of the USA and with the support of the big three powers in Europe (France, Germany, and the UK), chose

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Israel as its only steadfast Middle Eastern ally: The alliance with Israel was constructed as being based on shared values such as democracy (Barnett 1991). The unconditional European support for Israel and the expressed value-based obligation to provide it was, however, of low practical relevance, because Israel enjoyed firm military support in the framework of the US–Israeli “special relationship.” This was a formula that had been introduced by Jimmy Carter in 1977 and frequently reiterated by his successors as presidents of the USA (Reich 1996). Thus, the European commitment to Israel’s security back then was rather unproblematic. Fourth, in the year 1979, the Arab Mediterranean countries were governed by authoritarian regimes which, albeit being rather weak in terms of promoting socioeconomic development, controlled strong coercive capabilities vis-à-vis their societies. Irrespective of never being tired of paying lip service to promoting democratization in the Middle East, the EU prioritized stability in the region: Stabilizing the Middle East, however, actually required the EU not to promote democratization, as such a process would have destabilized the authoritarian regimes. Thus, in the frame of different policy initiatives, the most famous of which is the “Barcelona Process,” the EU established close ties with the authoritarian regimes of the Southern Mediterranean, inter alia through the application of “association agreements”—region-wide, with the exception of Syria and Libya. Stability-oriented political elites of the EU benefited from this policy in the form of a rather low migration rate from the Southern to the Northern Mediterranean. The only significant exception—forced Palestinian migration primarily from Lebanon to Europe in the 1980s— was mainly absorbed by the at that time refugee-welcoming Danish and Swedish societies and thus appeared to be a kind of limited collateral damage of European support for Israel and their allies in the Lebanese Civil War (cf. Dorai 2003). Fifth, although Europe witnessed terrorist attacks from the Southern Mediterranean in the 1970s and thereafter, they did not appear as a major threat from the Middle East to Europe. The Munich Massacre (1972) and the hijacking of the Achille Lauro (1985) by Palestinian terror entities were without any doubt spectacular. However, the degree to which they threatened the state order in Europe and provoked massive countermeasures by the affected states paled against European armed groups such as the Red Army Faction in Germany, the Basque separatist group ETA in Spain, and the Irish Republican Army in the UK. Moreover, contrary to some of the European militant groups, at that time those from

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the Southern Mediterranean enjoyed no social support among European societies.

Recent EU Security Challenges Posed by the Southern Mediterranean The five features of the long year of 1979 as elaborated above are now revisited with a focus on security challenges posed in the 2010s by the Southern Mediterranean toward Europe as perceived by the European political establishment. New Complexities of Security Threats from the Southern Mediterranean The immediate aftermath of the terminated East–West confrontation in the Southern Mediterranean (1979) and on a global scale (1989), respectively, was shaped by the reduced complexity of the regional security system: US hegemony in the region of the Middle East was uncontested and thus the overall regional security complex of the Mediterranean was shaped by a unipolar structure on the global level. The USA was not only the only superpower left but also the only great “regional” power in the Middle East: As a result of the implementation of the Carter Doctrine of 1980, the military capabilities which the USA had at its disposal in the Middle East by far outweighed those of local actors (Juneau 2014). Also, US political-diplomatic capacities ready to be deployed to the Middle East were significantly higher than those of any state in the Middle East and regional organizations such as the Arab League (Beck 2014, 2015). Not only did the USA control the highest power capabilities, but America was also fully committed to projecting them toward the Middle East. Indeed, the USA managed to impress the world in 1991 by an effective campaign against Iraq in whose course the sovereignty of Kuwait, which had been annexed by Saddam Hussain in 1990, was fully restored. After this military success, the USA proved that it is also capable of launching a major political project: Under the leadership of President Bill Clinton, the USA hijacked Israeli–Palestinian negotiation channels that had been facilitated by Norway and converted them into official “peace” negotiations between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (Shlaim 2016). The USA continued to prioritize the Middle East in the frame of its “war against terrorism” at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Iraq

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was chosen as the major military target in the Middle East: In an extensive campaign, the regime of Saddam Hussain was toppled and replaced by an occupational regime. Moreover, the Administration of George W. Bush heavily supported Israel in marginalizing the PLO headed by Yasser Arafat until 2004, thereby converting the Palestinian organization under Chairman Mahmud Abbas into a junior partner of Israeli-occupied Palestine (cf. Purkiss and Nafi 2015). After the Arab uprisings, the USA, albeit still being capable of acting as a hegemonic power in the Middle East, appeared to be more selective in doing so. The Administration headed by Barack Obama welcomed the “Arab Spring” and through the NATO intervention in Libya 2011, which was actively supported by France, the UK, and other members of the EU, even leveraged the downfall of Gaddafi’s regime. Obama also significantly extended drone warfare in the Middle East, including Syria (Miller 2015). However, the USA did not take appropriate measures to prevent the counterrevolution in Egypt; US allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had full leeway to support Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s usurpation of power in Egypt in July 2013, which terminated (for the time being) the democratization process in Egypt (Hassan 2015; Cher-Leparrain 2017). The most prominent case of the recent relative aloofness of the USA in the Southern Mediterranean is its limited engagement in the Syrian civil war, which made it possible for other external and regional actors—such as Russia and Hezbollah, respectively—to interfere with high impact. The recent relative aloofness of the USA has major repercussions for Europe, as the Southern Mediterranean security complex which had been shaped by American hegemony for decades is about to be transformed into a highly complex multipolar system. Some of the new players that recently gained significance in the Southern Mediterranean have rather fierce relations with the EU, in particular Russia and even more so Hezbollah. Moreover, Iran, whose relative power had increased as a windfall gain of the American war against Iraq in 2003, managed to boost its influence in Iraq and in Syria, thereby creating what has been labeled a “Shia corridor” to the Mediterranean: As Hezbollah is a genuine alliance partner to Iran, it may be argued that Tehran has de facto become a regional power in the Southern Mediterranean (Chulov 2017). The increased regional role of Saudi Arabia may at first glance appear less problematic from a European point of view because the regime in Riyadh is a European ally. Yet, the offensive regional policies of the Gulf

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States add to the complexity of security issues in the Southern Mediterranean. Furthermore, the idiosyncrasies of the strongmen in Saudi Arabia and the UAE—Crown Princes Mohammad bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed, respectively—occasionally jeopardize European interests in regional stability. For the time being, the most spectacular crisis triggered by the Saudi regime in the Southern Mediterranean was the forced resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri via a television statement in Riyadh. If resolute diplomatic action at this time had not united the Lebanese political elite and diplomatic support from France had managed to keep Hariri in office, Lebanon and the whole Levant could have destabilized, with incalculable repercussions for Europe (The Guardian 2017). New Linkages of the Mediterranean Security Complex It has been argued above that the Southern Mediterranean security complex has become more involved due to the activation of new players. This section argues that the activation of some security players has become so dense that the security complex of the Levant has become linked with that of the Gulf. Partly due to the relative disengagement of the USA, as described above, a conflict over regional hegemony among regional actors has emerged, with Iran and Saudi Arabia plus Israel as the protagonists. The rivalry between Iran and the Gulf monarchies, in particular Saudi Arabia, has its point of departure in the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The East–West Conflict in the Gulf had been terminated even long before it was in the Levant: The Gulf monarchies were allied with the UK and, in the case of Saudi Arabia, with the USA from 1945, when US President Franklin D. Roosevelt met King ibn Saud on the USS Quincey. An intense US–Soviet conflict over Iran during and in the immediate aftermath of World War Two was determined in favor of America at the latest with the CIA-backed forced removal of Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadegh from office and the restoration of the Shah regime at Washington’s mercy (cf. Gavin 1999). Iraq briefly flirted with the Soviet Union after the Baathists seized power in 1968. Yet, due to limits in shared policy perspectives with Moscow and its strong dependence on the AngloSaxon dominated Iraq Oil Company, Iraq remained firmly embedded in the Western camp (Fukuyama 1980). Despite the massive escalation of conflicts in the Gulf and the Levant after 1979—in particular the Iran—Iraq War from 1980 to 1988 and the

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Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the two security complexes remained to a large extent separated from each other. External intervention from the superpowers was low, too. As long as global oil distribution was not affected, Iraq and Iran were not hindered from waging a ravaging war. In the 1982 Lebanon War, the impact of superpower intervention was largely confined to enabling the leadership of the militarily devastated PLO to move into exile to Tunis. Although in the July War of 2006 Israel’s major objective was to eradicate Iran’s Mediterranean ally, Hezbollah, this armed conflict also did not spillover into the Gulf security complex. There are several indicators that the security complexes of the Levant and the Gulf have recently become entangled with each other through an anti-Iranian axis in the making, which is composed of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Three of these indicators deserve closer attention: Saudi Arabia’s support for the Sisi regime in Egypt, which encompassed the further marginalization of Hamas in the Gaza Strip due to close Israeli–Egyptian cooperation; the Arab League’s condemnation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization; and the fact that US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal was welcomed by two major states only: Israel and Saudi Arabia. Sisi’s seizure of power in Egypt caused a devastating situation for Hamas. The Egyptian regime banned Hamas in Egypt and stopped the policy of tolerance concerning tunnels that Hamas had dug toward the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula (Trager 2014). These tunnels had become the infrastructural backbone of the private economy and had provided Hamas—through a bureaucratized customs regime—with a major source of revenue (Pelham 2012). Therefore, reinforced by a tightening up of the Israeli blockade policy, the Gaza Strip experienced a severe economic and humanitarian crisis from which it has not recovered to date. Thus, by supporting Sisi’s regime, Saudi Arabia also contributed to the weakening of Palestinian capabilities to cope with the hardships of occupation. As the outcome of a Saudi Arabian initiative, Basim and Abizeidl wrote that in March 2016 the Arab League’s foreign ministers’ committee condemned Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, with only two members stipulating reservations: Iraq and Lebanon. The then Saudi Ambassador to Egypt, Ahmad Kattan, added fuel to the flames by elaborating that “We will deal with Hezbollah as we deal with any terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries have begun preparing measures it will take against that terrorist party and they will be announced at the right time” as quoted in Alsharif (2016). Even though Saudi Arabia lacks

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the military means to walk over Hezbollah, the Arab League’s move is remarkable in the light of the fact that Hezbollah (still) enjoys the reputation among many segments of Arab societies of being the most effective and uncorrupted Arab force positioned against Israel. Ideologically, the Arab League went much further than the EU in its condemnation of Hezbollah and joined forces with the USA and its allies Canada and Australia, as well as Israel, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accordingly praised the Arab League’s decision (Staff, Times of Israel 2016). The Saudi-initiated Arab League declaration of Hezbollah as a terrorist group is insofar a stunning novelty in the history of the organization’s declaratory policy, as it had never before launched a policy move that to such a high extent courted US-American and Israeli interests and at the same time contradicted the political attitudes of many politicized social groups in the Arab world. When on May 9, 2018 Trump announced the USA’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—colloquially known as the Iran nuclear deal—this provoked a political outcry in large parts of the world, particularly also among Western allies of the USA. At the same time, Trump’s move was vehemently applauded in unison by the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia. From a Realist standpoint, it may be claimed that such an alliance, based on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, makes sense. However, any Saudi–Israeli collusion appears remarkable when a Social Constructivist perspective is applied according to which the idea of politicized sectarianism shapes regional relations in the Middle East beyond mere instrumentalization of completely nonideological power-oriented elites (cf. Gause 2014; Calculli and Legrenzi 2016). The Problematique of the EU’s Affinity to Israel Even though Syria under the Assad regime is an exception and although relations have not always been stressless in all cases—such as with Egypt in the 1960s—in general the EU had managed to develop rather good relations with the southern arbiters of the Mediterranean after the era of colonialism by the late 1970s and beyond. Yet, European relations with Israel clearly stand out among all Southern Mediterranean arbiters in two respects. First and foremost, the steadfastly defined European relationship with Israel is constructed on shared values such as “democracy” and the “rule of law.” Contrary to the “otherness” attributed to Arab

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states and societies, Israel has been embraced as being one of them in terms of political culture and sociocultural affinity. Second, the Europeans have always pointed out that Jewish Israel is a legitimate state in the Levant and that its security must be maintained. Due to the high US military engagement in the frame of its special relationship with Israel, the European security engagement with Israel has become of rather symbolic value. Nevertheless, the ties are strong, as Israel is framed in the light of collective commemoration of the Holocaust as indispensable for the global task of providing the Jewish people with a safe haven protecting it from militant anti-Semitism. Until 1989, when regional conflicts were interpreted mainly through the Realist prism of the global Cold War, Europeans were not alert to Israel’s security because, as has been outlined above, Israel had won both war (1967) and peace (1979). There were incidents of anti-Israeli terrorism such as the attack against the Israeli Olympic team in Munich 1972, yet Israeli territory remained unaffected. The PLO proved to be incapable of setting foot into Israel within its borders of 1949. Moreover, although Europe started to build some pressure on Israel by demanding in its 1980 Venice Declaration that the PLO be integrated on the diplomatic level, normative pressure to change the occupational regime over Palestine was still limited: With reference to its Charter, the PLO was presented by Israel as a terrorist organization with whom to share power in Palestine was not a reasonable demand. Thus, by 1979 Israel was not under effective pressure to bow to European “normative power” (cf. Manners 2002). Several recent developments have made European–Israeli relations much more problematic for the Europeans. One is marked by Trump’s decision to move the American embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018. This action was as such not much more than a symbolic act that officially acknowledged facts on the ground. However, Netanyahu’s ostentatious appraisal of this move makes it difficult for the EU to maintain the balancing act between its realpolitik of de facto acknowledging what breaches international law and makes attempts to reach an accommodation with the PLO appear to be an impossible mission—Israel’s reign over East Jerusalem and its claim that the city as a whole is its eternal capital on the one hand and its declaratory policy of promoting “peace” in the Levant on the other. The issue of Jerusalem only highlights the structural crisis of the European-sponsored concept of solving the Israeli–Palestinian conflict by promoting a Palestinian state

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to live in peaceful coexistence with Israel. At the latest since the failure of the Oslo negotiations in 2000, the EU has vehemently attempted to convince Israel of freezing the Zionist settlement of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, whose acceleration has nevertheless been ongoing since the Oslo process. The issue from a European perspective is that it becomes increasingly implausible to uphold the normative idea of the Palestinian right to self-determination in the face of an Israeli policy of creating facts on the ground that inhibits its implementation. At the same time, the only actual way out—to put effective pressure on Israel—is not an option for the EU, as it is both powerless (in the wake of unconditional American support for Israel) and unwilling to confront Israel (as the Jewish state is constructed as an integral member of the Western community of values). In the light of these constraints, the EU does not have any viable alternatives other than to continue walking a rather absurd tightrope. Beck (2017) outlines these options as carrying on with promulgating normatively inspired policies and coming out with “peace” initiatives whose failure is predetermined. What is often overlooked in the wake of Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is the more fundamental problematique of the Iran nuclear deal itself, which had been bargained in 2015 with Iran by global actors of which the EU had been one of the most significant. The deal failed in two ways to appropriately politicize Middle Eastern nuclear weaponry. First, it was based on the scenario that Iran, being a military nuclear power, would be an extraordinary threat to security in the Middle East and beyond. Thus, the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently opposed the deal reflected not a conflict over ends but just means—this is how to prevent Iran from becoming a military nuclear power. In other words, the Western approach implied the securitization of Iran potentially becoming a military nuclear power. Rather than de-securitizing—or re-politicizing—the alleged Iranian military nuclear program, the Iran nuclear deal upheld the image of Iran going nuclear as a horror scenario. At the same time, Israel’s actual nuclear weaponry was not politicized, for instance, no initiative was taken to implement the idea of a Middle East Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (MENWFZ) (cf. Bahgat 2015). The fact that the EU and its most powerful members contributed to the securitization of potential Iranian nuclear weaponry and refrained from politicizing the Israeli potential for the same reflects unconditional

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European support for Israel inhibits a rational foreign policy toward the Middle East (Beck 2018). Finally, owing to the weakened regime of Bashar al-Assad in the wake of the uprisings in Syria, opportunities emerged for local and external actors such as Hezbollah and Iran to deploy military units on Syrian territory. Concerned by the scenario that Hezbollah and Iran might use their presence in Syria to establish a front line with Israel, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes since 2017—by its own account two hundred by September 2018—on Syrian territory (World Israel News). When in early 2018 an escalation of the conflict loomed, the International Crisis Group demanded from all actors that they exercise restraint and contribute to de-escalation in order to “prevent Syria from becoming a theatre for Hizbollah-Israel and Iran-Israel wars” (ICG 2018). In their foreign policies, instead of supporting such a reasonable approach that had prospects of de-escalation, European actors were more inclined to take sides with Israel, as demanded by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), which called for action to be taken on the diplomatic level to “pressure Iran to scale-down its military presence” in Syria (Murciano 2018). The European “Refugee Crisis” as a Result of the Demise of Authoritarian States in the Middle East The Middle East has been predominantly governed by authoritarian regimes since World War Two. As Middle Eastern authoritarian states are rather weak in terms of promoting socioeconomic development but strong in controlling domestic security and borders, this feature implies that the states of the Southern Mediterranean control their borders rather well. Although most authoritarian regimes of the Middle East proved to be robust when challenged by the Arab upheavals of 2010/2011, some were removed—with the overthrow of Ben Ali’s regime in Tunisia as the case par excellence—and some others lost the capabilities that are typical of consolidated authoritarian regimes, such as control over domestic security and borders, in particular Syria. The loss of authoritarian border control has contributed to an increased influx of refugees from the Southern Mediterranean toward Europe. Where old authoritarian regimes stayed in power (e.g., Morocco) or were replaced by new ones (e.g., Egypt since the military coup of 2013) or political systems in transition, the EU responded to the

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challenge of irregular migration by applying their traditional policy instruments such as the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and launching new instruments such as “mobility partnership facilities” (Migration and Home Affairs 2018; The European Delegation to Egypt 2016). Particular attention from the EU was given to the three countries that hosted the bulk of Syrian refugees: Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Thus, the aim of the “Compacts” with Lebanon and Jordan (EU–Lebanon Partnership 2017; EU–Jordan Partnership 2017, respectively), and the “EU–Turkey Agreement” with the government in Ankara was to prevent Syrian refugees from moving on to Europe (Press Release Database 2016; Deutsche Welle 2018). Moreover, the EU took strong unilateral measures supporting border control, particularly by upgrading the “European Border and Coast Guard Agency” (Frontex). The above-outlined European policies were to a high degree the result of pressure from EU member states and societies. Different occurrences and varying degrees notwithstanding, all European societies and their governments securitized the refugee influx, particularly from the Southern Mediterranean, thereby creating a “refugee crisis.” Leverage for this securitization policy was to a high degree the attributed cultural otherness of Muslim refugees. Populist parties and movements took the lead and were able to set the agenda up to a degree that—except for major parts of Eastern Europe, including Austria and East Germany—by far outweighed their “objective” political weight when measured by social mobilization capabilities and voters’ turnout. They succeeded to a high degree because the whole political spectrum from the moderate left to the moderate right became prone to securitizing Muslim refugees. A case study for the thesis that securitizing the influx of refugees to Europe is propagated not only by right-wing populist parties is the allegation that immigrants drain the resources of European countries. It is certainly true that right-wing populists are most outspoken in portraying immigration as a cause for draining the resources of their host countries: During her campaign for French presidency, President of the National Front Marine Le Pen portrayed Muslim immigrants from the Southern Mediterranean as having flooded France and drained French resources (Cooper 2017). Yet, the basic argument was also launched by centrist conservative politicians such as Theresa May, who in her then capacity as Home Secretary argued in a speech delivered in 2011 “… we know what damage uncontrolled immigration can do. …To our infrastructure, as our housing stock and transport system become overloaded. And to

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our public services, as schools and hospitals have to cope with a sudden increase in demand.” Against this background, May (2011) legitimized extraordinary measures such as drastically “cutting immigration” and “removing foreign nationals who, in all sanity, should have no right to be here.” The argument that immigration drains resources also falls on fertile ground among major segments of European social democrats. Thus, in 2016 the Danish Social Democratic Party supported a law that entitled state agencies to confiscate the possessions of refugees to compensate for expenses paid for them—and this, although the parliamentary votes of the oppositional Social Democratic Party would not have been necessary to pass the law (Al Jazeera 2016). Islamist Terrorism Islamist terrorism and the subsequent declaration of the “war against terrorism” have become most prominent on a global scale since the attacks on the twin towers on September 11, 2001, and the responses taken by the Administration of President George W. Bush, respectively (Global Policy Forum 2018). Several new developments in the second decade of the twenty-first century added complexity to the European perception of a terrorist threat stemming from the Mediterranean. Again, often these threats are not objectively given but rather can be best understood as a matter of securitization policies. Hereby the socially constructed linkage between migration and terrorism plays a crucial role. The rise of the Islamic State was the first (temporarily) successful attempt of militant Islamism to establish a rule on a large-scale contiguous territory amid the Levant. The threat perception on the European side was thereby fueled by constructing the establishment of a “caliphate” as the expansion of a totalitarian ideology to the whole of the Islamic if not the entire world. Accordingly, the Obama Administration, with farreaching support from the Europeans, organized a containment policy based on air warfare. Biddle and Shapiro (2015) note that this proved to be very costly, particularly for the civilian population exposed to the rule of the Islamic State on the ground. Another recent phenomenon that the rise of the Islamic State brought about was a new sort of connection between Middle Eastern-based militant Islamism and terrorist violence committed in Europe by Jihadist activism, which took basically two different forms. First, as became prominently apparent in the Paris attacks in November 2015, the Islamic

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State had supporters inside European societies. Most of the perpetrators of the suicide attacks and shootings in Paris in November 2015 for which the Islamic State claimed ownership were French and Belgian citizens. This also applies to many other terrorist attacks of the Islamic State in Europe. Although most prominent perpetrators were descendants of migrant workers from North Africa, these attacks nevertheless fueled attempts to securitize the recent refugee influx from the Levant. Second, the Islamic State recruited Jihadists from Europe, mainly (but not exclusively) young men with migration background from Muslim countries. This phenomenon caused European security services to target Islamic organizations and institutions such as mosques as potential security threats. Moreover, the return of radicalized Jihadists to their homes in Europe was portrayed as a potential future threat to European security (Bakker and de Bont 2016).

Conclusion In the light of the long year of 1979, in which Europe saw itself exposed to security threats from the Southern Mediterranean only to a low degree, this chapter identified and elaborated on five contemporary security threats stemming from territories of the southern arbiters of the Mediterranean Sea as perceived by the Europeans. First, it has been shown that the Southern Mediterranean security complex has recently turned into a pronounced multipolar system. Thus, it has become much more complicated for the EU to assess security risks and find adequate responses. Second, what adds to this feature of increased complexity is that the security complexes of the Levant and the Gulf have recently become interlinked: Saudi Arabia and Israel have formed a sort of tacit “unholy alliance” against their common enemy Iran. This constellation increases the danger of confrontations in the Levant and spillovers to the Gulf. Third, Europe’s affinity with Israel adds to the challenges the EU is exposed to from the Southern Mediterranean in the sense that it is more difficult for the EU to effectively pursue its security interests, some of which are hardly compatible with Israel’s perspectives. This has become most obvious in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal and Trump’s withdrawal from it, respectively. The bargain of the nuclear deal was problematic because it upheld the image of Iran going militarily nuclear as a horror scenario, thereby fostering the securitization of Tehran’s nuclear program

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without even re-politicizing Israel’s factual nuclear arsenal. This shortfall enabled Trump, supported by Netanyahu, to pitch an aggressive policy toward Iran with incalculable impact on the Middle Eastern security complexes. Fourth, the Syrian civil war and the disintegration of the Libyan state after Gaddafi’s removal from power have resulted in an increase in forced migration from the Southern to the Northern Mediterranean. The influx of refugees became an object of securitization that was spearheaded by right-wing populist actors. Yet, they were successful in setting the political agenda as the topoi used by right wingers tended to land on fruitful soil with centrist and even leftist groups. Finally, securitizing actors have also linked migration from the Southern Mediterranean to Europe with terrorism, thereby fabricating a “refugee crisis” that calls into question European peace.

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CHAPTER 3

Governance and Threat Perception in the Southern Neighborhood Robert Mason

Introduction The nature of national security challenges looks altogether different from a Southern Neighborhood perspective compared to the EU. This could be considered to be the case for three main reasons. First, the divergent foreign policies of traditional regional powers such as Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran creates tensions, instabilities, and the potential for conflict which undermines regional security and promotes bilateralism with external security guarantors such as the USA. This is in contrast to the close alignment of the E3: the UK, France, and Germany which coordinate responses to many major foreign policy issues. Second and related to the first, is the absence of any comprehensive indigenous security organization similar to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Third, the priorities of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, which have generally escaped the “globalization of democracy” differ

R. Mason (B) Middle East Studies Center, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_3

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markedly from those of democratic states and tend to focus on regime survival first and foremost which skews the concept of national security and the policy response (Diamond 2010). That is partly because the state bureaucracy is dominated by the military and intelligence services, has poorly reconciled sectarian, Islamist and reform-minded groups, and because rentier and semi-rentier states have been in retreat in many cases after the declining oil price from 1986 in conjunction with rapid population growth. This has meant that state interests have narrowed and increasingly diverged with broader national perspectives to the point that the primary threat to these regimes during the Arab uprisings was the nation and an emerging public body politik. The result has often been the use of greater repression and what Heydemann and Leenders (2011) classify as a ‘bunker state’ mentality which prizes fortified presidential palaces and mega-projects over establishing the preconditions for broad-based economic growth. The Arab uprisings began in Tunisia but quickly spread to Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain. Within a year Zine al-Abidine of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen and Muammar Qadhafi of Libya were removed from office. Further demonstrations took place in Morocco, Iraq, Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, and Sudan. The result has either been state collapse or the reassertion of authoritarianism incorporating shifts in political legitimacy and modifications to state–society relations. The variation in outcome can be attributed to the level of what Heydemann (2016) calls “stateness” in each case, i.e., the degree to which the dynamic of state elites and social actors engaged in contestation over the limits of state power. During political transitional periods, Islamist groups and civil society organizations were freer to operate and proliferated while political participation expanded and public opinion was more commonly expressed. All are perceived as existential threats to the state. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood-led government was ousted after a year. This chapter discusses the role of the military in governmental affairs, Islamist threats to the state, economic forces and the status quo, social forces and political pluralism, disconnects between the ENP and MENA state values, and a possible way forward.

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The Role of the Military in Governmental Affairs The military plays an important security, and sometimes political and economic role in the governance of some Middle East states, especially in Egypt, Algeria, Turkey and Israel. Once a force for reform and nationalism, in these contexts they are now more often the guarantor of the status quo. However, there is wide divergence as to the role of the military in each state in the Southern Neighborhood and their overall effect on state–society relations. In Egypt, which accounts for one third of the MENA region’s population, the military has played a significant role in overseeing the rise of Arab nationalism but also increasing religious conservatism by casting itself as the defender of Islam. As analysts such as Salem (2014) attest, this tends not to work because few Islamists perceive the state in this way. In the 1970s, President Sadat oversaw a liberalization of Egypt’s politics and economics, peace with Israel and closer relations with the USA and Europe. President Mubarak would then go on to propose a Mediterranean Forum in November 1991 as a way to diversify Egypt’s international relations in the new era of US hegemony (Del Sarto 2006, 153) and regain status following the formation of the Euro-Maghreb 5+5 formula which excluded Egypt (Shama 2019, 99). The forum grew to include Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Malta by 1997 and included cooperation on development, security, transport, the environment, science, and a broader political dialogue (ibid.). Egypt has been a member of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) since it was established in 2008 where some progress has been made on energy, technology, and youth. Europe remains Egypt’s largest trading partner, second largest aid donor to Egypt and a partner in Egypt’s war on terrorism. 2013 saw the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) intervene to depose the Islamist incumbent president, Mohamed Morsi, after just one year in office. In his place, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Director of Military Intelligence and Former Minister of Defense, stood in a 2014 presidential election against just one other candidate. Since the 1952 Free Officers coup, the military have increased their activities in the national economy from traditional activities such as manufacturing cement to more recently providing higher education (Reuters 2018). In Algeria, the military remains a cohesive force, able to leverage the civil war in its favor and oil revenues to build alliances. As Quandt (2004) asserts, only when oil

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prices have dropped has the government had to engage in token gestures of reform. Since Turkey’s founding in 1923, six out of nine presidents have had military backgrounds. The military has traditionally played the role of upholding national unity and democracy and has intervened in 1960, 1971, and 1980 and remains an important interest group. But since the alleged military and Gulenist sponsored coup of July 2016, President Erdogan has undermined checks and balances and consolidated power with little regard for building consensus. Turkish politics thus remains polarized along nationalist, populist, and religious lines. In Israel, the military played a significant role during the Military Government 1948–1966 and continues to form a major part of the lived experience for many Palestinians in the occupied territories. Although a democratic state, politics is often tied closely to security, and politicians from the military, such as Benjamin Gantz, the former military chief and challenger to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the 2019 elections. Both served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the military remains important in high tech research and development activities which can eventually make their way into the civilian sector. Despite Israeli assertions that it will control all territory west of the Jordan River, Israel has given up security control over parts of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The military is becoming increasingly important and active in Tunisian politics due to the security challenges the country faces and the lack of expertise among the country’s civilian leaders (Grewal 2016). In Libya, the Libyan National Army (LNA) is dominated by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar who represents an alternative node of power and is pursuing open confrontation with the internationally recognized government in Tripoli. Morocco, like Tunisia, is also undergoing a period of reform in the context of coup proofing and institutionalization which Saidy (2018) points to as allowing for more stable state–society relations based on norms, principles, and procedures. The PA has a security force of about 30,000 men created after the Oslo Accords which includes politics, intelligence, and civil defense capabilities that are undergoing a period of reform, including crack downs on Hamas (Zilber and Al-Omari 2018). The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) are likewise undergoing a period of reform after the withdrawal of Syrian troops in 2005, supported by the international community as a way to undercut the dualism and delicate balance that exists with

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Hezbollah as an autonomous and domestically legitimate security force. Hezbollah is now being sanctioned both as a military and political force in Lebanese politics. Jordan is a monarchy and has undertaken joint ventures with foreign defense companies from Australia to Saudi Arabia, which Marshall (2013) says includes portable drones and armored vehicles within the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB or “kad-bee”).

Islamists Vying for Political Legitimacy and Influence Islamist groups have long posed a threat to ruling Arab regimes in the MENA region, but particularly after the poor performance by Arab militaries and Israel’s success in capturing Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. By the 1970s, the political mobilization of Islamists stood against the backdrop of globalization. The end of the oil boom from 1986 provided a further incentive for Islamist groups to question the retreat of the Arab state from various social welfare programs. Islamist forces form one of the main dividing lines in Middle East politics, along with sectarian lines (Sunni/Shia) and the old establishment, versus radicals in favor of more extensive reform or revolution of the entire political system. However, Islamist groups are not the only manifestation of Islamic revival or Islamist inspired politics in the Middle East. Traditionally these groups have been prevalent outside of the Southern Neighborhood, in states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. Other states such as Turkey, through a Kemalist Islamic discourse, have supported Islamists abroad and continue to do so. In Egypt, the potential impact of Islamist actors such as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) have been absorbed through the cooptation of the religious establishment of Al Azhar, promoting developmental priorities, and limiting public criticism through repressive measures. The notable exception in the latter case was Al Azhar challenging the government in 1994 at the UN Conference on Population and Development in Cairo (Moustafa 2000). The MB is one of the most prominent groups with political Islam at its core. It’s founding slogan was ‘al-islam huwa al-hal (‘Islam is the solution’). Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the MB, was assassinated in 1949. The group was banned by the Egyptian government and many activists were imprisoned throughout the 1950s in response to increasingly militant activities. The group became prominent again in the 1960s

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among the educated middle classes amid a weakening of the secular state and during a rapid modernization process. State repression led Sayyid Qutb to expound a more militant approach against what was perceived to be a decline of the Arab state into the period of jahiliyyah (preIslamic ignorance) before he was executed in 1966. The MB’s political trajectory cannot be considered simply as a response to postcolonial development, since the discourse on Islam and social change goes back to the eighteenth century. Under President Sadat, the MB activities were constrained to social and religious activities only, with splinter groups rejecting nonviolent alternatives and political marginalization. Islamic jihad would assassinate Sadat in 1981 and Islamist groups morphed into the global jihadi movement, initially led by Al Qaeda. The Egyptian establishment struggled with the MB up to the election of Mohamed Morsi to the Egyptian presidency in 2012. From 2013 many of the MB leadership found refuge in Qatar and Turkey along with other voices such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian religious scholar based in Qatar who found pan-regional influence, including on foreign policy issues, through the broadcastings of Al Jazeera. Amr Khaled, another Egyptian personality who gained a following after calling for dialogue in the wake of the Danish cartoons was forced to leave Egypt in 2002. As we see in Chapter 9, Algeria experienced a cleavage between the Francophone elite and the religiously observant Arab population. The resulting Front Islamique de Salut (FLN) in the 1990s quickly took power in 1991 before the Algerian military stepped into annul the vote. Algeria was one of the states which made most progress before the Arab uprisings in 2010. Zoubir (1993) states that it updated its constitution in 1989 with new provisions which recognize the right of citizens to create associations and other basic rights and freedoms which are guaranteed by law. However, there remained no public debates and due process, while political disintegration of the ruling bloc continued from the 1980s to the October 1988 riots. Essentially, Algeria remains an authoritarian oneparty state. While the military has played a defining role in political affairs, Mortimer (2006) notes that under the presidency of Bouteflika the army has been neutralized as the longstanding principal power broker in Algerian politics. Relinquishing his role in government was one of the main demands of protestors against the government as they amassed on the streets in 2019 (News Wires 2019).

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The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey is one of the few parties to maintain a pro-Islamist approach, along with a probusiness and anti-corruption approach. Although relations with the EU have suffered over a number of issues, from a collapse in the EU succession process and over Cyprus, as discussed in Chapter 8, Turkey had, up to the attempted coup in 2016, been quite pragmatic in building its global footprint. The AKP also participated in neoliberal economic globalization in contrast to Iran the MB which views globalization as being synonymous with western imperialism and socioeconomic inequality. The Syrian MB experienced a similar initial trajectory as the Egyptian MB. having grown close to Hassan al-Banna, Mustafa al-Sibai established the Syrian MB in 1945–1946. It was active in politics following independence and favored Syria becoming an Islamic state. Members held government positions until the Ba’ath Party came to power in 1963. The SMB was outlawed in 1964, and it came to challenge the legitimacy of the Alawi Hafez al-Assad regime when it came to power in 1970. In 1979 tensions escalated and the SMB killed over 80 unarmed Alwai cadets in Aleppo. The Assad regime issued Law Number 49 in 1980 declaring membership or affiliation with the SMB a capital crime. In 1982, the Syrian government launched a major attack at the SMB at Hama, resulting in a massacre of tens of thousands of people and forcing the SMB underground. In 1996 the SMB, under Ali al-Din alBayanouni, engaged in secret talks with the government in an attempt to normalize relations. In 2000 Bashar al-Assad freed hundreds of prisoners in return for their support for “resistance” policies and the SMB subsequently promoted itself as a political platform from 2004. In 2005, the SMB joined other groups in signing the Damascus Declaration, a call for democratic transition in the country within the auspices of the regime. But in 2006, Ali Sadr al-Din al-Bayanouni joined Vice President Abd al-Halim Khaddam to form the National Salvation Front which called for regime change. The SMB then sought support from the AKP in Turkey to help ease restrictions on the group but following the uprising in the country in 2011 supported the opposition with a view to eventually annul Law Number 49 and allow exiled members to return. Change was never likely to come. Bashar al-Assad inherited a dictatorial system with a long history of repressive tendencies and broken promises regarding reform and with a bureaucracy of limited interest in reform, probably lacks the skills for even the small incremental reforms being implemented in states such as Jordan and Morocco (Phillips 2016, 57).

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The Syrian conflict has weakened prospects for democratic reform as authoritarian restructuring has occurred. The Assad regime, with Iranian and Russian military support, has continued to survive protests, resist an armed uprising and survive international sanctions. State institutions have collapsed, the military has been restructured, and Syria remains dependent on other authoritarian actors. The prospects for the SMB in Syria remains as poor as ever. While other groups such as Al Qaeda (Al-Nusra Front) remain active in Syria, and ISIS has been significantly degraded, the conflict continues and the potential for formal or informal partition of the country remains real. The spillover effects from insurgencies and violent Islamist terrorism remain a serious security threat to regional and international security. The killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 after ten years of searching for him, and of his son Hamza bin Laden in August 2019 (BBC News 2019) shows that the degradation of Al Qaeda is likely to be slow. At the time of writing, Islamist insurgencies and counterinsurgencies were in effect in Egypt, Libya (being one of the most complex theaters of conflict whereby a failed state is affecting North African security is encouraging proxy warfare), Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. In Morocco, for example, identity, security, economic, and political crises have generated a number of threats. So too the impact from illicit trafficking of drugs and weapons from the Sahel region and the impact of the Western Sahara issue on contention with Algeria. Morocco has responded with strengthening state institutions and international cooperation, including with the EU, better management of religious issues since 2004 including a Charter for imams and better public broadcasting about Islam. It changed its antiterror laws in 2015 to criminalize the act of joining a terror organization and expanded the scope of terrorist acts. Security in Tunisia has been compounded by most ISIS fighters coming from the country. There is an urgent need for SSR. The attacks in Tunis and Sousse in 2015 and further attacks against the police illustrate that jihadi activities remain a persistent challenge (Crisis Group 2015). While there is potential to consolidate democratic change after second presidential election and implement meaningful SSR, by 2017 reorientating the labyrinth of security institutions and building trust in the newly aligned security services will take time. Clashes between violent Islamist groups and state security forces include border threats, especially smuggling and human trafficking from the Maghreb, economic insecurity and human insecurity (physical insecurity, economic, food, environmental, and health

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issues). Employment rates which are unable to keep up with population growth are likely to make the overall picture worse over time. The experience of Islamists in power in the region is limited to Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt (2012–2013), and Gaza. But their role in party politics can also be found in Sudan and Tunisia. Islamists have led or co-led governments in deteriorating economic circumstances in Tunisia, Egypt, and Morocco. In 2006, Hamas won a victory in Gaza which was quickly affected by international sanctions and Israeli containment policies. Both the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt and Ennahda in Tunisia have taken unusually pragmatic stances on courting international financial institutions and attracting investment.

Economic Forces that Undermine the Status Quo Most of the Southern Neighborhood is relatively resource poor, except for Israel and Algeria. After the Arab uprisings, the IMF has lent money to Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia. More often than not, the IMF gets blamed for any subsequent austerity programs which governments have undertaken to move closer to sustainability. There is increasing evidence to support why this might be the case. For example, in Egypt, while household income has risen 33% between 2015 and 2018, when adjusted for inflation it has actually dropped by 20% (El-Tablawy 2019). Adly (2019) shows that poverty has risen by 5% over the past three years, and has doubled since the early 1990s. The official poverty rate now stands at 32.5% in 2019 (Kaldas 2019). This despite more healthy macroeconomic indicators which show inflation is under control, interest rates have reduced, and the exchange rate is steady. Beyond funding a bloated public bureaucracy, the issue appears to focus on generating more labor-intensive jobs such as those in tourism and construction but which are often low skilled and poorly paid. Austerity including cutbacks in public expenditure to service billion dollar bailouts without a long-term growth strategy is not sustainable. Poor tax collection and tax holidays are another aspect which affect governments’ ability to generate more substantial income. But it is the combination of austerity and alleged government mismanagement or corruption which is one of the biggest threats to regime security. In September 2019, Friday protests began in Egypt again due in part to accusations by agitators often based in European countries such as Spain broadcasting via youtube videos. Mohamed

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Ali, a building contractor turned whistleblower after the military allegedly failed to pay him $13 million, is one such individual (Saleh 2019). The issue which underpins the status quo is the close relationship between the state and bourgeoisie which demand protection from foreign competition. Hinnebusch (2014, 25–26) finds that this contributes to a nationalist foreign policy while excluding the popular strata or methods of distributive capitalism. States have a choice: bandwagon with the core as they begin to liberalize and implement structural adjustment programs which means being unable to provide welfare to the masses, or veto austerity programs and find another way forward. So far, rather than engaging in meaningful economic reform, states such as Egypt have favored military production and dominated industries benefitting from no-bid contracts which deter foreign investment. In other contexts, economics plays a different role. Mason’s work (2013, 405–425) highlights the Palestinian battle against an Israeli closures policy and attempts to develop the capacities of state which could be assisted further by the international community. Although Jared Kushner put forward an economic plan for Palestine, it was generally viewed as a pre-packaged deal which favored existing Israeli policy. No amount of promised investment can seem to sway the Palestinian leadership into compromise which further erodes its core bargaining position, and especially not before a new unity government can be established between Fatah and Hamas. In the mean time, the Israeli economy continues to improve, growth is strong and unemployment is falling. The OECD (2018) found that a dynamic high-tech sector, accommodative macro policies, and planned investments in offshore gas fields will spur further economic growth. The EU blames Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian rule under president Erdogan for backsliding in the economy as well as the judiciary (Emmott 2019). Turkey has moved away from the market reforms imposed since the early 2000s and closer ties to Russia have alarmed western financial institutions which have affected the currency value. The Lebanese economy is set to shrink as it struggles with high interest rates, a high public deficit, political infighting including disagreements over structural reforms needed (Fahy 2019). Some plans about offshore gas exploration and extraction have surfaced, but given the geopolitical turmoil surrounding Lebanon and its own energy shortages, most will probably be earmarked for domestic use.

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Seeking alternatives to the neoliberal economic model, MENA states are looking east to the Gulf States and China, but neither of these are likely to be in a position to provide long-term solutions. Modest trade and investment will provide support and likely stave off financial crisis in the near term. Longer term, these states might look to Israel, with a focus on innovation and establishing the macroeconomic conditions for successful enterprise. As Belhaj and Arezki (2019) at the World Bank suggest, there are still opportunities to participate in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” through technology and mobile devices. Establishing broad-based economic growth across diverse industries may be the economic answer for states with large populations and high birth rates, but they may bring with them additional unwanted social changes which are more effective at contesting governance.

Social Forces and Political Pluralism The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor who was humiliated by an official and had his wares confiscated on December 17, 2010, set in motion a series of protests which spread across the rural south and into the coastal cities of Tunisia. Uprisings quickly followed across the Middle East (notably in Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria and Libya), where people demanded jobs, better living conditions and greater freedoms. The Arab uprisings recalibrated our notion that the MENA region was largely devoid of popular social mobilization. Although highly variable across the region and subject to security (i.e., repression), as well as political and economic forces, social mobilization has been a feature of the region for many years. Israel and Turkey offer the greatest degree of openness in relatively democratic systems and had experienced the largest protests prior to 2010. Cammett et al. (2015, 390–391) show how these protests intensified in Israel in 2011 over Tel Aviv house prices and issues surrounding social justice. In Turkey, protests erupted over the urban development planned for Gezi Park in 2013. Even under repression, the Egyptian working class carried out strikes and protests from 1998 during the implementation of market-led economic reforms and from 2004 against single-party rule. In Tunisia, protests from 2008 generally involved dissatisfaction with unemployment, nepotism, and other forms of corruption. What would occur in the Arab uprisings was unusual not in the protest itself but in the frequency, intensity, and mass mobilization of the protests.

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Generally the Arab uprisings have been categorized as issues related to political opportunity or openings, movement resources and the people’s perceptions of the issues at stake whether singly or collectively in groups or as a nation. The duration of the uprisings and the post-uprisings environment has generally been dominated by two changes. First, states removing further opportunities to protest, through repressive and other practices. Second, some states such as Morocco and Jordan learned from more negative experiences of the Arab uprisings and have engaged in limited reforms which have served to, at least temporarily, change the framing of the situation. Their mode of governance, as monarchies, cannot be discounted as a factor in their analysis and decision-making. Neither can identity politics which is often cited as the primary mode of social organization whether through religion or tribe. While this is still apparent, the political context for social organization has changed amid nonexistent or failed policies and ideologies. Western attempts to encourage human rights, the rule of law and democratization from 2001 have been compromised by double standards and their own narrow interests concerning the region. This has allowed elites to maintain old international bonds with push back, promises of reform, or limited reforms being made. Old habits concerning statecentric security and neo-patrimonial networks continue to compromise the wealth and social mobility of the majority of the population. Westerndominated NGOs which push for reforms often have limited room for autonomy, being based in a country’s security and legislative context as well as a function of relations between host and head office states. The legal context can also shift. Egypt, for instance, introduced a 2017 NGO law Number 70 which placed severe limits on foreign NGOS, placing a narrow focus on their operations being development related, and adding a heavy security oversight and prison terms for those in breach of its provisions. It was amended in 2019 but TIMEP (2019) states that it still lacks widespread freedom of association and therefore runs contrary to Article 75 of the Egyptian Constitution. Civil society goes beyond NGOs to the role played by ordinary citizens in the country and since the Egyptian government is blamed for curbing freedoms and jailing dissenters to a high degree, while potentially extending the presidential term, the overall context looks to be unsatisfying from this point of view. In Israel, EU countries have been told to stop funding left-wing human rights organizations which it accuses of delegitimizing Israel in the international community (Rettman 2015). In Turkey, there has been a

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“backsliding” regarding civil society. EU supported NGOs are no longer included in legislative consultation processes in parliamentary committees since the attempted coup, while the European Commission (2019, 15) notes that pro-government organizations have continued to gain a more prominent role. In Morocco, although the NGO field looks more abundant, arbitrary bans have been reported, as has a general lack of consultation with civil society with regard to justice reform, a law on violence against women, and another on discrimination (EuroMediterranean Human Rights Network 2015, 9–10). In recognition of lack of traction on human rights and democracy, most EU activity is now confined to programs which support youth and culture in the Southern Neighborhood. The tensions will inevitably come down to regime security concerns often articulated as concerns about penetration from external interests in the context of colonial memory and postcolonial striggles, as well as within the context of first tackling terrorism. It is important to note that the role of NGOs is not only threatened in the Southern Neighborhood but also within the EU itself. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2018a) report on civil society highlights threats and smear campaigns, legal challenges, shrinking budgets, and a lack of appropriate consultation. Only in the UK and Slovenia has there been a special position created by the government to foster civil society–state relations. Poland and the Netherlands have headed in the opposite direction (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights 2018b, 45). More serious intimidation and physical attacks have been reported in Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and the Czech Republic (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights 2018b, 48).

Disconnects Between the ENP and MENA State Values The first EU-League of Arab States summit was a useful snapshot of current relations between the EU and states of the Southern Neighborhood which has tended to hinge on the issue of migration cooperation since 2015, specifically in curbing migration to Europe. While the summit was a positive step in itself, and in the bilateral meetings that took place on the margins, tensions were apparent and public. The divide between the EU and MENA was on clear display at the first EU-League of Arab States summit in Sharm El Sheikh when Herszenhorn (2019) reported President

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Sisi as saying: “We have our ethics and morals. And you have your ethics. You have your morals.” The enthusiastic response by the Egyptian press was met with cynicism by Donald Tusk who responded “I really appreciate how enthusiastic your media are. It’s impossible in Europe to have such a reaction. Congratulations” (Barker and Peel 2019). The summit declaration was weak on the role of civil society, an area where the EU understands that there is little room for headway.

Conclusion The greatest weakness of the Southern Neighborhood—governance—has been turned into a great strength for autocrats, in a form of leverage over the EU. Certainly states such as Egypt, with a population of 100 million and a high birth rate, are too big to fail. Coupled with their geostrategic position, North African states in general are effectively a buffer zone between sub-Sahara Africa, also with serious governance issues and the highest birth rates in the world, and Europe. This means the Southern Neighborhood is likely to be treated strictly in security terms over the coming decades. Covid-19 and the heightened sensitivities to transnational public health issues will most likely contribute to this mindset. There are clearly opportunities for enhanced Euro-Med cooperation around certain themes such as stabilization and counterterrorism as discussed in the next chapter. The question on further cooperation is likely to be around what issues and institutional setting will be most appropriate: a role for the Arab League with limited capacities to deliver, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which has been compromised by the Qatar crisis since 2017, or the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) which could address other global issues and include other normative influences and resources from non-MENA states? Certainly more dialogue between the EU and the Southern Neighborhood is necessary, as is a Middle East regional security framework which could facilitate indigenous security solutions and limit the much maligned external intervention which EU member states have played active roles in.

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European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. (2018b). Structures. Challenges Facing Civil Society Organisations Working on Human Rights in the EU. https://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2018-cha llenges-facing-civil-society_en.pdf [accessed 1 August 2019]. Fahy, M. (2019). Lebanon’s Economy Set to Shrink as Government Eyes State of Economic Emergency. The National. 3 September. https://www. thenational.ae/business/economy/lebanon-s-economy-set-to-shrink-as-gov ernment-eyes-state-of-economic-emergency-1.905824 [accessed 28 October 2019]. Grewal, S. (2016). A Quiet Revolution: The Tunisian Military After Ben Ali. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 24 February. https://carneg ieendowment.org/2016/02/24/quiet-revolution-tunisian-military-after-benali-pub-62780 [accessed 2 November 2019]. Herszenhorn, D. (2019). EU, Arab Leaders Draw Lines in the Sand. Politico. 19 April. https://www.politico.eu/article/egypt-abdel-fattah-el-sisi-cap ital-punishment-death-penalty-europeeu-arab-leaders-draw-line-in-the-sand/ [accessed 2 August 2019]. Heydemann, S. (2016). Explaining the Arab Uprisings: Transformations in Comparative Perspective. Mediterranean Politics 21(1): 192–204. Heydemann, S. and Leenders, R. (2011). Authoritarian Learning and Authoritarian Resilience: Regime Responses to the ‘Arab Awakening’. Globalizations 8(5): 647–653. Hinnebusch, R. (2014). Foreign Policy in the Middle East. In Hinnebusch, R. and Ehteshami, A (eds.) The Foreign Policies of Middle East States. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner: 1–35. Kaldas, T. (2019). Egypt’s Economy: Neither Collapsing Nor Thriving. TIMEP. 20 August. https://timep.org/commentary/analysis/egypts-eco nomy-neither-collapsing-nor-thriving/ [accessed 2 November 2019]. Marshall, S. (2013). Jordan’s Military Industrial Complex and the Middle East’s New Model Army. Middle East Report: 42–45. Mason, R. (2013). The Price of Peace: A Re-evaluation of the Economic Dimension in the Middle East Peace Process. Middle East Journal 67(3): 405–425. Mortimer, R. (2006). State and Army in Algeria: The ‘Bouteflika Effect’. The Journal of North African Studies 11(2): 155–171. Moustafa, T. (2000). Conflict and Cooperation Between the State and Religious Institutions in Contemporary Egypt. International Journal of Middle East Studies 32(1): 3–22. News Wires. (2019). A Civilian, Not Military State: Algerians Stage New Major Protest. 13 July. https://www.france24.com/en/20190712-alg eria-protest-reform-democracy-elections-government-bouteflika [accessed 4 August 2019].

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CHAPTER 4

EU CounterTerrorism Cooperation with the MENA: Optimal or Suboptimal? Annelies Pauwels

Introduction Principled pragmatism was proposed by the 2016 EU Global Strategy as a guiding concept to EU foreign policy. Yet, the EU is still struggling to adopt the right degree of pragmatism in its cooperation with third countries. This chapter aims to add elements to this discussion and does so by focusing on the EU’s more flexible approach in its CT partnerships with MENA partner countries. The chapter first analyzes the EU’s recent priority shift toward security in the MENA region. In the field of counter-terrorism, it projected its internal CT model to cooperation abroad. It then assesses the shift to pragmatism in its CT cooperation and the reasons behind it. A case study follows the EU’s current efforts to setup operational judicial and law enforcement cooperation with the MENA region. The case study examines major challenges to putting such efficient cooperation in place. The chapter argues that the EU is already trying to tackle these challenges, but

A. Pauwels (B) Aarschot, Belgium e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_4

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that it is now bypassing them. Throughout the text, the EU’s approach to CT in the MENA region will be analyzed and guided by these questions: what are the main elements of this approach, what are major challenges to it, and why is this type of cooperation crucial to fighting terrorism in the MENA?

Externalizing the EU’s Counterterrorism Model The EU is an emerging actor on counterterrorism. The 2009 entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty expanded the EU’s role on foreign policy aspects and marked the real beginning of concerted EU efforts on external CT cooperation (Herlin-Karnell and Matera 2014). Prior to this, the EU had worked for almost a decade to develop the necessary institutions, action plans, and strategies to counter violent extremism and terrorism within its own borders. Its first reaction, thus, was to project aspects of its internal CT approach to external cooperation. Yet, some years later it is still struggling to setup an external CT model that respects the norms and values embedded in its internal model, is able to draw cooperation interest from third countries, and adapts to local realities. The MENA region is the EU’s main experimenting ground to develop such a cooperation model. CT cooperation has become one of the EU’s priority areas in the MENA region in response to a deteriorated security situation there. Security issues across the region following the Arab uprisings demanded a change in focus of EU policies, in particular added measures to prevent and limit incidents of terrorism that had expanded across the region. Egypt for instance, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (2017), suffered a 3000 percent increase in terrorist attacks in the four years following the ousting of President Mubarak. Across the region, non-state armed groups have profited from the chaos and instability that the uprisings caused (including violent conflicts, massive dislocation of population, destruction of infrastructure, and the power vacuum following the collapse of governments). Those countries that experienced the greatest upheavals witnessed a proliferation of terrorist groups. In Syria, for instance, the number of groups that undertake terrorism has increased, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace (2017), from 9 in 2014 to 17 in 2015, and 23 active groups in 2017. There and in Iraq, the terrorist organization

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Daesh, managed to setup and keep running a proto-jihadi state that occupied, at its height, more than 41,000 square miles and ruled over 8 million people for more than three years according to the Wilson Center (2017). But also in MENA countries where there were no armed conflicts, grievances that can lead to radicalization and terrorism are ever present. The large pool of young unemployed people (around 30% according to The Economist in 2016), socio-economic exclusion, and thwarted aspirations have caused frustration and grievances that are eagerly exploited by terror networks. Five MENA countries are among the top ten source countries for foreign fighters in Daesh. Fighters also come from states that saw little chaos, such as Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Tunisia, for instance, has seen around 6000 citizens join terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, making it the first export country in the world (Bremmer 2017). There, a highly educated but un- or underemployed population creates a breeding ground for terrorist groups. In 2015, the Institute for Economics and Peace (2017) estimated that there were 700,000 Tunisian job seekers, of which 200,000 were university graduates who were vying for 79,000 largely low skilled job vacancies. Worried by the instability and security issues at its doorstep following the 2011 uprisings, the EU included a stronger security focus to its traditional policy in the region. It setup actions that focused on reforming local security sectors, counterterrorism (CT) and preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). The European Council adopted its 2005 wide-ranging approach to counterterrorism and prevent radicalization, based upon its domestic 4-pillared CT model. The projection of its internal multidimensional approach to third countries makes the EU push for engagement with a wide variety of stakeholders there, including governmental and nongovernmental actors that work on CT-related (e.g., justice practitioners, customs agencies, transport companies) and P/CVErelated policy fields (e.g., development organizations, research institutes, social workers). The EU’s cooperation model is also multileveled: it includes the involvement of national governments, municipalities, as well as grassroots organizations. According to Gaub and Pauwels (2017), EU counterterrorism measures in the MENA focus on building state capacity (particularly in the areas of border control, criminal investigation and prosecution, and countering the financing of terrorism), strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights, fostering regional cooperation, and preventing

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and combating terrorism. The EU’s focus on a human rights-based CT agenda led to the revival of initiatives that aimed for the promotion of good governance, the rule of law, and democratization under a counterterrorism banner (Dandashly 2018). Typical examples are initiatives that promote the introduction of proper judicial oversight in counterterrorism legislation or a reduction of the length of pretrial detention for terrorist convicts. At the same time, the EU’s strong focus on the root causes of radicalization makes that many of its P/CVE activities overlap or are intertwined with the EU’s development agenda, such as educational activities aimed at preventing radicalization, or CVE capacity-building of security and justice personnel. This trend has recently been confirmed by the OECD’s extension of the eligibility criteria for official development assistance (ODA): under the new rules many of the EU’s P/CVE activities are eligible to fall under its development category (Millar 2016).

Injecting Pragmatism into CT Cooperation Three recent developments created a sense of urgency within EU policymakers and triggered them to speed up cooperation and adopting more pragmatism with their southern neighbors. First, a number of high-profile terrorist attacks added to the idea that the internal terrorist threat was closely linked to security issues in the neighborhood: the 2014 attack on a Jewish Museum in Brussels, and the Paris attacks in January and November 2015. The return of European foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq played a major role in advancing the notion of an internal–external nexus in the field of counterterrorism. Mehdi Nemmouche, the perpetrator of the attack on the Jewish Museum had returned two months prior from Syria. Seven of the nine plotters in the November 2015 attacks in Paris had returned from jihadi groups in Syria only shortly before committing their attacks in the EU (Brisard 2015, 5–8). The attacks against western tourists in Sousse and Bardo in Tunisia that same year showed the clear threat of terrorism in the MENA, especially toward EU citizens. Increasing instability in the Southern Neighborhood and the possibility of more returning fighters, estimated to be 1200 of the approximately 5000 EU foreign terrorist fighters had returned (Barrett 2017), persuaded EU policymakers to speed up CT cooperation with the MENA region. Second, the growing security engagement of other third powers in the MENA added to the perception that the EU was losing leverage over its southern partners. In September 2015 Russia started to engage militarily in the Syrian Civil War. A year prior, Russia had also struck a $3.5 billion

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arms deal with Egypt, mainly to be used in local CT operations. China, from its side, is significantly increasing investments in the region. For instance, in 2015 China announced plans to help fund the construction of Egypt’s New Administrative Capital. Russian and Chinese “unconditional” advances in the region (military for the first and economic for the latter) and their lack of interest for domestic issues put pressure on the EU’s own conditionality-based approach to the region. Third, the EU had become increasingly aware of its own struggling CT cooperation with MENA countries. The EU’s focus on democratic values and norms promotion through CT cooperation and its “developmental” CT approach decreases its appeal to some of its southern partners. A development-focused CT contrasts with the hard and military-focused approaches to counterterrorism adopted by some ENP partners. Algeria and Morocco, for instance, have often relied heavily on the military to combat terrorism and are thus more interested in obtaining military and security assistance (e.g., military equipment or training) from third parties. Another set of challenges is linked to the EU’s outright projection of its internal CT measures to different local realities in the MENA. For instance, the EU’s all-inclusive approach to counterterrorism adds to the internal coordination challenges already present in some MENA countries, such as between different national ministries, development and security actors, and government and civil society actors. The EU saw its CT agenda in the region proceeding slowly. This is due to the extensive reforms in different policy fields required as the basis for more advanced CT cooperation. With other partners, the EU’s agenda was blocked tout court since it simply went against the plans of local authorities (e.g., who use CT mainly as a tool to crack down on political opposition). For them, quick-win and military incentives offered by other partners are more appealing.

Enhancing Judicial and Law Enforcement Cooperation The 2016 EU Global Strategy promotes the concept of principled pragmatism and thus provides a framework for more pragmatic CT cooperation with the Southern Neighborhood. This new pragmatism is apparent in the EU’s choice of partners. For example, the EU renewed CT cooperation with the Egyptian authorities after an interruption following the 2013 Rabaa crackdown. Dandashly (2018, 62–82) also noted that the

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content of its cooperation, for instance, its normative aspects, are at times diluted or bypassed. This section will analyze the EU’s recent push to deepen judicial and police cooperation with MENA countries. This should be read as a pragmatic move aimed at speeding up cooperation with the region. Yet, it bypasses current EU efforts focused on underlying elements essential to make judicial and police cooperation work. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks early in 2015, EU member states in a Foreign Affairs Council configuration highlighted the need to enhance judicial cooperation with the other side of the Mediterranean as a means to fight terrorism (Foreign Affairs Council 2015). The European Commission proposed Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) agreements as key instruments to do so (European Commission 2015). The League of Arab States (LAS) was singled out as one of the preferred platforms to improve both interregional as intra-regional judicial cooperation in criminal matters, particularly in the field of counterterrorism. From the EU side, Eurojust (2017) was to setup bilateral judicial cooperation with individual MENA states. These proposals do not sufficiently take into account today’s reality in the MENA region: intra-regional judicial cooperation within the region is today still in its infancy. The limited judicial agreements adopted within the framework of the Arab League have not managed to bring many advances in this regard. Some examples include the Decisions enforcement treaty (1952), the Extradition treaty (1952), and the Riyadh Arab treaty in judicial cooperation (1983). The diversity and complexity of national legislations, a lack of adequate legal expertise, insufficient coordination, limited institutional capacities, and a lack of confidence between the acting magistrates between countries still pose major hurdles to efficient judicial cooperation in the Arab world. The EU was already confronted with this reality some years ago, when it funded a program aimed at assisting Egypt, Libya and Tunisia to recover the assets of former leaders and other high-ranking officials accused of widespread corruption. The project focused on improving MLA between these states but revealed that, even though there was quite some political willingness to cooperate in this area, abovementioned obstacles hindered successful cooperation. Similar challenges obstruct efficient interregional judicial cooperation on criminal matters. Previous bilateral judicial cooperation efforts (between the EU and MENA states) often led to a low percentage of successfully executed requests. An example is a high-profile

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asset recovery cooperation project between Switzerland and Egypt that had been setup in 2011 but closed six years later without producing any material results (Diab and Longchamp 2017; Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights 2017). The LAS has also so far not managed to institutionalize significant intra-regional efforts in the field of CT. An example: already in 1998 the LAS member states adopted the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism, which proposed a specific definition on terrorism. Later on, however, several of its member states changed the definition in their domestic legislations to significantly broaden its scope (e.g., by introducing vague definitions of terrorism and harsher sentences) and have it suit their respective regime’s goals (Gaub and Pawlak 2014). EU policymakers also push to speed up the exchange of law enforcement data in the fight against serious crimes and terrorism. The European Commission recently recommended to open negotiations for agreements on the exchange of personal data between Europol and the competent authorities of 8 MENA countries according to Statewatch (2018). This typically raises concerns with regard to the protection of personal data, but the proposal could be assessed through a cost-effectiveness analysis. Currently, MENA countries make very limited use of international law enforcement databases. All MENA countries are connected to Interpol’s I-24/7 network, which provides access to the organization’s databases and thus allows them to exchange data with law enforcement agencies around the world. Yet, Interpol’s nominal database, which is used for international alerts, contains to date less than 4000 entries from law enforcement agencies in the Southern Neighborhood. Also Interpol’s database of lost and stolen documents, a crucial tool in the fight against forged travel documents that are often used by terrorists, received merely 300,000 entries from the South. The EU, on the other hand, is the global leader of Interpol’s data inputs (Interpol 2018). Gaub and Pauwels (2017) put its input figures at 90,000 from law enforcement agencies and its database of lost and stolen documents at 30 million entries. The automation of data exchange is typically an EU approach (e.g., internally it is increasing the collection and processing of security-related data and expanding the areas to which databases apply (Busch and Monroy 2017). The exchange of personal data with the MENA would thus become less beneficial for the EU over time.

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Laying the Groundwork for CT Cooperation In order to make judicial and police cooperation with the MENA region possible, it is necessary to first tackle the underlying causes of this limited potential. First, as Calleya (2013) notes, the lack of a strong regional organization in the MENA is one of the main causes to this limited intraregional cooperation on security matters. The Arab League, for instance, remains a weak institution. Mohamedou (2016) cites the lack of an efficient decision-making institution and supranational policy implementing mechanism, as well as regional infighting and bureaucratic inefficiencies as causes for slow member state convergence. Institution-strengthening of the LAS is essential in order to increase regional integration on security matters. Second, limited computerization of the competent law enforcement authorities in the MENA is one of the main reason for the region’s passive use of international police databases. Currently, only a limited number of specialized units and border points within MENA countries have access to the I-24/7 system. Overall, digitization in the public sector remains problematic across the MENA region. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) (2018) shows that Arab states are generally not highly listed in UNDESA’s E-government development index. The Arab Spring has significantly slowed down e-governance progress: digitization in the public administration decreased following 2011, despite the advances in the use of internet and social media. Prior to 2011, Dixon et al. (2018) states that Egypt did relatively well in terms of digitization in the public administration, but saw the quality and quantity of delivering online services drop as the uprisings shifted the focus to “building a new Egypt.” Corruption can be an additional potential obstacle to the development of digitalization in security matters in the MENA region. Whatever is introduced in a database can easily be checked upon. Therefore, digitalization is key to fight corruption but where corruption rules there are at the same time plenty of reasons to avoid inserting information in a database. In the MENA region, corruption in the public sector is widespread. Transparency International (2019) put 14 of 18 Arab states below 50 on a scale of 100 in the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index. In addition, informal trust-building is highly important in the Arab world, in particular in the sensitive field of CT, potentially forming another impediment to the effective automated exchange of information with the EU.

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These recent proposals to bring CT cooperation to a more advanced level sidestep the EU’s own slow-paced but bricklaying initiatives in the hope to achieve more “tangible” results. For many years, the EU has attempted to help strengthen the Arab League’s decision-making institutions. For instance, the EU attempted to reinforce the technical capacity of its Secretariat in policy fields such as crisis management, migration, and mobility. The EU also works directly with the Arab States to improve intra-regional judicial and law enforcement cooperation. Gaub and Pauwels (2017) assert that since 2005, the EU has funded the regionwide project frameworks Euromed Justice and Euromed Police, which work on improving regional police cooperation and international judicial mutual assistance in criminal matters. Other EU efforts in this regard are aimed at improving the technical capabilities of MENA states to collect and share judicial and law enforcement information. An example is an EU-funded project aimed at improving the strategic and operational capacity of the Jordanian security agencies. While prior to the project Jordanian border control possessed only one computer to access international databases (at the Amman airport), it has been able to increase the number of border posts equipped with the relevant technology to 20 (European Commission 2016). The EU also is aware of lacking MENA contributions to Interpol’s databases as it currently funds Interpol projects aimed at advancing counterterrorism expertise, equipment and skills of law enforcement personnel in six MENA states. One of the projects, for instance, gives frontline officers access to Interpol’s I-24/7 database and trains them to use these tools during regional investigations and operations. The EU also encourages its partners to adopt the sufficient safeguards in terms of data protection and fundamental rights in the field of international data exchange. For instance, it encourages them to accede (as nonmember States) to Council of Europe conventions on such issues (Council of Europe and European Union Joint Programmes, 2015– 2017). An example is the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing, which seeks to regulate the transfrontier flow of personal data and protect individual against possible abuses from the collection and processing of personal data. Thus far, only Tunisia has acceded to the Convention. Morocco has been invited to accede, while Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon have not even entered such process (European Data Protection Supervisor 2018).

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Revisiting the Need for Change The EU’s slow reform-based initiatives are no match to the urgency that stems from the pressing terrorist threat in the region and its implications for EU citizens. Yet, a closer look on terrorism in the MENA and its links to EU internal security brings this sense of urgency in a new light. First, the threat emerging from terrorism in the MENA to the EU is not significantly higher than in the past. Clear connections between terrorists on both sides of the Mediterranean have always existed. During each of the previous decades, Europe’s most important terrorist groups had clear links to the MENA region, in terms of inspiration, training, or the origin of their weapons. In the 1970s the German far-left Red Army Faction maintained clear connections with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which provided its members with training and refuge in Lebanon. A decade later, Libyan officials were responsible for a number of terrorist attacks in Europe, such as the bombing of the Pan Am flight in the skies over Lockerbie and the explosion in the La Belle disco in West Berlin. In the 1990s, France suffered terrorist attacks at the hands of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), who were broadening the Algerian Civil War to France. Also more recently the Madrid bombers in 2004 had links to the Salafiya Jihadiya, an offshoot of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group. The main difference between connections then and now is that previous terrorist links were analyzed from a specific angle, rather than seen as linked to a regional phenomenon. Second, terrorism in Europe remains to date mainly a home-grown phenomenon. Many European jihadists might have a migration background. For example, Hecker (2018) shows that 59% of a total sample of 125 French jihadists had parents with a Maghreb origin. But the majority of terrorist attacks in Europe are committed by EU citizens that were born and raised there. An analysis of 51 attacks across Western Europe and the USA between 2014 and 2017 by Vidino et al. (2017) shows that 73% of the attackers were citizens of the country where they committed their attack. Also the foreign fighters that plotted the Paris attacks had radicalized in Europe prior to leaving for Syria and Iraq. In addition, European networks only have limited or superficial links with terrorist groups outside; only 8% of the abovementioned sample of terrorist attacks were carried out by individuals who were acting under direct orders from

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the Daesh leadership. The rest of them either acted independently or had no connection whatsoever to the group (Vidino et al. 2017). Third, following a clear peak in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings, terrorism in the MENA region is now decreasing again in some of the EU’s key partner countries, such as Tunisia, Egypt, and Lebanon (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism 2017). This does not necessarily mean that terrorist groups are defeated. They might be reorganizing for a new offensive or changing their tactics, but it does mean that the threat is less pressing. The region remains highly unstable and its instability can have clear repercussions for the EU’s internal security, including with regard to terrorism and radicalization. For instance, local safe havens can be used by European jihadists for training and other purposes, vulnerable groups in the region can be exploited by terrorist groups, and local root causes to radicalization can also serve as propaganda material to radicalize European citizens. Therefore, counterterrorism in the region remains a priority. A closer look on the challenges linked to the EU’s reforms-based approach show the necessity to continue along these lines. First, terrorism in the MENA region is often linked to repressive and authoritarian regimes. Radicalization occurs on a larger scale and in the context of extensive political terror, such as state-sanctioned killings, torture, disappearances, and political imprisonment. In addition, the Institute for Economics and Peace (2017) found that repressive counterterrorism responses in MENA countries decreased civil liberties and increased political tensions, which resulted in individual or group grievances that could lead to violent extremism. In other words, they were counterproductive. The Commission of the European Communities (2006) shows that the EU’s focus on linking democratic values and security cooperation attempts to put an end to such grievances and conditions of insecurity. But where extremist activity in the Sinai peninsula has often been countered with heavy-handed military responses that make little distinction between civilians and jihadists. The destruction of houses, forced evictions, and arbitrary detentions have all exacerbated local discontent and disenfranchisement. Heavy-handed counterterrorism measures elsewhere are also said to have increased significantly, in particular after the overthrow of President Morsi in July 2013. Therefore, the EU’s focus on a greater inclusion and respect for human rights could aid over the longer term in countering violent extremism in the region.

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Second, terrorism in the MENA is often linked to weak states. Terrorist groups are eager to exploit the peripheral locations across the region, in governance, geographical and socioeconomic terms. They often take advantage of poorly governed regions, assuming the role of the state to gain the support of socioeconomically disadvantaged and marginalized individuals. Tunisia’s regions bordering with Libya, for instance, has since several decades seen hubs of radicalization, with high number of youngster depart to join terrorist groups abroad. Colombo (2016) points to the region’s lower levels of education and employment opportunities as key factors. More recently, the government’s measures aimed at enhancing border controls (with a view to avoid infiltration of terrorist and other criminal groups from neighboring Libya) have deprived once again local population, which traditionally relied on smuggling activities to make a living, from their daily income. This increases their vulnerability to recruitment and radicalization efforts of extremist groups. Also Northern Lebanon sees higher levels of terrorist activities, which is in part linked to the lacking opportunities for local population. EUfunded programs in those deprived regions focus on state-building efforts as a means to prevent and counter radicalization. Such programs include promoting realistic livelihood alternatives in such marginalized border communities in Tunisia (European Commission 2015), and a local project in Lebanon (European Commission 2014). Third, cooperation and coordination issues within MENA state authorities significantly hinder effective counterterrorism efforts. For instance, in Lebanon sectarian divides as a result of its consociational model (i.e., high-ranking offices are reserved for members of specific religious groups) makes that each Ministry is strongly linked to the specific ethnic or religious community of its Minster and operates more like a separate kingdom rather than in a concerted manner. Previous EU-funded programs to improve the interoperability between different agencies in the country, such as in the field of Integrated Border Management, have already showed positive results and can be replicated for CT purposes as well (Gaub and Pauwels 2017). Now again, the EU is engaged there to make various ministries cooperate in the field of counterterrorism, notably by the adoption of a National Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Also in Tunisia, silos within the various ministries still exist. Various security services within the Ministry of Interior tend to communicate poorly with one another. Here too the EU is working on reforming the

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security agencies as well as adopting a national counterterrorism strategy that expands the fight against terrorism to all ministries, including those that focus on culture, education, media, and religious affairs.

Conclusion It is essential to continue cooperation on counterterrorism with the MENA region. Terrorism incidents have dropped again after a massive peak following the uprisings, but the conditions leading to radicalization and terrorism remain present across the region. The EU’s long-term and comprehensive approach focuses exactly on tackling these root causes. While generally much attention goes to those countries in the region that are not keen on cooperating with the EU approach, the EU’s agenda has advanced in other countries, such as Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan, and Iraq. Pragmatism can be useful with those partners that do not see the benefits of working along the EU’s model: through limited engagement (or a toned down values-agenda), the EU will more likely change the course of action in a neighboring country than through no engagement at all. Yet, pragmatism is only appropriate when it can lead to decisions and actions that are useful in practice. The EU’s pragmatist turn in its foreign policy is generally analyzed from a human rights and values-based perspective or questioned in terms of the price the EU might pay for it. Setting up data exchange mechanisms with judicial and law enforcement agencies in the Southern Neighborhood risks lowering the EU’s own data protection standards or playing into the hands of repressive regimes using counterterrorism cooperation to further clamp down on civil society. These discussions are valid, but they also take away attention from the focus on whether the measure is needed or would be efficient if implemented. Questioning whether a measure is “right or wrong” is necessary, but should come only after it has been decided whether the measure (would) work(s).

References Barrett, R. (2017). Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees. New York, NY: The Soufan Center. Bremmer, I. (2017). The Top Five Countries Where ISIS Gets Its Foreign Recruits. Time. 14 April. https://time.com/4739488/isis-iraq-syria-tunisiasaudi-arabia-russia/.

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Brisard, J. (2015). The Paris Attacks and the Evolving Islamic State Threat to France. CTC Sentinel 8(11): 5–8. Busch, H. and Monroy, M. (2017). Counter-Terrorism and the Inflation of EU Databases. Statewatch. May. http://statewatch.org/analyses/no-316-ct-andinflation-eu-databases.pdf [accessed 1 March 2019]. Calleya, S. (2013). Security Challenges in the Euro-Med Area in the 21st Century. Mare Nostrum. New York, NY: Routledge. Colombo, V. (2016). Multiple Layers of Marginalization as a Paradigm of Tunisian Hotbeds of Jihadism. In Varvelli, A. (ed.) Jihadi Hotbeds. Understanding Local Radicalization Processes. Milano: Edizioni Epoké - ISPI: 17–120. Commission of the European Communities. (2006). Communication From the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament. 24 May. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2006: 0253:FIN:EN:PDF. Dandashly, A. (2018). EU Democracy Promotion and the Dominance of the Security–Stability Nexus. Mediterranean Politics 23(1): 62–82. Diab, O. and Longchamp, O. (2017). Failed Recovery: How Switzerland Released the Funds of a Famous Egyptian Crony. EIPR/Public Eye. https:// eipr.org/sites/default/files/reports/pdf/pe_agypten_10-17_def.pdf. Dixon, J., Bhuiyan, S. and Üstüner, Y. (2018). Public Administration in the Middle East and North Africa. International Journal of Public Administration 41: 759–764. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) Report. (2017). Failed Recovery: How Switzerland Released the Funds of a Famous Egyptian Crony. October. https://eipr.org/sites/default/files/reports/pdf/pe_ agypten_10-17_def.pdf [accessed 4 March 2019]. Eurojust. (2017). Annual Report. http://www.eurojust.europa.eu/doclibrary/ corporate/eurojust%20Annual%20Reports/Annual%20Report%202017/AR2 017_EN.pdf. European Commission. (2015). Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Region—The European Agenda on Security, COM(2015) 185 final, dated April 28 https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/e-library/doc uments/basic-documents/docs/eu_agenda_on_security_en.pdf [accessed 4 March 2019]. European Council. (2005). EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy https://www.consil ium.europa.eu/en/policies/fight-against-terrorism/eu-strategy/ [accessed 4 March 2019]. European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). (2018). EDPS Opinion on Eight Negotiating Mandates to Conclude International Agreements Allowing

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the Exchange of Data Between Europol and Third Countries. Opinion 2018(2). https://edps.europa.eu/sites/edp/files/publication/18-03-19_opi nion_international_agreements_europol_en.pdf [accessed 4 March 2019]. Foreign Affairs Council. (2015). Council Conclusions on Counter-Terrorism. 9 February https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/ 02/09/council-conclusions-counter-terrorism/ [accessed 4 March 2019]. Gaub, F. and Pawlak, P. (2014). The Arab War(s) on Terror. EUISS Brief 20. Gaub, F. and Pauwels, A. (2017). Counter Terrorism Cooperation with the Southern Neighborhood. European Parliament Directorate-General for External Policies, Policy Department. Hecker, M. (2018). 137 nuances de terrorisme. Les djihadistes de France face à la justice. Focus stratégique IFRI 79. Herlin-Karnell, E. and Matera, C. (eds.) (2014). External Dimension of the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy. Asser Institute, Centre for the Law of EU External Relations, CLEER WP 2014(2). The Netherlands: CLEER. Institute for Economics and Peace. (2017). Global Terrorism Index 2017. http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2017/11/Global-TerrorismIndex-2017.pdf. Interpol. (2018). Project Sharaka. https://www.interpol.int/en/Crimes/Terror ism/Counter-terrorism-projects/Project-Sharaka [accessed 4 March 2019]. Millar, A. (2016). Updated Guidance on ODA-Eligible Activities for Preventing Violent Extremism: Implications and Opportunities for the European Union, Counter-Terrorism Monitoring, Reporting and Support Mechanism, Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace. http://ct-morse.eu/wp-con tent/uploads/2017/05/DAC-and-PCVE-Think-Piece-revised.pdf [Accessed 4 March 2019]. Mohamedou, M.-M. O. (2016). Arab Agency and the UN Project: The League of Arab States Between Universality and Regionalism. Third World Quarterly 37(7): 1219–1233. National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. (2017). Annex of Statistical Information, Country Reports on Terrorism 2017. https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/crt_national_ consortium.pdf. Statewatch. (2018). EU: Warnings Over Proposed New Europol Partners in Middle East and North Africa. 14 May. https://www.statewatch.org/news/ 2018/may/eu-warnings-over-proposed-new-europol-partners-in-middle-eastand-north-africa/. Transparency International. (2019). Corruption Perceptions Index. https://www. transparency.org/en/cpi/2019#. UNDESA. (2018). United Nations E-Government Survey 2018. https://pub licadministration.un.org/egovkb/Portals/egovkb/Documents/un/2018-Sur vey/E-Government%20Survey%202018_FINAL%20for%20web.pdf.

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Vidino, L., Marone, F., and Entenmann, E. (2017). Fear Thy Neighbor: Radicalization and Jihadist Attacks in the West. Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI). Milano: Ledizioni. Wilson Center. (2017). ISIS After the Caliphate. 28 November. https://www. wilsoncenter.org/article/isis-after-the-caliphate-0.

CHAPTER 5

Migration and the Mediterranean: The EU’s Response to the “European Refugee Crisis” Arne Niemann and Julia Blöser

Introduction In 2015 and 2016 Europe experienced the largest entrance of refugees since World War II. In each of these years more than 1.2 million asylum seekers submitted their asylum claims in the EU (Eurostat 2017a) as compared to 625,000 in 2014 (Eurostat 2015, 4). These increased applications were only a trigger and not a cause of the ensuing situation of crisis as they just revealed persistent dysfunctionalities and shortcomings of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The so-called “European refugee crisis” may thus more rightly be termed a crisis of the CEAS (Niemann and Zaun 2018). While this system with common protection standards and a clear distribution mechanism had been introduced on paper in 2012 through several EU directives and the Dublin regulation, the lack of implementation became strikingly obvious since late summer 2015. At that time, the Dublin system—according to which border countries are responsible for any asylum seeker entering the Schengen area

A. Niemann · J. Blöser (B) Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_5

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through their territory—had already broken down and border countries waived asylum seekers through toward traditional host countries in Western and Northern Europe. States receiving low numbers of asylum applications were hesitant to adopt responsibility sharing mechanisms and some Member States were openly hostile toward the idea. Some countries which initially adopted a welcoming attitude toward refugees such as Germany, Austria, and Sweden therefore closed their external borders, suspending the Schengen system temporarily. Despite being in line with EU law, this measure called freedom of movement, one of the key pillars of European integration, into question and further incited the crisis. Moreover, the deaths of thousands of migrants at the Union’s external borders, and some of the measures taken to limit the arrival of refugees at Europe, have cast doubts on the role of the EU as a promoter of human rights in the world. Meanwhile, the considerable media attention and politicization of the issue, accompanied by the rise of populist parties, have exerted great pressure on both EU institutions and member governments to come up with solutions. Together with the Eurozone trauma, this crisis and its aftermath have the potential to seriously damage the overall project of EU integration. Against the background of almost two decades of EU cooperation on asylum policies, the lack of a concerted approach in times of crisis is puzzling and leads us to evaluate and question the state of integration in this policy field. Therefore, this chapter provides a condensed account of the origin and development of events leading up to the crisis and examines the measures taken in response to it by the EU and its Member States in order to evaluate the Union’s performance and its implied consequences for future cooperation.

The Development of the “European Refugee Crisis” Phenomena such as civil war, protracted conflict, terrorism, deteriorating internal security, and increasing poverty in many countries, especially in the Middle East, Africa, and Southern Asia, have triggered massive departures of civilian populations in recent years (Karageorgiou 2016, 200; Metcafle-Hough 2015, 2; Vataman 2016, 545; Wagner et al. 2016, 24– 25). This has led to a mixed-motive-migration phenomenon which refers to persons both fleeing persecution and searching to improve their socioeconomic living conditions. Yet, the largest group of immigrants entering the EU came from war-torn countries, such as Syria, Afghanistan, and

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Iraq (Eurostat 2017b). The war in Syria, which displaced over 5 million people until 2017 (UNHCR 2017), has by far been the largest factor for the strong increase in migration, both in Syria’s neighborhood and in the EU. It should thus be noted that neighboring states like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey where a considerable refugee population fled to increasingly struggled with and resisted the tasks of hosting and integration, given a lack of basic and financial means in the camps, a deterioration of their own security situation and growing tensions within their populations (Hanewinkel 2015, 2; Metcafle-Hough 2015, 3). Since the world community did not react adequately to ameliorate those camp conditions and due to a lack of perspective to be resettled to another country or other legal ways of entry, many people who were temporarily accommodated in their region of origin continued their way toward Europe. Signs of a looming crisis in Europe became visible already in the years prior to 2015. Along with gradually increasing arrivals of migrants in Europe, there has been a dramatic rise in shipwrecks and deaths related to crossing the Mediterranean. Whereas the Italian government reacted by upgrading previous search and rescue operations in the area through the launch of “Mare Nostrum” in 2013, the latter was replaced by the much smaller EU operation “Triton” the following year (Pastore and Henry 2016, 52–53). The countries of first entry Italy and Greece faced a particularly strong increase from spring 2015 on, which incentivized these countries to abstain from a proper registration of migrants and thus enabling them to pass through toward Northern destinations (Börzel 2016, 23; Menéndez 2016, 397; Trauner 2016, 319). In effect, being intrinsically ineffective and slowing down procedures by imposing additional administrative burdens, “the Dublin system collapsed under its own weight” (Menéndez 2016, 397). With the routes increasingly shifting to the Western Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean (Hanewinkel 2015, 3; Pastore and Henry 2016, 53) as well as growing evidence that asylum seekers were systematically detained and subject to degrading treatment in Hungary, a by then top-recipient country of asylum seekers in the EU, the German government unilaterally suspended the implementation of the Dublin regulation for Syrians in August 2015, thereby admitting them into the national asylum system, irrespective of their first-country of entry (Euractiv 2015). Yet, about three weeks later, the German government, pressurized by an enormous rise in arrivals in Bavaria, to some extent reversed its course by temporarily reinstating border controls at the internal Schengen border

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with Austria. This provoked a chain reaction, pushing other countries along the Balkan route to also introduce border controls to circumvent becoming a “dead end” where unwelcome refugees could get “stranded,” later followed by Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium (European Commission, n.d.). In October 2015, in response to the higher numbers of asylum seekers and disappointed with EU efforts to coordinate external border control, Hungary took the drastic measure of building a fence along its borders to Croatia and Serbia. This step allowed Hungary to shift migration flows to neighboring countries, particularly Slovenia (Trauner 2016, 320). Hence, these decisions, resulted in a closure of the “Western Balkans route,” compelling tens of thousands of people to get stuck in Greece where they often had to live under devastating conditions (Der Spiegel 2016; Weber 2016, 38).

The EU’s Response to the Crisis1 Once the crisis was approaching its peak, in May 2015, the European Commission (2015a) presented its “European Agenda on Migration” between two European Council emergency summits. Therein, the Commission outlined both immediate measures to be taken in response to the crisis in the Mediterranean and steps for the coming years for a better management of EU migration policy. Following an immediate first “implementation package” adopted on May 27, 2015 (European Commission 2015b), in September of the same year, the European Commission (2015c) put forward comprehensive priority actions. After two and a half years of working on the agenda, the Commission (2017f) replenished its original approach by a roadmap in preparation of the European Council’s summit on migration on December 14, 2017 which set out concrete aims and a time frame to achieve a comprehensive asylum policy. This section outlines the measures proposed since May 2015 and, to some extent, reviews their state of play/implementation, and, to a lesser extent, their appropriateness. Given the European Commission’s (2017f, 2) insight that “only a comprehensive approach works,” referring to “combining a range of international and external policy tools,” the following analysis organizes measures by the dimension they concern. Although the measures are

1 This section draws on Pauly et al. (2016) and on Niemann and Zaun (2018).

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listed under separated sections, they are often closely interconnected and should thus be considered in context. The following analysis focuses on the following measures: (1) hotspots and emergency support for affected Member States, (2) relocation, (3) resettlement and other legal ways of entry, (4) the CEAS reform, (5) addressing irregular migration through border controls and countering smuggling and trafficking, (6) return and readmission, (7) the EU–Turkey Statement, (8) additional cooperation with third countries as well as (8) (trust) funds to support regions of origin and transit. Internal Dimension of the Response—Help for Highly Affected Member States: Hotspots and in-Kind/Financial Support To tackle one of the crisis’s most urgent issues, the European Council decided in June 2015 to help those Member States facing the highest numbers of refugees at their external borders, i.e., Greece and Italy, through the so-called “hotspot approach.” It seeks to support them by deploying Migration Management Support Teams that work in five key areas: creating functional hotspots, implementing the relocation decisions (see below), ensuring the effective return of migrants not entitled to international protection, improving border management and establishing sufficient and adequate reception capacity (European Commission 2015a; Statewatch 2015). To fulfil these tasks, the EU agencies Frontex, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), Europol and Eurojust provide operational support on the ground in cooperation with local authorities. Meanwhile, other Member States are required to meet the demand for sufficient experts and equipment to support these Migration Management Support Teams. The agencies’ tasks are supposed to be complementary to each other and they shall assist the Member States with the registration, identification, finger-printing, and debriefing of asylum seekers as well as with return operations. The erection of Hotspot facilities in combination with the temporary relocation decisions of 2015 provided an incentive for Greece and Italy to properly register migrants as specified in the Eurodac regulation if they intended to profit from the relocation scheme (Trauner 2016, 320). After substantially delayed construction and implementation, it seems that the hotspots have indeed delivered greater order and considerably improved the rates of registration and finger-printing. However, there

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has been a lot of criticism focusing on: (1) the lack of a specific legal act/framework regulating the hotspot approach, thus challenging the fundamental rights of refugees (Menéndez 2016, 408); (2) the approach’s failure to relieve the pressure from Greece and Italy as intended (ECRE 2016), which may be partly due to Member States not employing enough experts for the Support Teams (European Commission 2016a); (3) the chaotic conditions: medical services, catering, security, accommodation has often been poor (Human Rights Watch 2016a); (4) inadequate, unfair or repressive measures, especially since the EU–Turkey Statement: many newly arrived refugees have been kept in prolonged detention without access to asylum procedures on which they received inaccurate information or have been swiftly returned (ECRE 2016). As a result of this practice, several NGOs left camps, which reportedly led to a worsening of conditions in the hotspots. Four years into the launch of the approach, the situation—particularly on the Greek islands—has deteriorated blatantly due to heavy overcrowding and a serious lack of basic care provision. With suicidal tendencies and prostitution being the most revealing consequences, the head of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency, Michael O’Flaherty, described the situation as “the most worrying fundamental rights issue that we are confronting anywhere in the European Union” (cited in Nielsen 2019b). Apart from Italy and Greece, the EU has supported the Western Balkans outside the hotspot framework in “improving reception conditions and capacity for migrants and refugees and building capacities to strengthen migration management systems” (Commission 2018b, 8). In addition to the hotspot approach, there are two alternative ways of supporting pressured states like Greece and Italy in financial and physical terms, regarding the latter, since 2015 more than a million blankets, mattresses, beds, tents, teams, and equipment as well as shelter and medical supplies have been provided by the other Member States through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. In financial terms, the “Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund” (AMIF) and the “Internal Security Fund” (ISF) provided funding for “migration management.” These two funds are replenished with an Emergency Support Instrument (ESI) meant to help refugees in urgent need in Greece via cooperation with UN agencies, NGOs and international organizations (ibid.). This way, as of January 2020, Greece, for instance, received around 2.23 billion Euro in emergency support since 2015 via AMIF (1.18 billion

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Euro), ISF (415.4 million Euro) and ESI (643.6 million Euro) (European Commission 2020). On the whole, while the Commission’s budget proposal for the term 2021–2027 envisages almost a tripling of funding for migration and border management compared to the previous long-term period, reflecting a 75% increase in the funding initially foreseen for migration until 2020 (European Commission 2017f, 8), the institution also proposed the setup of an Asylum and Migration Fund to strengthen the CEAS, legal migration and integration as well as to counter irregular migration and improve the effectiveness of return and readmission (European Commission 2018d, Art. 3). Internal Dimension of the Response—Relocation Another internal approach addresses the matter of responsibility sharing in the form of a “temporary emergency relocation scheme” which refers to the transfer of persons deemed in need of international protection from one EU Member State to another. The background for introducing the relocation scheme is the de facto failure of the Dublin system to meet the challenges of a massive entrance of asylum seekers into the Union, putting disproportionate responsibility on countries with EU external borders, particularly Greece and Italy. After a first decision was adopted on 14 September by the Council (2015b) to relocate 40,000 asylum applicants from Italy and Greece to the other Member States, a second decision to relocate 120,000 protection seekers (50,400 from Greece, 15,600 from Italy and another 54,000 to be determined) within two years was taken on 22 September—this time based on a binding distributing key taking into account population size (40%), total GDP (40%), the unemployment rate (10%), and the average number of asylum applications and resettlements per million inhabitants 2010–2014 (10%) (Council of the EU 2015c). The decisions taken in the Council were particularly controversial and several Central and Eastern European Member States (especially the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia) opposed a compulsory temporary relocation scheme and were subsequently outvoted. Slovakia and Hungary even filed a lawsuit over the EU’s mandatory asylum quotas at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in November 2015, which the latter, however, dismissed (Rankin 2017). The agreed scheme suffered from an implementation deficit, in part because of Member States’ reluctance and in part due to operational and

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logistic difficulties. At its point of expiration in September 2017, about 27,700 applicants had been relocated in total (European Commission 2017c, 2). As thousands of eligible persons still waited for their transfer, however, the Commission urged the Member States to continue their efforts on a voluntary basis with financial support by the Union. As a result, by October 2019, 96% of eligible persons have been relocated, summing up to 34,690 asylum seekers (European Commission 2019g, 1). Yet, this figure only amounts to 35.3% of the 98,255 places legally dedicated to Italy and Greece. The discrepancy results, inter alia, from the narrow definition of eligibility: only asylum seekers from countries with an EU-wide recognition rate of 75% or higher qualified for the scheme which made it inapplicable to large numbers of applicants, particularly in Italy (Guild et al. 2017, 17, 20). According to the EU auditors, “at least 445,000 Eritreans, Iraqis and Syrians may have been potentially eligible in Greece alone” (Nielsen 2019d)—yet, lacking capacities of the Greek and Italian authorities, the artificial deadline of the EU–Turkey Statement and mistrust on many refugees’ part prevented their registration for the scheme. As a result, those two countries continued to be under pressure. Furthermore, Member States differed in their determination and the actual efforts they made to meet their legal obligations. As Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary had by then either not relocated any single asylum seeker or had stopped pledging for almost a year, the Commission (2017b) launched an infringement procedure against these countries in June 2017. Critics further contend that the scheme did not adequately include asylum seekers’ preferences as well as their economic capability and personal/family circumstances when deciding on the state of relocation (Ekathimerini 2015; The Guardian 2016). Similar to the Dublin system, this distribution mechanism expected asylum systems across the EU to offer comparable protection standards and similar access to welfare. However, case law from both the European Court of Justice (2011) and the European Court of Human Rights (2014) has demonstrated that some Member States, particularly in Southern Europe, failed to provide even basic standards. The temporary emergency relocation scheme diverted from the “firstcountry-of-entry” logic of the current Dublin regulation and might be seen as a first effort by the EU toward sharing the responsibility for refugees among its members. Yet, in view of its temporary nature, it failed to establish a longer-term sustainable alternative to Dublin. Thus, in December 2015 deliberations began in the Council on a permanent

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relocation scheme (European Commission 2015d; Zaun 2017). Yet, in early 2016 the talks were aborted as opposition prevailed. As an alternative, the Commission (2016b) launched a proposal for a “Dublin plus” regulation that would maintain existing rules, but would include a “corrective fairness mechanism,” as a result of which refugees could be redistributed in times of crisis to take the pressure off external border states. The European Council (2018a) suggested that those who are saved, according to international law, should be transferred to controlled centers setup in Member States only on a voluntary basis. The emphasis of voluntary actions renders this vision improbable and prompts the question of which country is willing to build these centers and accept refugees whose asylum claims were found admissible. A potential solution seemed to crystallize after harsh negotiations informed by the imperfection of the temporary relocation scheme and revolving around different perceptions of solidarity and diverging positions on obligations vs. voluntary contributions when it comes to the allocation of asylum seekers (European Commission 2017f, 6; Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Poland 2016). A proposal by the Bulgarian Presidency called for a dynamic model distinguishing “three phases of the crisis mechanism: normal circumstances, challenging circumstances and severe crises” (Council of the EU 2018a, para. 21) associated with different measures taken and monitored by different EU institutions (see ibid., annex II). In order to relieve EU countries with external borders through solidarity, financial as well as expert, technical, and operational support would be provided automatically under harshening circumstances and the external dimension would be addressed by cooperating with third countries of origin, transit, or first asylum. Notably, the proposal intends to replenish these measures with “targeted allocation primarily on a voluntary basis, with strong incentives, and, as a measure of last resort, on the basis of a Council Implementing Decision as an effective guarantee of triggering allocation” (ibid., para. 24). In other words, the Commission’s more ambitious vision of introducing an automatically triggered relocation mechanism was abandoned in favor of Member States’ leeway and willingness, thereby leaving scope for national resistance. Insistence on the first-country-of-entry principle would denote that external border states would continue to be allocated the responsibility for asylum applicants, further putting their authoritative and logistical capacities under strain. Given strict registration orders under the new Eurodac regulation

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and the strengthened focus on countering “secondary movements” (cf. European Council 2018a, para. 11), Greece and Italy would no longer be able to let migrants pass on to other countries. As a result, a further crisis would be likely to occur, triggering first the mode of voluntary relocation and ultimately a binding Council decision. With no compromise reached on the basis of the Bulgarian model and despite new dynamics under the Finnish and Croatian Presidencies, by early 2020 no visible progress has been made for arriving at a just allocation of responsibility among states and thus for effective protection of asylum seekers and a guarantee of their right under EU law. Interdimensional Response—Resettlement and Alternative Legal Access to the EU Resettlement refers to the process of admitting displaced people in need of protection from outside the EU to the Member States to prevent refugees from taking dangerous paths across the sea or risking their lives by exposing themselves to smugglers. Prior to resettlement under the EU–Turkey Statement which resulted in a transfer of roughly 21,000 Syrians by March 2019 (Council of the EU 2019b), the heads of state and government agreed on a two-year European resettlement scheme concerning 20,000 persons. By March 2019 over 24,000 refugees have found protection in Europe under this scheme (European Commission 2019e), yet by September 2017 nine Member States had not contributed (European Commission 2017c, 7). In fact, each Member State and some associated states had agreed to voluntarily resettle a specific number of people in need through national and multilateral schemes (Council of the EU 2015a). This process has led to substantial differences between the Member States concerning selection criteria, length of procedures and the number of places. Thus, in July 2016, the European Commission (2016d) proposed a permanent framework with a unified procedure for resettlement across the EU (see below). As the first ad hoc program of July 2015 was only setup for two years and resettlement from Turkey was limited in scope, the Commission (2017f, 9) urged Member States in its December 2017 roadmap to bridge the transition to the Union Resettlement Framework by asking Member States to pledge 50,000 places by February 2018 and implementing them by May 2019 with a 50% target in October 2018. With 41,300 persons actually resettled under the scheme by December 2019, Member States

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have followed the Commission’s call by collectively pledging to resettle another 30,000 refugees in 2020 (European Commission 2019e). These resettlements were meant to focus on transfers from Turkey under the EU–Turkey Statement, Lebanon and Jordan as well as Libya, Niger, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan “to contribute to the stabilization of the situation in the central Mediterranean” (European Commission 2017d, art. 3c). In particular, the EU started to cooperate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the financial basis of the EU Trust Fund for Africa to evacuate refugees from Libya to Niger and Rwanda under the “Emergency Transit Mechanism” (ETM) in order to resettle them to European countries (European Commission 2019e). For refugees, the only legal alternative to enter Europe besides resettlement has been family reunification so far. Yet, the Commission also launched a “study on the feasibility and added value of sponsorship schemes as a possible pathway to safe channels of admission to the EU” (ibid., 18). Furthermore, the Commission invited Member States to launch pilot projects on legal economic migration with African partner countries under the Mobility Partnership Facility (ibid.). This instrument, however, seems to be mainly tailored to address labor needs (European Commission 2018h). Similarly, the EU offers a number of (other) legal (temporary) entry possibilities for highly skilled and seasonal workers, students and researchers (Council of the EU 2018c), which, however, hardly apply to people fleeing persecution. Internal Dimension of the Response—The CEAS Reform While the first generation of EU asylum legislation merely arrived at common minimum standards, the second generation of EU laws in this area did not manage to go significantly beyond the status quo ante (Ripoll Servent and Trauner 2014; Den Heijer et al. 2016). In the wake of the crisis, it became clear that the lack of harmonization of asylum legislation had (significantly) contributed to the crisis, not least in terms of prompting diverging migratory pressures across the EU. Therefore, the Commission proposed seven closely interlinked legislative reforms on May 4, and July 13, 2016 respectively. With (1) the new Dublin IV regulation at their heart, these proposals aimed at (2) establishing a European Union Agency for Asylum, (3) turning the Asylum Procedures and (4) Qualification Directives into enforced regulations, (5) recasting the

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Reception Conditions Directive, (6) deciding on a reinforced Eurodac regulation, and (7) setting up a Union Resettlement Framework. These reform proposals aimed at “limiting secondary movements and making asylum procedures more efficient” (Council of the EU 2018a, para. 14) by striking a balance between responsibility and solidarity as well as by harmonizing provisions concerning procedure, reception, and qualification as to avoid incentives to head for a certain Member State with more favorable conditions. These proposals were joined by two additional initiatives on September 12, 2018: (8) besides the strengthened EBCG, the Commission presented its proposal for (9) a revised Return Directive regarding which the Council (2019a) partially agreed on a common negotiating position in June 2019. Inter alia, the latter seeks to render procedures faster and clearer, enforce cooperation by concerned migrants, facilitate detention for security reasons and enable returns to “safe third countries” if necessary. While controversial discussions in the Council have prevented substantial progress regarding the Dublin reform (cf. section relocation above) and the planned Asylum Procedures Directive, headway has been made on most of the other legislative acts by early 2020: The principal consensus on the Eurodac Regulation between the co-legislators will allow for the collection of more data to be accessed in an easier way by law enforcement authorities. The adoption of a new EU Asylum Agency, intended to guarantee uniform assessments of asylum applications and technically/operationally assist Member States, hinges on progress on the remaining CEAS reform proposals. Both, the debate on the Qualifications Regulation and the Reception Conditions Directive, have reached the negotiation stage between Council and Parliament. They respectively seek to redefine the common criteria for assessing asylum applications and set common standards for reception (including the right to work no later than nine months after applying for protection and guaranteed education and care for minors, while preventing secondary movements by means of area restrictions). Trilogue discussions have resulted in provisional compromise texts, which were, however, not endorsed by the Council, whose amendments were subsequently unacceptable to the European Parliament. As a result, trialogue negotiations have been on hold since. Finally, the EU Resettlement Framework shall determine the maximum number of refugees to be admitted, how it is divided up among Member

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States and which regions shall be given priority. Similar to the Reception Conditions Directive and the Qualification Regulation, trialogue negotiations are currently stalled. As for the Asylum Procedures Directive, part of the controversy revolves around a common list of safe third countries and safe countries of origin. The latter instrument is used by Member States to define countries which, based on their stable democratic system and compliance with international human rights treaties, are presumed safe to live in. While the “safe country of origin” concept allows for an accelerated examination procedure, the application of “safe third countries” and “first countries of asylum” may result in declaring an application inadmissible (Council of the EU 2018a, para. 15). Critics suggested that the proposed regulation would in practice tend to considerably limit asylum seekers’ rights to appeal a negative decision and to lawfully stay in the country where an application is lodged during a pending appeal. A standardized EU list might consequently lead to harmonization on the lowest common denominator in protection standards (Amnesty International 2015). Interdimensional Response—Preventing Irregular Migration Through Border Controls; Trafficking and Smuggling Since the Commission’s Agenda on Migration has identified the fight against the business of smuggling and trafficking in human beings as well as against illegal migration as one of its priorities, the EU has started several activities. From its summit on October 18, 2018 the European Council (2018b, para. 3) concluded that The fight against people-smuggling networks needs to be stepped up: work with third countries on investigating, apprehending and prosecuting smugglers and traffickers should be intensified, with a view to preventing people from embarking on perilous journeys.

To ensure better coordination among the EU Member States, a European Migrant Smuggling Centre was established at Europol in February 2019. As regards the sea, the EU is operating three main naval missions (in addition to assisting operations like Hera, Indalo, and Minerva): Poseidon, Themis (formerly Triton), and Sophia. Since June 2015, the EU has tripled its budget on the already existent missions Triton (since 2014)

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and Poseidon (since 2006), thus reverting the cuts from the abovementioned abolition of “Mare Nostrum” (Menéndez 2016, 397). Poseidon and Themis (replacing operation Triton in February 2018) both focus on border control and surveillance, with Themis operating in the Central Mediterranean and Poseidon along the Greek sea borders with Turkey (Council of the EU 2018b). Since providing help in emergencies is one of the operations’ objectives, many lives of refugees in distress at sea could be saved—250,000 by Triton/Themis and another 82,000 by Poseidon between January 2016 and June 2018. Notably, migrants saved under operation Themis now have to be disembarked at the closest harbor, rather than only on Italian territory (Deutsche Welle 2018). However, although both areas of operation have been heavily expanded since June 2015, Themis and Poseidon only intervene in situations near the EU’s external borders. The third naval mission is EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia launched in June 2015. It originally had two main goals: disrupting trafficking and smuggling and preventing further loss of life in the Mediterranean high seas. In order to achieve them, it seeks to identify, seize, and dispose of vessels used by migrant smugglers or traffickers. By the end of June 2018, the mission saved almost 45,000 lives, while arresting about 150 smugglers and destroying roughly 550 boats (Council of the EU 2018b). Starting in August 2016, the mission’s mandate was extended inter alia to training the Libyan coast guard and navy (Council of the EU 2016). While, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Libyan authorities have presumably saved almost 5000 migrants in the first trimester of 2018 (European Commission 2018b, 3), reports of refugees being abused and maltreated by the Libyan coast guard (Campbell 2017; CNN, n.d.; Nielsen 2017b), which is accused of partly being involved in smuggling (Campbell 2017), as well as cases of interference with civil rescue operators like Seawatch in which several people drowned (Forensic Oceanography 2018, 87–99) caused the EU to set up a monitoring system of the Libyan coast guard— which, however, basically consists of self-reporting (Nielsen 2017a). Yet, the Commission (2018b, 11–12) concluded from the first monitoring report in March 2018 that “capacity and professionalism are progressing but […] effective monitoring could further benefit from a continued presence of EUNAVFORMED personnel in the operation centers of the Libyan Coast Guard.” With regard to its support of Libyan authorities,

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the EU is accused of using the Libyan coast guard to “operate refoulement by proxy” on its own behalf “with full knowledge of the Libyan Coast Guard’s violent behavior and the detention and inhumane treatment that awaited migrants upon being returned to Syria” (Forensic Oceanography 2018, 7; see also Amnesty International 2017). According to Campbell (2017), the current cooperation resembles operations under the EU–Turkey Statement and the former Hera joint operation with the Senegalese and Mauritanian coast guards in “using the coast guards of bordering countries to do what European coast guards can’t, that is, physically prevent people from getting to Europe.” Despite these concerns, Sophia’s mandate was extended until March 31, 2020 in September 2019, while naval assets were temporarily suspended since. Over time a debate has evolved on how to proceed with irregular migrants rescued at sea. The discussion resulted in plans for external disembarkation platforms (European Council 2018a, para 5)—in addition to European processing centers. The Commission (2018f, 3) finds that a “regional arrangement could function by identifying partner countries and working with the UNHCR and IOM to ensure those disembarked can be channeled to existing EU resettlement schemes if they are in need of protection or into the return and reintegration programmes run by the IOM if they are not.” In fact, the Commission (2018g, 2) was clear that, in order to avoid creating a pull factor, “resettlement possibilities will not be available to all disembarked persons in need of international protection and points of reception should be established as far away as possible from points of irregular departure.” This approach risks to severely undermine the Union’s identity of being a defender of human rights and international law. Stefanov (2018) questions the overall approach of establishing refugee centers in third states by underlining the legal and jurisdictional uncertainty as well as the difficulty to ensure the centers’ security and maintain control on external ground. In addition, this approach practically depends on third countries’ agreement which they are likely to grant only at a considerable amount of concessions. Meanwhile, during Lega Nord’s populist coalition government, Italy closed its havens to refugees rescued at sea by NGOs, thereby putting them at high risk. Attempts by France, Germany, Italy and Malta to establish a fast-track plan for disembarking and relocating these migrants have received insufficient support by other Member States, thus preventing a de facto change to the distribution of responsibilities under the Dublin Regulation (Nielsen 2019a).

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Due to the limited capacities and competences of Frontex to “protect” the EU’s external borders, the Commission launched a proposal for a European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCG) in December 2015 that was negotiated rather swiftly and entered into force in October 2016. The EBCG goes significantly beyond the former Frontex due to its enhanced resources, enlarged mandate and increased independence vis-à-vis Member States. For instance, it carries out regular mandatory vulnerability assessments of Member States’ border management capabilities. Where deficiencies are discovered and not acted upon by Member States, the EBCG’s “right to intervene” may be invoked by a qualified majority in the Council to dispatch border guards to a Member State, even against its will. Although some noticeably integrative steps have been taken (Niemann and Speyer 2017), critics have held that the EBCG fails to establish a common European border management, inter alia since substantial responsibilities (e.g., the implementation of border controls) have been left to the Member States (Carrera and den Hertog 2016; de Bruycker 2016). In meetings its tasks, the agency has long been hampered by significant shortfalls in personnel and assets to be provided by the Member States (European Commission 2017f, 9; 2018b, 17). In November 2019, the Council adopted a revised regulation to better equip the EBCG—for example through a standing corps of up to 10,000 operational staff— and strengthening its mandate regarding return and border control: besides collecting information and travel documents as well as financing return operations, the agency also gained the competence to deploy its forces beyond EU territory/and in neighboring countries (European Commission 2019d). Apart from operating at sea, the EU has increasingly put a general emphasis on border control (or “border protection” as it is often framed), arguing that this step is necessary to ensure the functioning of the common Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice. Specifically, Frontex assists countries like Hungary and Croatia, inter alia by deploying officers and border surveillance equipment. Such controls, paired with a lack of legal ways of access, however, entrain serious consequences: with the alleged closure of the Western Balkans route being unable to prevent forced migration and continued efforts by refugees and other migrants to reach EU territory, these border controls actively prevent access to the EU’s protective system. As a consequence, the case of the Bosnian camp of Vuˇcjak has become an infamous example of the inhumane conditions

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migrants face when stranding in countries with insufficient supporting capabilities. This fact alone is severely aggravated by reproaches of systematic illegal push backs conducted, inter alia, by the Croatian border police (Shaun 2019). Interdimensional Response—Return and Readmission While returns are considered a vital element to the functioning of the CEAS by European leaders, they still tend to be dysfunctional with a decreasing return rate from 46% in 2016 to 37% in 2017, indicating that return decisions are often not implemented which is partly due to a lack of cooperation by states of origin (European Commission 2018b, 14– 15). Returns are legally based on the EU Return Directive and rely on readmission agreements—whereby third countries agree to readmit both their own nationals and nationals of other countries that illegally reside in the EU. By the summer of 2019, the EU had concluded 23 of such readmission agreements (European Commission 2019f). European leader’s agreed that regarding external border control and return of irregular migrants, “the supportive role of Frontex, including in the cooperation with third countries, should be further strengthened through increased resources and an enhanced mandate” (European Council 2018a, para. 10). The agency comprises at least three pools of return specialists, escorts, and monitors which can be deployed at Member States’ request (European Commission 2017e, 1). Furthermore, the setup of an autonomous return department and the development of individual national operational plans and the advancement of “pilot projects to develop and test innovative solutions for joint management of returns” (ibid., 2) was intended to further enhance the efficiency of European and national return policy. Meanwhile, the role of the EBCG in operating returns was subject to widespread criticism in view of reports on insufficient internal monitoring of misconduct (Nielsen and Fotiadis 2019). With regard to repeated requests by the European Council and Council to render return more efficient, in September 2018, the Commission proposed a new Return Directive to “reduce the length of return procedures, secure a better link between asylum and return procedures and ensure a more effective use of measures to prevent absconding” (European Commission 2018i, 2). In June 2019, the Justice and Home Affairs Council agreed on several amendments to the proposal, including

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extending the maximum duration of entry-bans from five to ten years, and rules allowing Member States to decide that costs related to removal and detention of returnees are borne by the returnees themselves. The European Parliament has not reached a common position by the end of 2019. Over the years, the EU’s determination to count more on return in a context of general stronger demands against third parties in controlling migration has remarkably grown. During his hearings in October 2019, the responsible Commissioner, Margaritis Schinas, revealed that besides rendering returns more efficient through a harmonized set of rules, he aims to conclude further readmission agreements (Nielsen 2019e). To this aim, in an amendment to the Visa Code Regulation adopted in May 2019, the EU facilitated the use of visa policies as leverage against third countries to increase their cooperation on readmission (European Parliament 2019). External Dimension of the Response—EU–Turkey Statement Confronted with the relative failure of the internal measures taken to resolve the refugee crisis, the EU increasingly tried to find additional external solutions. Building on the “EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan” activated on 29 November 2015 (European Council 2015), the “EU–Turkey Statement” of March 18, 2016 (European Council 2016) is at the heart of this strategy (Slominski and Trauner 2017). It contains the following main aspects: (1) as of 20 March 2016 new irregular migrants entering Greece through Turkey have been taken back to Turkey. This applies to all migrants who have either not applied for asylum or whose applications have been declared “inadmissible” or “unfounded.” (2) A 1:1 resettlement scheme: for every Syrian returned to Turkey, another Syrian already registered in Turkey is resettled to the EU. The maximum number of refugees who would be returned through this mechanism is 72,000. (3) Turkey promised to take the necessary measures to stop new sea or land routes to the EU. (4) In return, the EU would grant Turkey (i) visa liberalization, provided that Turkey would take the necessary steps to fulfil the remaining requirements, (ii) disbursement of 3 billion Euros under the “Facility for Refugees in Turkey” fund and an additional funding of 3 billion Euros, which should both be spent on specific projects aiming to help Syrian refugees in Turkey, (iii) further negotiations and work on

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the upgrading of the Customs Union and (iv) the resumption of Turkey’s accession negotiations to the Union. Observers have credited the EU–Turkey Statement for the considerable reduction of refugees entering Greece via Turkey. In fact, arrivals in Greece dropped by 98% between 2015 and 2016 and registered deaths and missing persons in the Aegean Sea went down by 94%, a trend which continued in the following years (European Commission 2019c). Yet, the relative impact of the EU–Turkey Statement has been questioned because it concurred with the closure of the Western Balkans route, reporting on poor reception conditions in Greece and the introduction of internal border checks by several EU countries (de Marcilly and Garde 2016, 6; Koenig and Walter-Franke 2017, 4). Moreover, monthly arrivals in Greece had been declining prior to the EU–Turkey Statement already (Spijkerboer 2016), possibly induced by the approaching winter and the deteriorating weather conditions. Furthermore, the low number of returns (2441) under the EU–Turkey Statement until March 2019 show that it did not have an impact of scale (European Commission 2019c). Yet, the projects funded under the facility have actually contributed to ameliorating the living conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, inter alia by granting (partial) access to education, healthcare, vaccinations, and monthly cash transfers (ibid.)—although the EU Member States only agreed in June 2018 on how to fund the second tranche. Still, many criticisms can be levelled against the EU–Turkey Agreement. (1) Doubts have been raised whether asylum protection in Turkey is in accordance with international standards. Claims of insufficient capacity and experience of the Turkish authorities and the judiciary (Ulusoy 2016) contrast with the UNHCR (n.d., 1) evaluation that Turkey now “provides protection and assistance for asylum seekers and refugees, regardless of the country of origin,” referring to the Law on Foreigners and International Protection. In addition, Human Rights Watch (2016b) published reports claiming that Turkish border guards shot at migrants trying to cross the border and Amnesty International (2016a) reported that large numbers of Syrians have been removed to Syria. (2) The legal obstacles of taking refugees back to Turkey were partly solved by declaring Turkey a safe third country, a practice that can be considered problematic and may now be seriously disputed on the basis of the steps taken after the failed coup in July 2016 (Menéndez 2016, 410). (3) By making the deal with Turkey such a central element of the EU response to the crisis, the Union has risked to become considerably dependent on Turkey and thus

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susceptible to blackmail by a leader with clear authoritarian leanings—a fear that has materialized with President Erdo˘gan using migrants repeatedly as a bargaining chip after his military offensive on north-eastern Syria started in October 2019 (Nielsen 2019c, 2020). (4) The situation in Greece is not covered coherently: the agreement does not involve refugees who entered Greece before March 20, 2016— more than 46,000 migrants according to Greek estimates at the time of this deadline. In fact, the return arrangement did not lead to an effective relief of Greece since many refugees now directly applied for asylum in Greece rather than other preferred countries of destination in order to avoid being returned (Collett 2016; Human Rights Watch 2016c). Therefore, the share of returns in 2016 only represented a small fraction of total arrivals (Euractiv 2016). (5) The speed of resettlement has been slow. Between April 2016 and March 2017 3656 Syrians were resettled from Turkey to the EU. At this pace, it would have taken the EU around 13 years to resettle all Syrians it promised to (Koenig and WalterFranke 2017, 5). (6) The arrangement fails to meet its aim of creating safe legal pathways to Europe because places were taken from promises already made under existing resettlement and relocation programs (Peers 2016). (7) The “EU–Turkey statement” is not legally binding and has not been adopted as part of the EU architecture. Thus, EU institutions cannot be held accountable for it which evades the usual checks and balances present in the EU framework, such as scrutiny of the ECJ (Carrera et al. 2017). The statement became a (potential) blueprint for similar deals. (8) The closure of one route is unlikely to prevent migration, but rather to invite the usage of even more dangerous paths to Europe. Hence, the EU– Turkey cooperation turns out to be a band-aid solution that is displacing the problem (Collett 2016) and does not offer the necessary protection and integration to all persons in need—especially in a country already hosting millions of refugees (Atak 2015), while curtailing the right to seek asylum in Europe (Amnesty International 2016b; Human Rights Watch 2016c). External Dimension of the Response—Additional Cooperation with Third Countries From the EU’s point of view, migration and asylum cannot merely be dealt with once migrants have reached European ground, but must also be addressed by countries of transit and of origin. On October

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18, 2018, the European Council (2018b, para. 2) again emphasized “the importance of further preventing illegal migration and of strengthening cooperation with countries of origin and transit, particularly in North Africa, as part of a broader partnership,” including Egypt and the Arab League. As the route across the Central Mediterranean toward Italy became the most frequented one with the second half of 2016, in February 2017, the European Council (2017) decided on its Malta summit to reduce irregular migration and to cooperate with Libya for this purpose. In addition, in November 2017, the EU, the African Union and UNHCR set up a joint migration task force to strengthen their cooperation concerning migration in Africa and especially Libya (Council of the EU 2018d). Yet, particularly regarding the latter, the Commission (2019a, 2) admitted in March 2019 that “continued efforts are needed to put an end to the untenable situation on the ground”—an objective which it intended to meet through continued evacuation from detention centers, assistance at disembarkation, coordinated resettlement, and facilitating voluntary returns. With crossings via the Western Mediterranean to Spain becoming the most frequented route in 2018, the EU decided to scale up its cooperation with Morocco—i.e., to encourage improvements in border control through a 140 million Euro program, finalize a readmission agreement and expand development support within the framework of the North African Window of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (see below) (European Commission 2019a). In June 2016, the European Commission (2016c, 1) announced a new Migration Partnership Framework (“migration compacts”) “with key third countries of origin and transit using a mix of incentives tailored to produce concrete results in stemming the flow of irregular migrants and helping third countries’ development in order to address root causes of irregular migration.” Besides “addressing root causes,” these partnerships also focus on return and readmission as well as legal ways of migration and countering trafficking and smuggling while saving lives at sea (ibid.). Financially, the framework builds on the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the External Investment Plan. The following countries were proposed as priority partners: Mali, Niger, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Senegal, Nigeria, and Jordan. While adding to the Global Approach on Migration and Mobility, the established Rabat, Khartoum and Budapest Processes and Regional Development and Protection Programmes, these partnerships also build upon the European Neighbourhood Policy review 2015, the Western Balkans Leaders’ meeting in October 2015, the Valletta Summit

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on migration one month later, the EU–Turkey Statement as well as on naval operations Sophia, Triton/Themis and Poseidon (ibid., 3). One and a half years after its launch, concrete implementation had started with Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, and Ethiopia, while further work continued with other countries in North-West Africa and Asia (European Commission 2017i, 1): as a result, (1) political dialogue has been strengthened via regular meetings and the deployment of twelve migration liaison officers as well as cooperation with EBCG and Europol. (2) A Joint Investigation Team was established with Niger to combat smuggling and trafficking—functioning as a potential role model for other countries. Moreover, local income support has provided an alternative to earning money through smuggling in the north of Niger and the EU continued to promote the G5 Sahel Joint Force with 147 million Euro. (3) Five transit centers offering assistance, medical care, and psychological support were created in Niger in cooperation with IOM. Protection was also provided for migrants in Libya and voluntary returns are funded by the Commission. (4) Improvement of “migration management systems” was achieved through IT support and the monitoring of migration and population (ibid., 2). (5) Overall, the EU aimed to create 188,000 new jobs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, West Africa, and the Sahel. Besides, more than 1.6 million people started to receive basic social services. Until May 2018, additional progress was achieved from the EU’s perspective: (1) Cooperation has further intensified with the African partners Ethiopia, Guinea, The Gambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt and Nigeria in terms of dialogue and implementation work, including border management, smuggling and readmission. (2) As for the Horn of Africa, the Regional Operational Centre for the Khartoum Process in order to strengthen joint investigations on smuggling has advanced, while government officials have been trained on border management and migrant rights under the “Better Migration Management Programme.” (3) Morocco continued to cooperate with Spain on border surveillance (European Commission 2018b, 14). Despite the promotion of such advancements by the Commission, unofficially, there is also ample frustration on both sides of these partnerships: whereas EU officials lament a lack of willingness to cooperate on returns and to conclude official readmission agreements, third states have often criticized the use of conditionality and a very limited focus on legal migration (Collett and Ahad 2017). Since the latter hinges on the (lacking) approval of Member States, however,

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the incentives of visa liberalization and financial means apparently do not suffice to create mutual benefits on equal terms. Overall, there has been a clear trend toward more informal arrangements as well as toward an overt expression of EU interests and inclusion of other external EU policies. In general, the partnerships ought to be situated in the broader context of the EU’s partnership with Africa which was again expressed at the fifth summit with the African Union on 29/30 November 2017. Regarding the focus of migration and mobility, the Unions reinforced their joint commitment to protecting migrants in Libya and on associated routes through their joint task force with UNHCR (European Commission 2017h, 3). Furthermore, by the end of 2017, the EU had participated in 14 Peace Support Operations in Africa, engaging in peace-building, conflict prevention and training of military, police and judicial personnel (ibid., 4). Missions in Niger and Mali in combination with the EU Trust Fund for Africa assisted the Nigerien authorities and IOM in saving more than 1100 migrants in 2017 (European Commission 2017g, 2). Apart from Africa, other regions of cooperation include Asian and Western Balkan countries with whom the EU has signed readmission agreements. European Heads of State and Government concluded from their summit on June 28, 2018 that “[c]ooperation with, and support for, partners in the Western Balkans region remain key to exchange information on migratory flows, prevent illegal migration, increase the capacities for border protection and improve return and readmission procedures” (European Council 2018a, para. 4). Since the Western Balkans meeting on October 25, 2015, exchange has continued via weekly and biweekly video conferences including EU agencies, UNHCR and IOM (European Commission 2018c, 1). External Dimension of the Response—(Trust) Funds Supporting Countries of Origin and Neighboring Regions To diminish further migration, the EU has built up several trust funds as an add-on to the external policy instruments of the EU that pool a substantial amount of financial aid from different sources. Currently, apart from the Facility for Refugees in Turkey described above, there are four main funds in action in response to the refugee crisis: (1) The EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the “Madad” Fund, has been established in December 2014 to

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meet the regional challenges of the Syrian crisis; it provides aid for Syrian refugees within Syria and neighboring countries, namely Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, and the Western Balkans. More specifically, the Madad Fund aims to help 1.5 million Syrian refugees and also internally displaced persons in Iraq by providing basic necessities such as health care, education, child protection, water infrastructure as well as improved economic opportunities and social inclusion (European Commission 2018e). It wants to achieve both providing the youth with future prospects and alleviate pressure on host countries. By June 2018, contributions from 22 EU Member States, Turkey and the EU budget amounted to 1.5 billion Euro and 920 million Euro had by then been contracted in almost 50 projects (ibid.). (2) The Bêkou Trust Fund for the Central African Republic, established in July 2014, is to fund post-conflict and transition-related activities, such as health, employment, or refugee support. By the end of 2017, pledges have risen to 236 million and overall 149.3 million Euro have been allocated for a total of 15 projects which concentrate on rural development, infrastructure, water supply, and sanitary coverage as well as support for displaced persons (European Commission 2017j, 5–6, 27). (3) The Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, established at the Valletta Summit in November 2015, seeks to address the root causes of destabilization, forced displacement, and irregular migration as well as provide improved access to basic social services and strengthen the economy and employment (Council of the EU 2018d). It is subdivided into three windows covering beneficiaries from the Sahel region/Lake Chad, the Horn of Africa, and the North of Africa. Programs prioritize economic and equal opportunities, resilience, security, and development (European Commission 2017a). By March 2019, 188 programs and e3.6 billion have been deployed to improve conditions for would be migrants in African countries of origin and transit (European Commission 2019b). Taking the example and special focus of Libya, the EU cooperates with IOM and UNHCR to help refugees and internally displaced persons at disembarkation points, inside and outside detention centers as well as in host communities (European Commission 2018a, 1). Given numerous reports of massive abuse and exploitation of migrants in Libya (Amnesty International

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2017), in April 2017, a new 48 million Euro package for improving the living conditions of migrants—also in detention centers—was adopted, followed by a 50 million Euro program in support of migrants and host communities in March 2018 (Council of the EU 2018d). Notably, according to programs managed to achieve the following results by July 2018: direct assistance (nonfood items and hygiene kits) for 52,200 refugees and vulnerable migrants, medical assistance for 26,000, basic support for 3500 Libyan families and medical equipment for four Primary Health Care Centers (European Commission 2018a, 1). The EU also undertakes a joint effort with UNICEF for the release of children from detention centers and supply of their basic needs (European Commission 2018b, 10). Yet, while Libyan municipalities are stabilized via the rehabilitation of schools, hospitals, nurseries, and police stations as well as strengthening of water, sanitation and social infrastructure, other programs also focus on the training of Libyan authorities on human rights and “integrated border management”: as mentioned above, the Libyan coast guard receives training and important equipment through this fund and pilot activities are conducted “to increase capacity for the Southern border surveillance in the area of Ghât” (European Commission 2018a, 2). (4) Following a Commission proposal in September 2016, the colegislators swiftly agreed within less than a year to establish an External Investment Plan (EIP) aiming to “use EU funds to leverage private investment into the realm of development in Africa and other parts of the EU’s neighbourhood” (European Commission 2017f, appendix 1). According to the Commission (2017h, 2), “[s]uch investments will mainly be targeted on improving social and economic infrastructure, for example municipal infrastructure and proximity services, on providing support to small and mediumsized enterprises, and on microfinance and job creation projects, in particular for young people.” In September 2017, a new regulation created the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) as the main channel to operationalize the EIP (ibid.). By March 2019, e3.7 billion had been allocated to EIP projects, helping to create jobs and growth in the European Neighbourhood and Africa (Commission 2019b).

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den Hertog (2016, 13) raises suspicion that the actual arrangements and priorities under these funds might rather serve the EU’s short-term security interests. Similarly, a dedicated CONCORD study (2018, 6) on the impact of the EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and Migration Compacts raises “concern that the EUTF is being used as a political tool focusing on quick-fix projects” and “contribut[ing] unintentionally to inhumane treatment of migrants and refugees, as in the case of Libya.”

Conclusion The EU’s overall response to the crisis has perhaps been more substantial and comprehensive than commonly perceived, given the wide range of internal and external policy measures. Yet, since the overall issue has deeply divided the European Union and its societies, proper internal solutions and particularly a sustainable restructuring of responsibility among Member States have not materialized. The increasing securitization and externalization of responsibilities under international law, while decreasing migration flows in the short run, also consciously deny access to protection for many people fleeing persecution and violent conflict. In this way, the EU not only backs away from its global share of responsibility, but also accepts and, in fact, nurtures suffering, maltreatment, and exploitation of refugees. The arguments of “fighting irregular migration” to retain control and prevent refugees from falling prey to smugglers and human traffickers lacks credibility, considering the insufficient provision of actual legal access for asylum seekers as resettlement is only offered to a fraction of those in need. While cooperation with countries of origin to create new opportunities and security at home make for a good start, the increased application of conditionality toward third countries to ensure their cooperation on readmission and “border management” is but an evasive maneuver. Overall, security-oriented measures have come to dominate humanitarian considerations. The Commission is likely to follow this course with its new Pact for Asylum and Migration to be presented in spring 2020, just like the Finnish and Croatian Council Presidencies have done before (Agence Europe 2020; Council of the EU 2019b). As a result, the EU still does not seem well prepared for another inflow of refugees and other migrants as long as no fair internal compromise based on solidarity and international responsibility has been reached. A Common European Asylum System aiming at substantial harmonization among Member States, e.g., on the qualification, reception, and

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redistribution of asylum seekers as well as on asylum procedures, would considerably contribute to legal certainty and clear/unitary rights (and duties) for refugees and asylum seekers across the EU. However, it is questionable—despite the legislative acts underway—that this kind of harmonization will come about in any substantial fashion soon, given the persistent hesitance of Member States to make real sovereignty transfers in this area.

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CHAPTER 6

Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean Energy Resources Marco Giuli

Introduction Since 2009, the discovery of offshore gas resources in Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt were met with enthusiasm in Europe. The EU is the largest gas market in these resources’ proximity. Its energy security picture, although sensibly improved as a result of benign global market conditions and enhanced regulatory and infrastructural resilience to external supply shocks, remains subject to tense political relations with Russia, the main gas supplier to the EU. At the same time, the EU’s domestic gas production is falling, and import dependency is set to increase over the short to medium run. As such, the potential emergence of a new gas province at the gates of Europe appears timely. In 2015, the Energy Union Communication presented by the European Commission stated that “the EU will use all its foreign policy instruments to establish strategic energy partnerships with increasingly important producing and transit countries or

M. Giuli (B) Institute of European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_6

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regions such as Algeria and Turkey; Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan; the Middle East; Africa and other potential suppliers” (European Commission 2015), while the subsequent Energy Diplomacy Action Plan endorsed by the European Council included the resources from the Eastern Mediterranean among those that should be prioritized by the EU’s external action in the pursuit of diversification of energy sources, supplies and routes (European Council 2015). On the same year, a Resolution of the European Parliament, referring to the Eastern Mediterranean resources, stated that “the EU should take advantage of the opportunities that emerge from these gas reserves in order to enhance its energy security” (European Parliament 2015). This therefore raises questions on the EU’s willingness and ability to materialize expectations regarding achieving energy diversification. To this aim, this chapter will first profile the Euro-Mediterranean oil and gas cooperation, focusing on what objectives and instruments underpin the EU’s actorness in the energy field in the Mediterranean. It will then explore the case of the Eastern Mediterranean gas discoveries, weighing opportunities for Europe against a number of technical, commercial, and political challenges at regional and systemic level, and reflecting on the prospects for Eastern Mediterranean resources to contribute to the EU’s quest for energy security and stabilization in its neighborhood.

Profiling Euro-Mediterranean Oil and Gas Relations The Mediterranean has been for a long time a relevant component of European external energy interests. In 2017, southern and eastern Mediterranean countries (SEMCs) accounted for 9.1% of oil and 13.6% of EU gas imports (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2018). Energy— which accounts for more than half of SEMCs exports toward the EU—is included as one of the working areas for many cooperation initiatives between the EU and its neighbors, ranging from the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) to the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) (Schmid 2013). Although the relative weight of the Mediterranean in the EU energy mix decreased after the EU enlargement waves of 2004 and 2007, the energy resources of the region achieved value for the EU as a source of diversification of European gas supplies.

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The Euro-Mediterranean Energy Trade Indeed, diversification did not lie at the core of EU energy action in this region, at least compared to the amount of diplomatic and financial support that the EU dedicated to initiatives to access the Caspian gas resources since the early 2000s. The Southern Gas Corridor initiative was presented by the European Commission (2008). Before that, the Caspian-Europe Nabucco pipeline project—whose preparation started in 2002—was designated as a project of strategic importance in the TransEuropean Networks-Energy (TEN-E) program. Most of the oil and gas cooperation between the two sides of the Mediterranean have been developed bilaterally and independently from the EU framework, although with some support from European instruments. Italy, France, and Spain have been the most involved EU member states in the SEMCs’ energy developments. Libya is a pillar of Italy’s energy security architecture (Liga 2018). Libyan oil accounted for 20% of Italy’s Eni total production in 2016 (ENI, Libya). The pipeline Green Stream, connecting the Mellitah oil and gas complex to Gela in Sicily, was completed in 2004 and covered 6.6% of the total Italian gas imports in 2018 (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2019). Eni has also been present in Egypt since 1954. Egypt accounts for 12.66% of Eni’s hydrocarbons production (ENI, Egypt). The relation is set to consolidate further in the aftermath of Eni’s discovery of the giant Zohr offshore gas field in 2015. In 2017, Algeria accounted for 25.4% of Italian gas imports. Eni has a longstanding relation with Algeria’s Sonatrach, culminated with the first pipeline between Algeria and Europe—the 30.2 bcm Transmed pipeline—in the 1983 (ENI, Algeria). In 2018, France absorbed 29.6% of the total Algerian 13.5 bcm of LNG exports (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2018). France’s Total presence in Algeria started in 1952, while its longlasting presence in Libya has increased in the aftermath of the ousting of Muhammar Gaddafi in 2011. In 2018, Total achieved 16.33% of the Waha concession through the purchase of Marathon Oil Libya (Ghaddar and Lewis 2018). This allows Total to raise production to 50,000 bbl/d and expand exploration in the Sirte basin. Spain also has relevant energy interests in the SEMCs. In 2018, Algeria provided 82.1% of Spain’s piped gas imports via the GME and the Medgaz pipelines, and 10% of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2019). Algeria’s Sonatrach is a shareholder of Spain’s Naturgy, which also owns a share

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of Egypt’s Damietta liquefaction terminal. Repsol is involved in upstream operations in Algeria and Libya (25,400 bbl/d) (Repsol, Algeria). Such a longstanding European relation with North African energy seems to suffer a certain fatigue. Commercial and political factors are threatening the role of Algeria and Libya in the EU’s energy security architecture. Traditional Exporters in Turmoil Since 2005, natural gas exports from Algeria to Europe have been steadily declining (−31% between 2005 and 2018), leaving its gas export infrastructure utilized at half its capacity and leading to significant losses of market shares in Europe. While Algeria provided 25 bcm of natural gas to Italy in 2010, its exports through at the Italian Mazara del Vallo entry point fell to 6.8 bcm in 2014, later recovering to 16.3 bcm in 2018 (Aissaoui 2016). The economic contraction in Southern Europe accounted as an important factor to explain such a decline. However, demand dynamics in the export markets does not account as the sole reason. Despite production picked up as of 2016 after a decade of stagnation, long-term depletion of mature assets seems to be an incontrovertible trend, especially as for the giant Hassi R’Mel field. Poor resource management and investment constraints are proving particularly detrimental for this key asset, whose decline is being in part compensated by smaller and more costly new fields. Hassi R’Mel’s production cost is estimated at 0.5 $/Mmbtu, as opposed to new fields such as Timimoun and Reggane North, ranging between 4 and 5 $/Mmbtu (Aissaoui 2016). Several estimates point to a huge potential in unconventional resources. For example, the US Energy Information Administration estimates Algeria’s shale gas resources to amount to 20 tcm. (U.S. Energy Information Administration 2015) for which Algeria entered into talks with the French government, Total, and Italy’s Eni. However, the early development met public opposition, notably due to the water needs of the hydro-fracking technology, and raised doubts about the possibility that shale gas could reverse the production outlook at least until 2030 (Ouki 2019). All in all, the fact that Algeria and its European customers redefined the non-price terms of their contracts seems to demonstrate that both parties had an interest in reducing the exchanged volumes. An example of such a trend is the failure of the Galsi pipeline project. Galsi, a 8 bcm subsea pipeline expected to link Algeria to Sardinia, was finally

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shelved in 2015 on the basis of doubts with respect to Algeria’s ability to fulfil the required supply commitments. Libya also shows a declining dynamics, with a decline of gas production from 15.1 bcm in 2008 to 9.8 bcm in 2018. Over the same period, export declined from 9.7 to 4.3 bcm. Here, the political instability which followed the collapse of the Qhadafi regime in 2011 has repeatedly compromised production, as militia have been competing for the control of oil facilities while the large, competing entities emerged from the conflict since 2014—the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Tobruk—have fought over the control of the National Oil Company (NOC). Production shutdowns became a constant element of internal warfare (Baltrop 2019). The dire situation of the supply side is exacerbated by the dynamism of domestic demand, which doubled over the last two decades driven by booming electricity consumption. Between 2008 and 2018, primary energy demand has been growing by 55.7% in Algeria, and 31.7% in Egypt, the most populated countries in the region (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2018). Such a rise turned Egypt into a net importer of natural gas as of 2015, and caused a 10.1% reduction in Algeria’s exports of this commodity between 2007 and 2017. Most of the regional rise in energy demand is reflected in electricity consumption, which rose by 99.4% in Algeria, 61.1% in Egypt, and 55.6% in Morocco over the same period. Outlooks suggest a growth in primary energy consumption above the world average (3% per year until 2030) (Energy Information Administration 2018), and a double rate as for electricity consumption over the same timeline. Demographic expansion is coupled with a strong subsidization of consumption. Subsidies amounted to $8 bn in 2018, accounting for 4% of Algeria’s GDP. Despite regular upward tariff revisions, primary gas prices remain around 0.5 $/Mmbtu, lower than the gas cost of production (Aissaoui 2016). Attempts to increase prices are way more modest than in other MENA energy producers with large populations, such as Saudi Arabia or Egypt (ibid.). All these factors suggest a bleak outlook for the future of the gas trade between Algeria and the EU. Should production continue stagnating and consumption continue to grow with a linear trend, consumption would amount to almost 70 bcm by 2030, leaving about 20 bcm available for exports.

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The EU’s Networked Approach to External Energy Governance and Its Limits Against this context, the EU’s contribution to enhance the role of the Mediterranean in the European energy security architecture has been following a regional, rules-focused approach. The EU pursued the ultimate objective of creating a Euro-Mediterranean energy market regulated by EU rules (Tagliapietra and Zachmann 2016) that could replicate the EU model of domestic regulation across neighboring countries. In 2006, the European Commission’s Green Paper on “A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy” stated that a “common regulatory space” around Europe would be important to achieve energy security (European Commission 2006). This was especially the case as a pan-European internal market for energy (IEM) started emerging (Cambini and Franzi 2014). Such an objective has at times complemented, overlapped, or contradicted member states’ traditional patterns of north–south energy relations (Rubino 2016). Efforts for rules diffusion in the southern Mediterranean are expected to show a positive relation with EU energy security as (i) a rules-based system would normally constrain the discretion of political actors in the energy business, ideally reducing the prominence of political risk as a cause of energy insecurity; (ii) regulatory alignment is expected to improve the investment climate, reducing burdens on the participation of international oil companies in the upstream development; (iii) the diffusion of EU rules would also encourage a more efficient domestic consumption among producers, contributing to maintain a sufficient level of production available for exports. Without domestic reform, there is a strong likelihood that exports of hydrocarbons will be further eroded. The first EU attempts to establish a regional dialogue on energy in the Mediterranean date back to 1995, with the launch of the Barcelona Process or Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed). Within this framework, the Ministers of Energy of Euromed launched in 2007 the Euro-Mediterranean Energy Cooperation, aimed at harmonizing energy markets in the region, promoting sustainable development, and developing initiatives of common interest. The process culminated in 2008 with the creation of the intergovernmental Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). Energy featured prominently in this initiative, which includes a UfM Gas Platform, a UfM Regional Electricity Platform, and a UfM Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Platform. The UfM supported

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in particular several renewable energy projects. These include the Tafila wind farm in Jordan (Tafila wind farm) or initiatives such as the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP), a technical assistance regional initiative to develop an additional 20 GW of installed capacity of renewable electricity generation (wind, solar and other technologies) in the region by 2020. The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) provides an additional framework for energy cooperation, geared toward bilateral EU-neighboring state action plans rather than regional initiatives (European Commission 2003). Despite the prominence given to energy cooperation within the action plans, however, these are not in place at the moment with the largest Mediterranean energy exporters to Europe (Algeria and Libya), while they are in place with Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt. More recently, the MedReg emerged in 2006 as a EU-funded networked initiative among electricity and gas regulators. On the same model, the European Commission launched Med-TSO in 2012, gathering together transmission system operators to foster the definition of common rules for trading and infrastructural development. Networked platforms have been developing also without the participation of public stakeholders in the area of energy efficiency (MED-ENEC) and energy security (MED-EMIP). In addition, industrial stakeholders created in 2010 Medgrid, to explore the prospects of North-South electricity trading. However, several obstacles limited advancements toward the EU’s preferred outcome of creating a common Mediterranean market for energy regulated by EU rules. SEMCs privilege bilateral cooperation with individual EU member states, as cooperation with the EU is often attached to the promotion of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law (Sartori 2014). Also, SEMCs did not develop a sense of ownership of the process (Tagliapietra and Zachmann 2016), while the absence of any positive conditionality—present for instance in contexts such as the European Economic Area or the Energy Community in the form of market access and EU accession—has not provided sufficient incentives for SEMCs to engage in deep reform processes. In addition, the limited level of regional economic integration across SEMCs, combined with the intra-region political mistrust, provide a weak context for a regionalized approach to energy infrastructure and regulation. As a result, the constellation of power and interests underlying the Euro-Mediterranean energy relations, combined with limited positive incentives that the EU is able to provide, has confined the EU-SEMCs energy cooperation to a networked governance format (Rubino 2016)—referring to an indirect mode of rules

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diffusion driven by voluntary participation that prescribes procedures of socialization and learning rather than defining outcomes (Lavenex and Schimmelfenning 2009). All in all, the Mediterranean role in Europe’s energy security is at a crossroad. The remainder of this chapter will explore the challenges and opportunities for its future in light of the gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean basins.

Eastern Mediterranean Gas: Opportunities and Challenges for Europe Discoveries of sizeable resources of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean region raised interest and expectations in Europe. Still, issues of technical, commercial, and political nature need to be addressed to understand to what extent these resources can reach the European market. This section will focus on the many challenges for the exploitation and the export of Eastern Mediterranean gas toward Europe, weighing them against the EU’s interests of enhancing energy security and improve political stability in its neighborhood. Gas Discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean Basins: A Complex Legal, Commercial, and Political Background Offshore explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean date back to the late 1960s. However, it is only with the wave of discoveries started in 2009 that the idea of turning the Nile Delta Basin and the Levant basin into major gas provinces and export hubs started gaining traction. In 2009, Texas-based Noble Energy announced the discovery of the 280 bcm Tamar basin in Israel’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Two other major offshore findings followed in 2010—the 620 bcm Leviathan field in Israel—and 2011—the 140 bcm Aphrodite field in Cyprus. In 2012, Noble—in consortium with Israel’s Delek—announced the discovery of recoverable resources in the Israeli fields of Tamin and Karish for about 67 bcm. These add to the Mari-B field discovered in Israel in 2000, whose production started in 2004, and the Gaza Marine field, discovered by British Gas in 2000 off the shore of the Gaza strip, with reserves estimated at 28 bcm. In 2015, Eni announced the discovery of the 850 bcm Zohr field in Egypt’s EEZ. Lebanon’s waters are estimated to host about 700 bcm of gas reserves, with concessions currently under exploration

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by a consortium comprising Eni, Total and Russia’s Novatek. Additional exploration efforts raised significant expectations as in 2018 Eni announced the discovery of the Calypso field in Cyprus estimated at about 220 bcm, while Eni’s exploration in the Egyptian Sharouk concession is triggering speculations on the existence of sizeable resources off the Sinai coast. In 2019, ExxonMobil announced an additional discovery—Glaucus 1—in Cyprus, estimated between 142 and 227 bcm. Although the basins—taken together—hold considerable potential, they find themselves in a challenging regional environment, defined by a combination of legal disputes over territorial waters, commercial uncertainties, and political instability. The fragmented distribution of Eastern Mediterranean resources across several jurisdictions brought to the surface a number of latent maritime disputes among coastal states. In 2013, Turkey—the only Eastern Mediterranean country without offshore gas resources—filed a complaint to the UN regarding the delimitation agreement between Cyprus and Egypt, and declared the “invalidity” of any agreement concerning gas exploration in Cyprus’ waters. In addition, Turkey threatened to sanction international oil corporations engaged in activities in Cyprus’ EEZ, and blocked drilling ships of Noble Energy and Eni respectively in 2011 and 2018. Further tensions arose in 2019 with a deeply contested settlement between Turkey and the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) to delimitate the respective economic zones (Butler and Gumbrutcku 2019). The agreement does not take into considerations the Greek islands’ waters delimitations according to United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, of which Turkey is no part). Turkey refused to take part in UNCOS on the basis of its opposition to Art. 121 of the convention, which states that maritime zones of islands are determined according to the same principles that apply to other territories. It would create additional legal hurdles to the prospects of development and export of Eastern Mediterranean gas. In addition, the EU adopted sanctions targeted at unauthorized drilling by Turkish vessels in Cyprus’ waters (Die Welt 2019). Israel and Lebanon dispute about 860 km2 of waters, bordering three exploration blocs tendered by Lebanon. In order to remove obstacles to exploration activities, Lebanon tried to file a complaint to the UN regarding the demarcation of maritime borders with Israel. However, a winning consortium comprising Eni, Total and Novatek had to pledge not to proceed to drilling in the disputed areas, confining operations to the non-disputed bloc 4 concession only

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(Barrington 2018). The development of Gaza Marine resources has been slowed down or even vetoed by Israel in 2003 amid maritime disputes. As a result, operator BG put on hold attempts to develop the field in 2008 (Tagliapietra 2017). Important commercial challenges are also present. The Zohr field is the only field in the basin whose development is fully justified by the prospect of serving a large domestic market. The national demand of Israel and Cyprus is insufficient to warrant a purely national development of the Aphrodite and Leviathan fields (Tsakiris 2016). So far, Israel managed to market some of its resources for the neighbors. In 2016, Jordan and Israel signed a fifteen-years agreement committing Israel to supply a total of 45 bcm to Jordan as of 2019 (Staff ToI 2016). Jordan alone would not however justify the major investment in development and infrastructure required by Leviathan. In 2018, Noble Energy and Delek—the operators of Tamar and Leviathan—signed an agreement with the Egyptian trader Dolphinus Holding, promising to provide 64 bcm of Israeli gas to the Egyptian market over ten years (Cohen and Rabinovitch 2018). At the same time, most of these resources are too small to be exported to foreign markets in isolation. This implies that the prospects for their development depend on regional cooperation, which must however take into consideration the region’s fluctuating patterns of amity and enmity. Since 2009, Egypt moved from a closer relation with Turkey—as a result of Turkish support for the governing Freedom and Justice Party between 2012 and 2013—to a deterioration of the relations with Ankara and a realignment to Israel under the leadership of President Al-Sisi. The diplomatic rift between Israel and Turkey expanded in 2010 as a result of the Gaza Flotilla raid (Booth 2010) putting on hold dialogue between Ankara and Tel Aviv over energy cooperation. A reconciliation occurred in 2016, but relations turned sour again in the aftermath of Israeli operations in the Gaza strip. Political tensions between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus complicate solutions to the legal disputes over the exploitation rights of Cyprus’ offshore gas riches. Turkey developed close relations across the Eastern Mediterranean with non-state actors such as Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Syrian opposition, in addition to its historical support to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. These links contributed to alienate coastal countries involved in the development of gas resources, pushing them toward a common interest to contain Turkey’s regional ambitions. As such, Turkey’s foreign policy priorities proved to be in contradiction with its declared objective of becoming

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the linchpin of regional energy cooperation (Richert 2016, 47–63)—an objective that would require some degree of strategic alignment among the regional state actors. As current prospects for resource development seem set to produce a structural inequality in the region to the detriment of Ankara (ibid.), there is a risk that Turkey will intensify its coercive attempts to prevent energy developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Syrian conflict has further exacerbated tensions between Israel and Lebanon—formally still at war—as the direct Iranian involvement in Syria raised the prospects of a new direct confrontation between Israel and both Hezbollah and Iranian forces. Finally, the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip has been spiraling, complicating any prospect for the development of Gaza Marine. Eastern Mediterranean Gas: Why Does It Matter for Europe? The EU has been showing interest for the Eastern Mediterranean gas discoveries. Europe is the largest market in the closest geographical proximity to the Eastern Mediterranean gas basins. Two Eastern Mediterranean states—Greece and Cyprus—are members of the EU, Italy’s Eni is the main developer of Egypt’s Zohr field, and three Eastern Mediterranean states—Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel—fall within the scope of the ENP, while all the Eastern Mediterranean states are partners in the UfM. Gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean seem timely for the EU, torn between declining domestic supply and volatile political relations with Russia, its main supplier of gas. Domestic gas production in the EU is rapidly declining. In the Netherlands and the UK, gas production fell respectively by 54.4 and 44.2% between 2008 and 2018, accounting for a cumulative withdrawal of 70.8 bcm of domestic supply from the EU gas mix in a decade (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2019). The decline in the Dutch supply is likely to accelerate as a result of the intensification of seismic events around the Groningen field, and rising public pressure to close it. Demand of natural gas in the EU has been on the rise since 2014 from 400.9 bcm to 458.5 bcm in 2018 (BP 2019), with an uncertain outlook for the future, but predictably positive for the short to medium term, as several EU member states will proceed to the withdrawal of coal and nuclear capacity in the coming decade. While the export outlook for traditional gas exporters to Europe such as Norway and Algeria—which respectively accounted for 32.6 and 12.1%

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of EU gas imports in 2017 (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2018)—appears constrained in the long run, Russian spare production capacity—estimated at about 100–150 bcm (Yermakov 2018)—seems to show a better potential to provide for a future increase of EU’s imports. Russian supply remains abundant and conveniently located for Europe, and ultimately less expensive than most of its alternatives. In 2018, Russia provided 177.8 bcm of gas to the EU—accounting for 38.5% of the European gas demand and 50.9% of European gas imports (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2019). In other words, the Russian firm Gazprom—who holds a monopoly on Russian gas export to Europe via pipeline—has taken over the market shares left by the decline in Algeria’s supply since 2014 and in domestic production. But if the competition and energy security concerns related to the import of Russian gas seems less acute than ten years ago, the overall geopolitical framework became increasingly contested. Over the last decade, a combination of benign market condition and infrastructural and regulatory upgrades have made the EU’s gas dependency on Russia more manageable, in terms of countering potential abuses of dominant positions by Gazprom. An increasingly contestable and globalized gas market forced the Russian giant to switch from defending prices to defending market shares in Europe through negotiated discounts, the partial embrace of spot pricing, and the reduction of minimum offtake requirements for European midstream buyers (Franza 2016), who got the upper hand in commercial negotiations with the Russian energy giant. The effect of positive market conditions was amplified by important regulatory reforms at the EU level. Following the political window of opportunity provided by the Russo-Ukrainian gas crises of 2006 and 2009, the European Commission successfully promoted the internal market for energy as an instrument to mitigate external disruptions of supply by way of competition (Noël 2018; Maltby 2013, 435–444). The EU adopted legislation foreseeing the separation of ownership and use of gas infrastructure and guaranteeing third party access to the gas transmission network to facilitate competition in the internal market (EUR-Lex 2009). The enhanced interconnection of regional wholesale markets throughout the EU encouraged the emergence of gas hubs at trading points, reflecting the short-term equilibrium between supply and demand that exerted competitive pressures on Gazprom’s prices in Western Europe. The percentage of hub pricing in EU gas trading has risen from 15 to 64% between 2005 and 2015,

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with a peak of 92.1% in the most liquid and interconnected north-western region of Europe. In the most isolated and captive south-eastern portion of the EU energy market, the enforcement of EU antitrust rules will help Eastern European member states to buy gas from Gazprom at similar conditions to those of the most open and contestable Western European gas markets (European Commission 2018), even if physical access to diversified supply is not readily available. Infrastructural upgrade also will help the EU to be more resilient to supply shocks, thanks to an increase of re-gasification and storage capacity, and investments in reverse flows in key segments of the EU gas transmission grid. Finally, the EU developed an energy security template, beyond the traditional framing of energy insecurity as a market failure to solve by way of market integration and competition. A Regulation on energy security was adopted in 2010 (EUR-Lex 2010), and the Lisbon Treaty introduced energy security as a shared competence between the EU and its member states, although maintaining full national sovereignty over external supply and the energy mix. Article 194 TFEU states that 1. In the context of the establishment and functioning of the internal market and with regard for the need to preserve and improve the environment, Union policy on energy shall aim, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States, to: (a) ensure the functioning of the energy market; (b) ensure security of energy supply in the Union; (c) promote energy efficiency and energy saving and the development of new and renewable forms of energy; and (d) promote the interconnection of energy networks. 2. Without prejudice to the application of other provisions of the Treaties, the European Parliament and the Council, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, shall establish the measures necessary to achieve the objectives in paragraph 1. Such measures shall be adopted after consultation of the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Such measures shall not affect a Member State’s right to determine the conditions for exploiting its energy resources, its choice between different energy sources and the general structure of its energy supply, without prejudice to Article 192(2)(c). 3. By way of derogation from paragraph 2, the Council, acting in accordance with a special legislative procedure, shall unanimously and after consulting the European Parliament, establish the measures referred to therein when they are primarily of a fiscal nature (European Parliament 2007).

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This translated in 2016 into the adoption of a solidarity principle in the context of the review of the Security of Supply Regulation (EURLex 2017). This provision, implying assistance from neighbors to ensure supply to protected consumers in the occurrence that an EU country is hit by a supply shock, would help spreading throughout the EU the costs of potential supply interruptions, reducing the possibility that supply disruptions could target selectively individual member states or portions of the internal market (Giuli 2018). Yet, even if the EU has now more instruments to address the commercial and security issues associated to the dominant position of Gazprom as a gas supplier, political concerns remain. As a result of the political crisis occurring in Ukraine in 2014 and the subsequent occupation of Crimea by Russia and separatist fight in Eastern Ukraine, the EU-Russia structured Energy Dialogue—a bilateral initiative taking place since 2000—was suspended, and the EU imposed sanctions over Russia. At the same time, Russia stepped up efforts to circumvent the Ukrainian transit route to ship gas to Europe. The role of Ukraine in the westward shipment of Russian gas had already decreased since the construction of the 55 bcm Nord Stream pipeline in 2009, a subsea route directly connecting the Russian Baltic coast to Germany. Since then, Russia has been courting specific EU member states with proposals of new gas routes diverting the remaining flows transiting through the Ukrainian gas transmission system away from the old route. Notably, Russia is working to double the Nord Stream route, and to directly supply gas to Turkey via the TurkStream pipeline. The Nord Stream pipeline, a 55 bcm gas route connecting Russia with Germany through the Baltic Sea, was inaugurated in 2012. The pipeline allowed Gazprom to move sizeable amounts of gas away from the Ukrainian route, creating two different supply lines for Western and Eastern Europe. A sister project in the South, aimed at diverting further gas from the Ukrainian route to a subsea line between Russia and Bulgaria, the South Stream pipeline, was approved and then abandoned in 2014 over incompatibility with the EU legislation and growing EU-Russia tensions on Ukraine. This project was replaced by the Turkish Stream pipeline, whose first string (15.75 bcm) came onstream in 2019. The doubling of Nord Stream 2 was announced in 2015 and—at the time of writing—is expected to come onstream by the end of 2020 or 2021 after US’ sanctions provoked the withdrawal of Swiss contractor Allseas from the works (Elliot and Stuart 2019).

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Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream are in conflict with the EU’s preferred transit options. Such an expansion of capacity and diversion of flows fulfill Gazprom’s interest to compete with growing global supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a more advantageous point, as the Russian firm could play more easily volume strategies to deter competition and reduce its exposure to transit tariffs, notably in Ukraine. In addition, the new routes would also advance Russia’s geopolitical objectives. They would improve Russia’s bargaining position and foreign policy options vis-a-vis Ukraine by reducing Gazprom’s reliance on the Ukrainian transmission system, and cement a strategic interlocking with Germany and Turkey, at a time of fraying relations between the USA and Germany and between Turkey and its NATO allies (Szabo 2014). Against the backdrop of a dense but increasingly contested energy relation between Europe and Russia, the development of the Eastern Mediterranean basins has a therefore strategic significance, notably for its location. From the point of view of the EU’s energy security considerations, the gas is a new non-Russian source conveniently located in the vicinity of South East Europe—the most vulnerable, least interconnected, and least diversified portion of the EU internal gas markets according to the stress tests on security of supply held by the European Commission in 2014 (European Commission 2014). From the point of view of southern European member states,—notably Italy, Greece, and France— Eastern Mediterranean gas riches are looked at with hope as a means to balance Germany’s forthcoming hegemony on the continent’s gas market, rebalance the EU’s geopolitical axis southward, counter Turkey’s foreign policy assertiveness seen as destabilizing for the whole region, and provide a commercial opportunity for heavily invested energy actors such as Eni, Total, and Energean. From the transatlantic point of view, southern gas routes are seen in Washington as an alternative to the potential concentration of supply to the EU internal market along the Nord Stream and TurkStream routes. Seen through the US’ lenses, these routes enhance the commercial and geopolitical centrality of Germany and Turkey in the continent outside the strategic boundaries set by the Euro-Atlantic perimeter, and reinforce a structural alignment between the interests of the industrial-security complexes of the two NATO countries and Russia. The USA has consistently argued against the consolidation of their allies’ energy interdependence with the US’ strategic rivals, to the point of imposing sanctions hitting the contractors of Gazprom’s projects in 2019.

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In addition, from the USA—at least during the Obama administration—and EU side, the notion of economic peace has been central in the discussions over the emergence of an Eastern Mediterranean gas province (Gürel and Le Cornu 2014). According to this notion, the need to cooperate at regional level to bring gas to markets would work as a driver for cooperation, forcing coastal countries into a technical interdependence and long term common economic interests that would lessen the prospects for conflict in the EU’s neighborhood. Whether all these objectives will be attained does largely depend on challenges specific to the possible export options of the Eastern Mediterranean resources. These will be explored in the next section. Exports to Europe? Technical, Political, and Commercial Issues Since 2009, several export options have been proposed, including both pipelines and LNG. Some of these are relevant for the connection of Eastern Mediterranean resources with the European markets. Each option implies route-specific challenges of technical, political, and commercial nature. Cyprus hub. The earliest proposal was the construction of a large liquefaction facility in Vasilikos (Cyprus) to export gas from Aphrodite and Leviathan. From the technical point of view, the Vasilikos area seems however too limited to host at least three liquefaction trains. From the commercial point of view, its overall cost—estimated at up to $10 bn—seems larger than the cost of the competing options. In political terms, despite the good relations between Israel and Cyprus, challenges emerged due to Israel’s skepticism about Cyprus’ ability to provide security to the facility, especially in light of the political tensions with Turkey. Unless further exploration will bring major breakthroughs in Cyprus’ waters—notably with the Glaucus-1 and Calypso fields—the limited size of Aphrodite will condemn Nicosia to remain a minority partner in the options for joint export development. Still, the EU side will remain interested in supporting Cyprus’ gas import capacity as a means to decarbonize the island’s oil-dominated power mix, and to push the Greek and Turkish communities to explore cooperative solutions to organize gas consumption. Israel hub. Liquefaction options suffer important complications also on the Israeli side. Despite such a solution to export Aphrodite and Leviathan’s gas through LNG plants in Israel, would be commercially less

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challenging than Vasilikos, technical challenges emerged in the site of Eilat due to its excessive proximity with Jordan’s tourist hub of Aqaba. The alternative sites of Ashdod and Ashqelon met strong opposition from local communities and environmental groups, making the Israel hub option unlikely. Turkish hub. In 2013, the option of a pipeline connecting the Levant basin to the Turkish gas transmission system seemed attractive. The limited $2.5 bn cost and adequate 16 bcm capacity of the first proposal submitted to Israel attracted the interest of several commercial actors. However, prospects for this route declined as a result of the political stand-off between Turkey and Israel over Gaza, and Cyprus’ announcement that the route—that could be vetoed by Nicosia under its rights as a UNCLOS signatory—needed to be subject to an improvement of Turkey–Cyprus relations. In addition, the Turk Stream pipeline project is set to consolidate Gazprom’s grip on the Turkish market, outpricing any potential competition coming from Leviathan. It should be noted that in absence of gas resources in Turkey’s water, the Turkish hub is the only export option that would allow Turkey to be part of the Eastern Mediterranean energy future. The marginalization of Ankara—as a result of the decline of the Turkish hub option amid regional political rivalry—paved the way to an escalation of Turkish naval and diplomatic provocations against the interests of other energy actors. EastMed pipeline. The EU’s favourite export option is the EastMed pipeline, a 10 bcm project connecting the Levant basin with the EU market by way of Cyprus and Greece, and with a final landing point in Italy thanks to a connection with the IGI Poseidon pipeline project. EastMed obtained by the EU the status of Project of Common Interest (PCI) in 2015, signaling the first targeted attempt by the EU to access the resources of the Eastern Mediterranean. In 2017, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the promotion of the EastMed pipeline (Geropoulos 2017). In 2020, the EastMed pipeline deal was signed by Greece, Israel, and Cyprus in reaction to the Turkey-Libya contested delimitation of the respective EEZs (Koutantou 2020). From the EU point of view, the EastMed pipeline would be an appealing option. It would involve like-minded countries only, bypassing any route crossing potentially unstable territories. It would diminish the strategic value of Turkey’s geographical position as the only gateway for non-Russian gas supply to South-Eastern Europe. Also, with the EU market as the only possible destination, it would lock the Eastern

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Mediterranean resources into an exclusive option where the EU would not have to compete with other importers. From Israel’s point of view, the advantage of the pipeline lies in the reduction of the Israel gas’ export dependency on routes controlled by Egypt. However, high-level political endorsement—which also includes the political support of the USA and seems expressed mainly on the basis of its meaning for the containment of Turkey’s regional ambitions—seems at the time of writing the only tangible asset playing in favor of the EastMed pipeline option. From technical to commercial aspects, challenges abound. Technically, the project has to confront a complex seabed geology. Commercially, the EU’s long-term demand security is often questioned, notably on the basis of the calls to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and the pricing environment in Europe. In 2019, gas was traded on European hubs at 3–4 $/Mmbtu, while production costs for Leviathan are estimated no lower than 4–5 $/Mmbtu. With the addition of transport via the EastMed option, costs would raise to 8 $/Mmbtu, rendering such a gas uncompetitive on EU markets under the current loose global market conditions (Ellinas 2016). Politically, the fierce local opposition in Italy to other more advanced projects such as the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) would complicate a firm commitment from Rome to build up additional infrastructure. Indeed, Italy’s support to the pipeline has been lukewarm and ambiguous. As a result, very little interest was present from private actors. In 2020, only 2 bcm of gas from Israeli fields operated by Energean were proposed for committing to EastMed (Upstream 2020). Egyptian hub. With the discovery of Zohr in Egypt, a new export option for the Eastern Mediterranean resources emerged. Egypt has at disposal two liquefaction facilities in Damietta and Idku for a total export capacity of 19 bcm that could be used to export the Eastern Mediterranean gas to international markets. The deal finalized in 2018 between Noble, Delek, and Dolphinus Holding represents an important step in this direction, as it consolidates a southward development in the Eastern Mediterranean energy conundrum. Another intergovernmental deal between Cyprus and Egypt was signed in the same year, committing the two countries to cooperate for the construction of an 8 bcm subsea pipeline to ship Cypriot gas from the Aphrodite field to the Damietta liquefaction facility (Georgiou and Feteha 2018). Such a transit configuration would reflect ongoing political evolutions in the region. Israel and Egypt—after the short phase of “Islamic realignment” between Cairo and Ankara of 2012–2013—have a common interest in counterbalancing

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the regional ambitions of Turkey, which would be the main loser of the “Egyptian hub” option. This option would also add elements of competition in the LNG supply to Europe, potentially eroding Qatar’s 40.3% share of the EU’s LNG imports (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2018). Qatar is an important ally for Turkey in providing support to proxies across the MENA, relieving the Turkish economy from its obstacles. Abt and Kandemir (2018) note that Qatar pledged $15 bn of investment to ease Turkey’s currency crisis in 2018. Furthermore, Turkey signed an agreement with Qatar in 2014 for the opening of a military base in the Gulf country. Turkish troops have been deployed in Qatar since 2015 (Al Jazeera News 2017). Amidst such a geopolitical complexity, the “Egyptian hub” option is not risk-free from the EU’s point of view. Despite the current alignment, Israel–Egypt gas relations have been unstable for a long time and gas trade remains a contentious matter for the Egyptian public opinion. Remarkably, Israeli gas is marketed to Egypt at about 6 $/Mmbtu, which is a price higher than what would be marketable in the outlet at present conditions. The hypothesis that additional gas discoveries in Egypt could tempt the Egyptian leaders to use the country’s export facilities for Egyptian gas only, therefore limiting the room for Israeli exports, should not be entirely ruled out. This hypothesis seems corroborated by the fact that in June 2018, Delek’ shares plummeted over erroneous information on a potential Zohr-like additional discovery in Egypt’s offshore (Daily News Egypt 2019). Another relevant set of critical issues is related to gas transit from Cyprus and Israel to Egypt’s liquefaction facilities. An additional subsea pipeline to Egypt would imply additional costs (estimated at $800 million), potentially making Aphrodite gas less competitive on global markets. Indeed, the first LNG to be exported from Idku in 2018 struggled to find a market in an oversupplied context and was exported on the basis of preexisting contracts. Regarding the general security environment, gas transit through the existing Arab Gas pipeline and the subsea Arish-Ashqelon pipeline—previously used to export Egyptian gas to Israel—would be subject to the risk of attacks by radical Islamist militia in the Sinai, which have repeatedly occurred since 2011. Still, regardless of these political concerns, the Egyptian hub remains a preferred option for many European corporations. Egypt accumulated a $3.5 bn debt with Eni, Shell, and BP, so that the reactivation of the LNG facilities in Idku and Damietta would bring benefits to the creditors.

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Beyond the Region: Systemic Challenges The Eastern Mediterranean regional specificities are not the only ones potentially getting in the way of the Eastern Mediterranean becoming a major source of gas supply for Europe. The EU’s attractiveness as a market outlet and the role of third powers are also factors to consider. Annual gas demand in the EU went down by 12.6% between 2008 and 2018, from 516.6 to 458.5 bcm (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2019). Projections from both the IEA and the European Commission on EU gas consumption in 2030 have been revised downward respectively five (from 560 to 390 bcm) and six times (from 620 to 400 bcm) since 2003. Despite a rise in imports is foreseen in the short to medium term, the EU committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. At this stage, the European Commission’s EUCO3030 scenario foresees a sharp decline of gas imports from 310 to 250 bcm between 2025 and 2030. Any steep path of decline in consumption of unabated or nonrenewable gas from the mid-2020s would challenge first the high-cost producers/suppliers, leaving relatively little room for Eastern Mediterranean gas on European markets. Cost differentials with competing supply remain particularly relevant in light of the fact that the EU can only diversify its energy supplies when consistent with commercial factors (Baconi 2017). On this level of competition, Russia has undoubted advantages. It is possible that those EU member states who attach a particular strategic significance to diversify away from Russian gas may accept to pay a “strategic premium” on non-Russian supply. Poland, for instance, has declared that it will not renew its long-term contracts with Gazprom, and has introduced specific import thresholds for external suppliers (Martewicz 2018). However, if this trend is confirmed—a likely possibility in light of recent investments in regasification in Central and Eastern Europe—these countries might give preference to sources other than the Eastern Mediterranean gas. Several Central and Eastern European leaders have shown will to raise their gas imports from the USA, while—despite their desire for diversification—have paid little attention to developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Indeed, the EU has provided financial support to diversification efforts—mainly giving to infrastructural projects a project of common interest status. However, financial support to fossil fuels infrastructure has been increasingly called into question considering its contradiction with the EU’s climate commitment (Dupont 2015; Artelys 2020), to the

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point that EU negotiations on the 2021–2028 budget cycle may put an end to any EU budget support to fossil fuels infrastructures. Such a trend is expected to be consolidated in light of WTO’s contestation of PCIs, against which the EU is currently appealing (WTO 2018), on the basis of the ban on fossil fuel investment already approved by the European Investment Bank (The Guardian 2019). Gas demand development worldwide would also affect the EU’s attractiveness as an export outlet. In 2017, the EU attracted only 10.9% of the additional LNG quantities that supplied global markets since operations started at the US’ Sabine Pass terminal. Some US gas was reexported from Europe toward the more lucrative Asian markets, whose gas demand rose by 63.8% between 2008 and 2018, reaching 825.3 bcm. The Asia Pacific region accounted in 2018 for 74.9% of global LNG imports, while Europe accounted for 16.6% (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2018). Within the context of gas export developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, a less noticed role could also be played by the Gulf region. As Saudi Arabia is engaged in a phase out of oil in power generation, in a context where the country plans to double its generation capacity by 2040, gas—whose demand in the Kingdom has been growing by 46.7% between 2008 and 2018 (Author’s calculation on data from BP 2018)—is expected to play a major role. Saudi domestic production might not necessarily match future demand, so that Saudi Arabia may soon become a net importer of gas. Considering the tense political relations between Saudi Arabia and major Gulf gas producers such as Qatar and Iran, there might be a chance that preferential gas relation could develop with Egypt and Israel, consolidating an increasingly strong political alignment between Egypt, Israel, and the Saudi Kingdom over several regional issues. Indeed, Egypt is projected to be the largest source of LNG to Saudi Arabia between 2020 and 2030, as long as East African basins are not fully developed (Shabaneh and Schenckery 2019). Global supply suggests an outlook of tough competition for the Eastern Mediterranean gas. After years of weak dynamics for final investment decisions (FiD) in LNG facilities worldwide, a wave of FiD took place in 2019, relaxing the risk for a potential supply crunch in the decade that could have created a more attractive price environment for the Eastern Mediterranean gas. In particular, several FiDs were taken in the USA against a background of domestic oversupply of shale gas, which sent the Henry Hub price index below 2 $/Mmbtu. The Henry

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Hub index needs to be above 2.5 $/Mmbtu to make US shale extraction profitable. However, the oversupply of shale gas is also the result of US’ tight oil production, to which gas is associated (Adams-Heard et al. 2020). At the same time, after years of investment stagnation, Qatar—the top global LNG exporter until his position was taken over by Australia in 2019—has announced the intention of expanding its liquefaction capacity by 64% by 2027, in the attempt of discouraging further FiDs among rival producers (Nehme 2019). All this points to an increasingly likely outcome: if the Eastern Mediterranean gas is exported through the Egyptian hub option—which has the advantage of relying upon already existing facilities—the basins’ LNG would be more likely routed toward Asian markets. If the gas is exported through the EastMed pipeline, it would need a price in Europe above $8/Mmbtu to be sustained for at least 20 years as of the start of the operations—foreseen for 2025. This outcome is difficult to see under the global market prospects outlined above. The role of external powers can also affect the prospects for developing energy links between Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. Beyond commercial factors, one should reflect on to what extent the growing Russian economic and geopolitical presence in the Eastern Mediterranean region could affect the future of the Eastern Mediterranean gas basins. The Russian energy firms Rosneft and Novatek are present in the Egyptian and Lebanese offshore gas. Russia’s increased naval presence and installation of surface-to-air batteries have given it leverage on the region’s maritime activities. Moscow has also strong financial links to Cyprus and positive relations with all countries in the region. Still, this gives little indication on how benign or malign the Russian presence could be for the energy cooperation between the Eastern Mediterranean countries and Europe. On the one hand, the Russian firms might be strongly interested in securing market access in Europe for their investments in Egypt and Lebanon. Finally, Russian assistance to Egypt to build up the El Dabaa nuclear power plant could decrease the Egyptian gas demand by 3.7 bcm, enhancing Egypt’s export prospects. On the other hand, Russia may not have a clear regional policy (Eiran and Mitchell 2018). For instance, a critical issue for the resource developments such as a settlement of the Cyprus issue and a containment of Turkey’s regional frustration may not be in Russian reach or primary interest. Such a deficiency casts uncertainty on the extent Russia could actually be a decisive factor in the development of an Eastern Mediterranean energy province.

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A similar level of uncertainty affects the role of the USA in the regional energy game too. The USA was the first external actor with relevant stakes in the region’s energy developments. Beside the role of US energy firms including Noble Energy and ExxonMobil (ibid.), the Obama administration was particularly hopeful in the potential of Eastern Mediterranean resources to trigger regional cooperation and peace, notably as for the Cyprus issue and the Turkey–Israel and Israel–Lebanon volatile relations. To this extent, access to the EU market seemed in Washington as a condition for the development of the basins. Yet, tangible outcomes of the US’ involvement materialized only in occasion of the Israel-Jordan gas deal of 2016, while the rest of the disputes did instead aggravate without energy playing any positive role. Despite some turbulent change in several foreign policy instances occurred under the Trump administration, the USA continued to express their commitment toward initiatives taking the Eastern Mediterranean gas to the EU market. In 2019, the USA expressed support to the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum and the Senate adopted the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act. However, after the collapse of US–Turkey relations in the aftermath of the failed coup against the Turkish president Erdogan and the end of any hope to keep Turkey as a part of the Levant energy developments, US involvement became less driven by the “economic peace” narrative, and to a great extent is still to fully develop. Political support proves little more than a signaling exercise, if not supported by a commitment to provide a security guarantee, that seems faltering. Also, in a context where the USA can provide alternative gas to the EU and proves willing to engage economic statecraft instruments such as sanctions to structure allies’ energy options and influence their decisions, energy resources in diversifying EU energy supply is likely to become less of an issue in Washington’s energy and foreign policy calculations.

Conclusion The development of the Eastern Mediterranean gas resources at an exportable scale seems finally within reach. Such a development could meet the interests of the EU in two dimensions. First, it could benefit European energy security in light of global supply uncertainty and political unease with Russia. Second, the economic cooperation that is necessary to develop the resources and their export could contribute to stability in a politically volatile neighborhood.

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In case the EastMed pipeline will go ahead, additional 10 bcm would be made available for the EU market. In case the Egypt hub option will materialize—which is currently the most likely option—the most optimistic scenario would be a less than 20 bcm addition to global LNG markets as of the mid-2020. Although these resources do not represent a game changer for global markets, nor for the EU’s attempts to substantially diversify its import mix, the prospects of an additional gas province at the gates of South Eastern Europe—which is still vulnerable to potential supply shocks—are to be considered positive for Europe’s energy security. Yet, largely thanks to favorable market conditions and infrastructural redundancies, these resources cannot be seen as a vital interest for the EU’s energy security. Their development seems instead mostly supported on the basis of wider strategic interests of coastal countries, both inside and outside the EU. As for the possibility that the joint development of these resources could trigger regional peace, the picture does not appear straightforward. Indeed, the Eastern Mediterranean energy saga has shown that political stability remains a precondition for energy cooperation in the region. Turkey’s political priorities ended up marginalizing Ankara in the energy game, while the prospects for becoming a linchpin of regional energy exports did not provide to Turkish and Cypriot leaders sufficient incentives to leave aside political tensions. As opposed to expectations, gas proved to become a toxic chapter in attempts to find a settlement for the island. The same applies to the case of Israel and Lebanon, and Turkey and Greece. At the same time, however, energy cooperation became a catalyst to stabilization and rapprochement between Israel and Egypt, or Israel and Jordan. Yet, such an alignment was facilitated first by a broader evolution of relations in the region. Energy dialogue reinforced cooperation, but did not shape it. Historical evidence shows that energy cooperation would become the first victim in case relations turn sour. Regardless, the possibility to reach certain objectives and the overall prospects for these resources to reach the European shores continue to prove challenging. Despite a predictable short to medium term rise of European gas imports, the EU committed to decarbonize its economy by 2050, potentially leaving a very limited time window for Eastern Mediterranean gas to reach Europe. Imports could be boosted by huge cost-cutting efforts which would make gas more competitive versus alternatives. Price developments in the LNG market are also key to any export option from the Eastern Mediterranean: high Asian prices might continue

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to drive LNG toward the east, keeping Europe as a fringe destination. At the regional level, gas developments are set to structure an unequal distribution of political and economic gains among coastal countries, leaving Turkey as a major loser and triggering questions on security. All in all, it needs to be taken into consideration that commercial actors would be reluctant to put their weight behind projects which—beside suffering a weak commercial rationale—could also be instrumentalized in the context of deteriorating political relations and unconventional warfare.

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Sartori, N. (2014). The Mediterranean Energy Relations After the Arab Spring: Towards a New Regional Paradigm? Cahiers de la Méditerranée, n° 89. December: 145–157. http://www.iai.it/en/node/3081 [accessed 12 December 2019]. Schmid, D. (2013). Towards an Energy Revolution in the Eastern Mediterranean: Any Positive Effect for the EU? Center for International and European Studies. March. https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/165853/NeighbourhoodPo licyPaper(12).pdf [accessed 12 December 2019]. Shabaneh, R. and Schenckery, M. (2019). Assessing Energy Policy Instruments: LNG Imports into Saudi Arabia. Energy Policy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. enpol.2019.111101 [accessed 12 December 2019]. Staff. (2016). Israel Consortium Signs Historic 15-Years, $10b Gas Deal with Jordan. Times of Israel. https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-consortiumsigns-15-year-10b-gas-deal-with-jordan/ [accessed 12 December 2019]. Szabo, S. (2014). Germany, Russia, and the Rise of Geoeconomics. London and New York: Bloomsbury. Tagliapietra, S. (2017). Energy: A Shaping Factor for Regional Stability in the Eastern Mediterranean? Study Commissioned by the AFET Committee of the European Parliament. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etu des/STUD/2017/578044/EXPO_STU(2017)578044_EN.pdf [accessed 12 December 2019]. Tagliapietra, S. and Zachmann, G. (2016). Energy Across the Mediterranean: A Call for Realism. Bruegel Policy Brief, 2016/03. http://bruegel.org/wp-con tent/uploads/2016/04/pb-2016_03-1.pdf [accessed 12 December 2019]. The Guardian. (2019). European Investment Bank to Phase Out Fossil fuel Financing. 15 November. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ 2019/nov/15/european-investment-bank-to-phase-out-fossil-fuels-financing [accessed 3 February 2020]. Tsakiris, T. (2016). The Gifts of Aphrodite: The Need for Competitive Pragmatism in Cypriot Gas Strategy. In Giannakopoulos A. (ed.) Energy Cooperation and Security in the Eastern Mediterranean: A Seismic Shift Towards Peace or Conflict? Tel Aviv University Research Paper 8: 22–36. U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2015). World Shale Resource Assessments. https://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/worldshalegas/. Upstream. (2020). Energean and DEPA Sign Deal for EastMed Pipeline. https://www.upstreamonline.com/production/energean-and-depa-sign-dealfor-eastmed-pipeline/2-1-731413 [accessed 3 February 2020]. World Trade Organization. (2018). European Union and Its Member States— Certain Measures Relating to Energy Sector. 21 September. https:// www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds476_e.htm [accessed 3 February 2020].

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CHAPTER 7

Russia in Syria and the Middle East: Tactics Disguised as a Strategy? Robert Mason and Maxim A. Suchkov

Introduction More than four years into the Russian military campaign in Syria, Moscow is still trying to figure out its long-term role in the conflict and in the Middle East in general. In September 2015, Russia has made an unprecedented decision to project force outside its traditional “zone of influence” of the post-Soviet space. The objectives and implications of this decision are still being debated in Russia and internationally. However, the rationale for military intervention generally includes references to: a failed diplomatic policy vis-à-vis the Gulf states, the precarious situation the Syrian forces found themselves in, the potential threat to Russia of violent jihadi fighters from the former Soviet republics fighting in Syria, the potential that Syria represented in terms of new alliances with Turkey and

R. Mason (B) Middle East Studies Center, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt e-mail: [email protected] M. A. Suchkov Senior Fellow and Associate Professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), Moscow, Russia © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_7

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Iran, and a new foothold in the Middle East after the NATO intervention in Libya. A detailed discussion about Russian motivations in Syria can be found in Mason (2018). The context is also heavily influenced by the Kremlin being intent on gaining lost leverage in its bilateral relations with the USA and Europe. Indeed, the Obama administration may have misjudged the chances of Russian “success” in Syria, and in September 2015 voiced concern that Russia would be bogged down in a Syrian “quagmire” (Bell and Perry 2015). Although a settlement of the Syrian conflict is still a long road ahead, Russia’s involvement was instrumental in keeping President Assad in power and helped Moscow reach a number of vital political, security, and military goals. Looking back at what the stated objectives of the Russian operation in Syria were and how Moscow assessed its own progress first when it announced the drawdown of its forces in March 2016 and when it summarized the first year of its campaign, it can be argued the Kremlin reached virtually all of its foreign policy-related goals (Suchkov 2016). Russia is seen as a major player on the international stage and has secured primary go-to status for regional states who flock to Moscow for official visits on a regular basis (Suchkov 2017). Even though they all hope to get Moscow on board to solve their own regional, local and even tribal conflicts of interests—as some politicians from Libya, Lebanon, or Iraq do—Russia can praise itself for getting what it was aiming for. It is listened to, and engaged with. It may not be the great power on the scale it aspires to internationally but is increasingly seen this way across the region. It is debatable whether Russian progress due to the “weak policies” of President Obama in 2013, discouraged by British Prime Minister David Cameron losing a House of Commons vote amongst MPs to approve UK military action against Bashar al-Assad (BBC News 2013). Moscow deserves the credit for its own “political wit.” Following President Trump’s “emotional leadership” and the sense of US unpredictability, the more President Putin is looking as an “adult” in the Mideast. The Syrian campaign has been a testing ground for Russian military operability. The Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said more than 160 different types of advanced weapons have been tested and have proved themselves, including the first large-scale use of Russian reconnaissance drones, new small missile corvettes, and an electronic countermeasure centre at Hmeimim Air Base (Valdai Club). Since the Russian intervention began, senior officials in the Russian government have observed a much bigger demand for Russian weaponry around the globe (RIA 2017c). Today, most of Russia’s sales contracts which are

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signed for are for the same weapons that were put to test in Syria. In 2015, the Russian military exported $14.5 billion (Defense.ru 2017), in 2016 exceeded $15 billion, and in the first half of 2017 was $8 billion (TASS news 2017). By 2017, and the end of the second year of Russian intervention in Syria, the official edition of the Defense Ministry—the Krasnaya Zvezda (2017) newspaper—published some statistics on the performance and deployment of such weapons. By September 20, 2017, according to the report, the Russian air force had made 30,650 sorties (5165 in 2015, 13,848 in 2016, and 11,647 over the last months of 2017), launched 92,006 air strikes, hit approximately 97,000 targets, including command points, accumulations of militants, oil fields, oil refineries, and oil depots.

Domestic Issues Russian authorities have been trying to prove to Russian citizens that the Syria campaign would not become a second Afghanistan, in that it was short term and cost-effective. The cost-effectiveness point is especially important since Russians mostly care about the economy, including aspects such as corruption, the stock market performance and sanctions. For these reasons Moscow employed a number of private military contractors in Syria, most notable of which was the so-called Wagner Group, to carry out on-the-ground operations on its behalf thus shielding the government from domestic criticism related to soldiers being killed in a distant war. Along with Wagner, Russia has deployed several units of its military police. These are predominantly servicemen from the North Caucasus, mainly ethnic Chechens but also some Ingush and Dagestanis (Suchkov 2018a). They were tasked with important missions of patrolling streets in areas cleared of the Islamic State (IS) and providing security escorts for humanitarian goods in transit. The military police also provided “security for the Sunni population, which occasionally experienced raids from Shiite militant groups.” That last task was supposed to signal that Russia wasn’t “setting Sunni residents adrift” (ibid.). The Chechen military police has represented yet another foreign policy tool at Moscow’s disposal in Syria—and broadly in the Middle East— which is Ramzan Kadyrov’s own links and personal influence. There are vigorous debates within the Russian political and expert community whether Kadyrov’s role in the region is to the benefit of Moscow or more

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to his own power accumulation by enhancing Chechnya’s de facto legitimacy and influence. The truth is it’s probably both. Not only is Kadyrov promoting very Russian interests through his regional contacts but he is also taking the opportunity of the contacts to “make Chechnya great again.” Taking into account that millions of ethnic Chechens are living all across Europe and the Middle East, via his public profile in religious affairs, economics and security issues, Kadyrov is projecting an image of an all-Chechen leader not only head of the Chechen-republic. At the international level Kadyrov is trying to play his strongest attribute—fighting against of all things Salafi. By establishing in Chechnya the International Training Center for Elite Special Forces that occupies a territory of 400 hectares and has up to 40 training facilities and employs hundreds of foreign trainers, including veterans of American and European security services, Kadyrov seeks to capitalize on Chechnya as a success story of defeating terrorism. This is the case frequently presented by Moscow as a template for settling and reconstructing Syria. As long as Chechnya and Syria are not mutually exclusive the Kremlin will most probably be using Kadyrov’s potential as part of Moscow’s foreign policy toolkit, where appropriate, across the region.

Russian Military Costs in Syria Russia’s military operations costs in Syria are not precisely known. According to TASS, from September 30 to March 15, 2016, when Russia announced reduction of its presence in Syria, the war cost the budget an average of $2.8 million per day (with the rate for the period of 70 rubles per dollar) (TASS news). Russia’s RBK estimates—a leading national business edition—held it at $2.5 million daily. To compare—the USA was spending approximately $11.9 million per day for its own fight against ISIS on the territory of Syria and Iraq. In July 2017, the Yabloko Party—one of the political opposition groups in Russia—released its own estimates, suggesting that over a year and a half since that time the military costs may have reached from 108 to 140.4 billion rubles (about $1.7–2.25 billion, according to the average exchange rate of 62 rubles per dollar for the period) (RBC 2017). The Russian Defense Ministry refuted these estimates saying that the campaign costs do not exceed the ministry’s budget for current activities of combat and operational training of troops (RIA 2017a).

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The real cost of any military campaign is the number of human losses. The overall number of the killed Russian soldiers varies from officially recognized 37 people as of October 2017 (Belenkaya 2017), including the killing of the top commander Lieutenant General Valeriy Asapov near Deir ez-Zore on September 24, 2017 (Reuters 2017), to more than 70 servicemen as reported by Tsvetkova (2017) at Reuters. There has also been a noncombat loss—a contract soldier committed suicide on the air base of Khmeimim in the fall of 2015 (RT 2015). Numbers on PMC contractors have never been disclosed but the most striking incident involving mass casualties of several hundred mercenaries came after their clash with the US commandos and US-supported Kurdish SDF units in Deir ez-Zor on February 7, 2018 (Kravchenko et al. 2018). The attack set a new low in the threshold for a direct military collision of Russia and the USA. Yet both Moscow and Washington evidently seek to dodge such an encounter (Suchkov 2018b). The deconfliction channels are still in place and despite all the differences, the coordination between the American and Russian military has not been interrupted. There is evidence to suggest that such interactions will continue until Syria has got rid of IS and other radical groups. The bigger question is what’s next?

Russian Post-Syria Planning In 2017, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the defeat of terrorist groups will be a litmus test for Washington’s true intentions: “When IS together with Nusra are defeated, then everybody’s goals in Syria will become evident” (RIA 2017d). Meanwhile Moscow’s own ultimate goals are quite vague. “Strategically, we do not aim at gaining a foothold in the region. Our aim is to fight international terrorism, which poses a threat to Russian national interests,” stated Alexander Lavrentiev, Putin’s special envoy on the Syrian settlement (TASS news). The truth of the matter is Moscow is not going to give up on its military bases in Tartus and Latakia, and Russian companies are unlikely to relinquish the contracts they have signed in the country. On the other hand, staying in Syria for too long will imply that Russia is pursuing a neocolonial empire, the image that Russia has been doing its best to avoid.

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When it comes to the goals relating to Russia’s domestic politics the Syria campaign doesn’t seem to be much of a gain. The latest comprehensive survey of late August that was composed of three important questions by the Levada Center exposed a growing disinterest to developments in Syria among the majority of Russians (Levanda). Answering whether the respondents followed events in Syria, 26% said they knew nothing of the latest developments in that country, 18% said they “follow closely,” with 56% saying they did follow Syria but not “closely”—the same percentage that recorded the same answer before the start of the Russian campaign in September 2015. Asked whether Russia, in their view, should wrap up its operation in Syria, 49% of the respondents said “yes,” with 30% suggesting “Russia should continue,” and 22% undecided. Finally, when asked if the Syria campaign could become another “Afghanistan” for Russia 11% ruled it out “completely,” while 40% said it was “unlikely,” and 28% opined it was “quite possible.” While the figures indicate more Russians have stopped following the news from Syria it isn’t necessarily a reflection of “growing protest mood” vis-à-vis the Russian campaign there as one may interpret it. In fact, a more detailed layout of the survey shows 59% of those who “follow Syria closely” support Moscow military efforts on that front, which is rather indicative of the effectiveness of the information campaign Moscow is conducting domestically. During the presidential elections in March 2018, Putin supporters will point to the campaign significance for Russia’s security and foreign policy posturing while his critics expose the drawbacks. But since the Syria issue as such is not a daily priority for the majority of Russians it’s unlikely to be either a problem for Putin—or whoever runs against him—or an issue worth campaigning on. The very security component of the operation has so far been a mixed bag. In their October 2017 press release, the Russian military stressed their strikes killed 40 militants who were natives of the North Caucasus and a top IS commander who was a native of Central Asia (TASS news). Moscow claims over two years that it has killed about 2000 militants who joined the ranks of terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq (RIA 2017b). Given Putin’s own assessment that there were some 5000–7000 Russian and other post-Soviet space individuals who joined IS it’s logical to assume the remaining number are still out there—in Syria and Iraq (Biryukov 2015). They could be on their way to Russia’s Caucasus and bordering Central Asia and Ukraine—that too has recently become a popular route for IS “returnees.” Not that Moscow doesn’t understand these challenges

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or doesn’t act upon them. Late last year Russia’s FSB security service uncovered an explosives cache in Moscow and captured North Caucasusnative IS cell members who plotted terrorist attacks in the Russian capital (The Sun Daily 2017). But the fight against terrorists, and Moscow’s attempts to take the fight as far away from its borders as possible, is still a battle in progress. Terrorist activity in the volatile North Caucasus was on the rise this in 2018. It will remain a preoccupation for the Russian security forces for decades and will continue to be closely associated with the Middle East. Russia’s Syria commitment, highlighted here as both an asset and a liability, will be long term. Moscow owns this problem and probably realizes it. Earlier, Moscow reportedly deployed a second S-400 surfaceto-air missile (SAM) system to Syria to beef up its air defense capabilities in the region (Barrie and Gethin 2018, 7). This is an indication of Moscow foreseeing a number of potential challenges ahead and seeking to deter them through force. However as postwar Syria would also require sophisticated multilevel diplomatic engagements, the international facet of Russia’s presence in Syria is likely to become even more challenging for Moscow with time; from the fate of Assad to humanitarian aid, and the reconstruction of Syria. A critical challenge for Russia in this respect is finding funding for Syria’s reconstruction which requires much higher investments than Russian companies previously estimated. The figure of Assad also raises complications in the long run. In the final communiqué of the Ministerial meeting on Syria organized by the USA on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, which was attended by representatives of 17 foreign Ministers, it is stated that: “Recovery and reconstruction support for Syria hinges on a credible political process leading to a genuine political transition that can be supported by a majority of the Syrian people” (US Embassy in Egypt 2017). It means that money for reconstruction will be allotted on the condition that Bashar al-Assad steps down. Russia did not agree to such a plan, and has instead converted its military presence and developing relations with Turkey and Iran into the Astana Process. These three stakeholders in the Syria conflict feel they’d be better positioned to drive change themselves rather than waiting until the Geneva talks resume. Yet as long as the Russian military remains in place, it will not be achieved easily. The power factor will still be key in the upcoming negotiations on the future of Syria. But there also will be a sharp increase in the competition. Not only from the USA, but also from those who seem to be on the same side of the fence with Moscow now:

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Iran, Turkey, and even China, which did not intervene in the military campaign, but is quite willing to invest in the Syrian economy as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Thus, it is important for Moscow to define its strategy in Syria for years to come. Otherwise, all the losses it suffered and all the investments it made will be in vain. In Syria, Russia’s relations with Iran and Turkey have never been smooth. The three states have bitter divisions over their interests, priorities, and policy visions. Each of them uses the Astana format to push their own agenda. Yet, Presidents Putin, Erdogan, and Rouhani try hard to stay consolidated on principal matters and to this point have withstood outside efforts to sow discord within the “troika alliance” and foil its joint work. Turkey’s own efforts to prosecute a military campaign against Syrian forces in Idlib in March 2020 put further pressure on bilateral relations.

Russia and the Kurds One of the stumbling blocs in Russia’s relations with Turkey is Russian overtures to Kurds. In May 2016 just as Russia and the USA started serious discussions on what a cease-fire in Syria might look like, Moscow insisted that Kurds were included in the Geneva peace talks. The idea, by and large, was shared by the moderate Syrian opposition and Washington, while Ankara understandably opposed it. For Russia, the issue of Kurds in Syria has at least three facets: relations with Turkey, with the Kurds themselves, and with the USA. At this point, all three areas have to be squared with what Moscow now sees as its primary task: switching from the military campaign to negotiations on a political settlement. Turkey’s operation in Afrin which couldn’t have occurred without Moscow’s tacit agreement is believed to be a critical milestone in Russia’s relations with Kurds. Russia’s position in that episode, however, was fully in line with its overall stance on Syria and its broad Middle East policies: Steer away from crises where Russia’s own security interests are not directly at stake. With Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it’s a very fine line to tread, but as long as Turkey and Russia continue to maintain military, intelligence and presidential channels, Moscow is unlikely to meddle in what’s seen as a bigger security concern for Turkey than for Russia.

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Turkey has been pivotal to Russia in dealing with militant opposition groups and enabling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces take control of some parts of the opposition-controlled areas. Thus, Moscow had no reason to upset the fragile balancing act with Ankara at this critical moment. That said, it should be noted Turkey’s military solution for Afrin was an option Moscow has long sought to dodge. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rejected Russia’s proposal to let Syrian government forces take control of Afrin. The plan was designed to address Ankara’s concerns about the Kurds controlling a corridor of land along Turkey’s border and to give Assad control of more Syrian terrain. But that idea didn’t sit well with Kurdish demands of autonomous rule. Russia was first to propose the concept of including Kurdish autonomy in a new Syrian constitution, which, back in the day, annoyed Turkey and excited the Kurds. Russia believes the issue of Kurdish autonomy should also be negotiated. Therefore, the popular line of criticism about “Russia betraying the Kurds” doesn’t seem to bother Moscow on its merits. Some of the Kurdish groups have been in contact with Russian authorities at the Khmeimim-based Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria. Russia had no formal commitments to the Kurdish nationalist Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has long played its own game between Ankara and Damascus and has ultimately opted to work with the USA rather than Russia. A view on this in Moscow is the “failed expectations” the Kurds may have had regarding Russia’s support during the Afrin offensive in northern Syria from January 2018. This stemmed first from the PYD leadership miscalculating its own resources on the ground; second, from overestimating the scale of American support and commitment to their force and political cause; and third, underestimating the importance of Russia’s own game plan for the Syrian settlement.

Russia and Iran/Israel Relations Moscow’s balancing act with Israel and Iran is an even bigger ordeal. The turbulent nature of the conflict and the region in general leaves plenty of room for “thunderheads”—uncalculated risks and unexpected developments in the region or elsewhere that can complicate Russia’s strategy. Specifically, the smoldering escalation between Iran and Israel menaces to open a whole new dimension to the war in Syria.

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The very nature of the growing confrontation on Syrian turf between the two arch enemies is complicated. Russia’s behavior in the region ultimately stems from attempts to understand and recognize the legitimacy of motivations of certain players—even when it does not share them politically or finds them counter to its own interests. Judging from this approach, Moscow may find Hezbollah’s presence understandable from Iran’s perspective. At the same time, Russia certainly realizes that this presence serves as a constant irritant for Israel and is thus an escalation factor that can’t be ignored if the Kremlin ultimately seeks to fix Syria for the long term. While Russia indeed faces a serious challenge as a go-between for such die-hard negotiators as the Israelis and Iranians, for now both Iran and Israel need Russia as an “airbag” between one another. Such a status is unlikely to last for too long. But so far it has been providing Moscow with time to elaborate on a status quo of moderation: Iran has to restrain Hezbollah’s provocative actions, and Israel needs to restrain its assertive responses and preemptive air raids. These have been visible in Israeli Defense Force calculations that it bombed 202 Iranian targets in Syria from January 2017 to September 2018 alone (Gross 2018). Hitting a happy medium between the two regional heavyweights may be an honorary role, and if Moscow can cope with all the associated difficulties, it will make its presence in Syria indispensable. Russian decision-makers are accurately pointing out that the Israelis and Iranians are overestimating the influence Moscow has over each of the respective parties. Yet Russia itself has done a lot to cement its image as a new power broker in the region and now has to deliver on these expectations. In fact, it is hard to think of any other power uniquely positioned to cut this Gordian knot and establish the preconditions for peace. Russia is preoccupied with finding a comprehensive formula to keep the parties from feeling endangered. The diplomatic drive is fueled by the belief that the alternatives to dealing with Iran are force-based scenarios discussed in Washington and Jerusalem that may essentially entail opening a whole new dimension to the Syria war and possibly unleashing a larger-scale regional conflict.

Russia in Libya Russia appears to be using Syria as a template for projecting force and influence into other parts of the Middle East, notably in Libya. Russian

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forces have conducted demining operations in Benghazi and helped to train forces under Khalifa Haftar in eastern parts of Libya. Haftar has even been aboard the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov in 2017 for a video conference with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (Die Welt 2019). But calculations surrounding the involvement in the conflict is not confined to Libya. Egypt and Algeria are leading customers for Russian weapons, Moscow is keen on access to Egyptian airspace, ports and airbases, and could be a major customer for Russia’s civil nuclear power reactors, so their regional priorities must be taken into consideration. There is also the potential for IS to become as strong in Libya as it was in Syria, which would continue to represent a security threat to Moscow. By September 2019, Russia was again “all in” Libya with the deployment of more than 100 mercenaries from Wagner to fight on the front lines in what Haftar hopes will be a decisive victory against the internationally recognized and UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli (Al-Atrush and Kravchenko 2019).

Russia and the Arab Gulf States Russia’s proposal for Gulf security (Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2019), presented at the UN in 2019 and supported by Iran and China, is another attempt by Moscow to set out its vision as a regional power broker. The move also differentiates Moscow from the Trump administration given the US support for the anti-Iranian Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), or so-called Arab NATO, at a time of rising tensions in the Gulf. Even if it fails to gain traction, it will still be viewed as a positive step. The Qatar Crisis will continue to lead Qatar to diversify its international relations, including forming closer ties to Russia, at a time of increasing hostility from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The move could enhance a Russia–Turkey–Qatar axis, but Qatar still remains tied to US security guarantees through US bases there, including Al Udeid forward base. Overtly supporting Qatar would also risk Moscow’s international status as a mediator in the Middle East. However, maintaining strong economic ties with Qatar represents a win-win solution. Russia continues attempts to undermine USA and regional influence in the Gulf and broader Middle East, including taking advantage of tensions between previously close state actors such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. By working with the UAE to establish a stronger security

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sector in Yemen and Libya it suits the interests of both actors. Cooperation could even extend to Syria where Russia and the UAE are intent on containing Turkish influence, especially since the UAE has now reestablished diplomatic ties with the Assad regime (Ramani 2019).

Conclusion While it’s commonplace to criticize the USA and Europe for the lack of strategy in the region—or a complete absence of thereof—it is also highly disputable within Russian expert and political circles whether Moscow has its own clear-cut strategic vision for what it wants to achieve and where it wants to take its policies in the Middle East. This is particularly noticeable in Russia’s relations with Iran and Israel, especially over Syria, and in Russia’s relations with the Gulf states, notably Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar, which suggest that although Moscow is benefiting from tactical relations, the endgame remains uncertain. At the forefront of Russian foreign policy remain concerns and measures designed to enhance national security (especially in denying ISIS a foothold in Central Asia to the Levant), address economic interests, and provide an opportunity to enhance global power status through diplomacy and mediation where possible. It’s a popular intellectual exercise to propose the “right answers” to these questions but more than four years of the Russian campaign in Syria has shown these “answers” weren’t particularly helpful on a number of occasions in explaining the course of the Russian policy. Russian Mideast and global policy will be closely tied to the attitudes and posture of President Putin and the trajectory of US foreign policy, but the fluctuating variables in-between, including Syria, Libya, the Gulf, and NATO, are considerable indeed. Acknowledgements Maxim Suchkov acknowledges the financial support from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (grant agreement number 14.461.31.0002) for his contribution to this chapter.

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CHAPTER 8

Turkey’s Quest for Influence in the Mediterranean in the Post-Arab Uprisings Era Ismail Numan Telci

Introduction: Turkey’s Reorientation Back to the MENA Region The Mediterranean Sea has been an historically important area where Turkey and its predecessor, the Ottoman Empire, had been an active foreign policy player. Given the significance of the Mediterranean in terms of political, economic, and cultural aspects, Turkey has been eager to play a significant role in regional politics. Even though in the early years of the Turkish republic the Mediterranean sea was not a priority in Ankara’s foreign policy agenda, this has changed since the 1970s. Turkey’s military activism in the Cyprus island was an important indicator that the Mediterranean sea would be an increasingly important area for power projection. While a policy of engagement has continued until the early 2000s, the AK Party’s rise to power has opened a new era in Turkey’s relations

I. N. Telci (B) Middle East Institute, Sakarya University Esentepe Campus, Serdivan, Turkey e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_8

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with the Mediterranean. The region has been given a high priority in Turkey’s new foreign policy agenda as Ankara increased its interactions with Mediterranean states, including EU member states such as Italy, France, and Spain, as well as North African countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Turkey has also been active in developing policies toward the Levant states with Ankara becoming involved in the political developments in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and Palestine. More recently, the Eastern Mediterranean area has turned into a top priority for Turkish foreign policy direction. Connected to the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal, the Eastern Mediterranean stands out as an intersection point between Asia, Africa, and Europe. With this very aspect, it has been an area where great powers have always yearned to be the dominant power in every period. In addition to the desire of the states to be regionally or globally dominant actors in the regional maritime trade, the importance of the Eastern Mediterranean has recently taken on a different dimension than these traditional interests. This has been a direct result from the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in 2010, but also from the Syrian crisis and conflict from 2011. Therefore, the increase in interest in this sub-region within the context of political, economic, and security-related issues has brought about tensions between various states. The root of the problems is related to the marine areas which lie in the continental shelf where littoral states have exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and sovereign control over natural resources within 200 nautical miles from shore. On the one hand, these economic zones can represent great wealth, but on the other, it often undermines cooperation. While states may find themselves operating at cross purposes in the Eastern Mediterranean, they still try to form alliances from time to time. From the Turkish perspective, the Eastern Mediterranean, which became a Turkish sea when the Ottoman Empire reigned in the region, has critical importance in terms of security, economy, and politics. First of all, regional actors, as well as global powers such as the USA, Russia, France, and China, have increased their activities in the region, which has led Turkey to feel relatively insecure. Similarly, the Eastern Mediterranean has turned into an area where Turkey should “gain an edge over” Egypt, Israel, and Greece with which it has been going through a clash of interest in the region. In this regard, Turkey defends its legal rights and reveals its presence in the area by taking the required diplomatic and military steps. Turkey is a country dependent on energy imports. Thus, additional

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hydrocarbon reserves will reduce Turkey’s dependency on energy imports and create a positive outcome in the trade balance of the country. The discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean (according to the US Geological Survey, the region is estimated to host around 3.5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 8 billion barrels of oil reserves) has led to a partnership among some of the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean basin. The USA and the EU support this partnership between Israel, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (GCASC), Palestine, and Jordan. The GSASC, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt took a step in 2019 on the issue. Founded by these seven countries, the “Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum” it leaves out Turkey as well as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Lebanon, Libya, and Syria. In this framework, the participating countries intend to transport the hydrocarbon reserves in the basin to Europe bypassing Turkey entirely. Given the extent of Europe’s dependency on Russian gas, the project aims to break or at least offset some European dependence through the mentioned transportation process of hydrocarbon deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean. In this context, although the most economical route for the project passes through Turkey, the gain to be made by Turkey thanks to the reserves, and the strategic and economic capacity it would have after becoming the transit country, is not desired by other countries. In addition to the existing and planned energy transit lines, the oil and natural gas deposits around Cyprus, which have been discovered recently, have added a different dimension to the problem. Along with the lack of resolution to the Cyprus problem, energy-political matters have become more prominent. Likewise, the fact that control over Cyprus shapes the dominance of the Eastern Mediterranean has led to the emergence of significant tensions between Cyprus’s guarantor countries: Greece and Turkey. The EU has not been indifferent to the conflicts in Cyprus. Up to this point in time, the EU has laid Cyprus down as a condition under several headings for Turkey’s efforts to join the Union. However, Turkey has adopted a very consistent attitude on Cyprus and not taken a step that would endanger its existence or Turkey’s role on the island. Turkey has launched its own oil and natural gas exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, and its exploration and drilling vessels increase their efforts to this end. Currently, Turkey carries out drilling activities with its two drilling vessels. At this point, while Lebanon states that it is

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Turkey’s right to explore the reserves in the region, Israel, Egypt, Greece, and the GASC, which have come closer to one another in the last five years as a result of the summits they organized, oppose Turkey’s drilling activities. The drilling operations conducted in recent years by Italy and France are opposed to Turkey. However, adopting a strong position toward the steps taken by the GSASC to grant licenses on Turkey’s continental shelf, Turkey has ensured the withdrawal of a consortium made up of Italy’s Eni and France’s Total from some parcels. While Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco take a neutral stance in current developments, Libya has been in close contact on this issue with Turkey. In this context, signing an agreement with the TRNC on the delimitation of maritime areas in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey also signed the “Memorandum of Understanding on Security and Military Cooperation” and the “Memorandum of Understanding on the Delimitation of Maritime Jurisdiction Areas“ with Libya, which aim to protect the rights of the two countries stemming from international law. The given agreement has been signed between Turkey and Libya’s legitimate government, the Government of National Accord (GNA), on November 27, 2019. Turkey has therefore achieved a significant gain related to the policies it has in the Eastern Mediterranean. Faced with plans that aim to exclude and isolate it in the Eastern Mediterranean, through this agreement signed with Libya, Turkey has given a strong response to the forum’s participating countries. Also, despite the existence of the contract between Turkey and Libya on the maritime jurisdiction areas, the exclusive economic zones based on the given agreement have not been declared. Consequently, as a result of its importance in terms of politics, economics, and security, the Eastern Mediterranean is an area of policy divergence between a large bloc and smaller bloc of states that could have significant repercussions for regional stability. Cooperation and potential conflicts between countries should be seriously examined and risks and opportunities should be analyzed. It is argued here that Turkey’s rights and capacity should not be ignored despite efforts to isolate it from the “Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum” in response to other policy choices. Taking these developments into consideration, this chapter offers an analysis of Turkey’s Mediterranean policy with a focus on the events regarding the Eastern Mediterranean. The chapter focuses on Turkey’s

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relations with the Mediterranean countries by providing a detailed account of each country or group of countries. In particular, Turkey’s competition with Egypt, interest in Maghreb states, and relations with the global and international actors with regard to Eastern Mediterranean policies.

Turkey–Egypt Relations: From Cooperation to Conflict As the two most populous countries of the Mediterranean coast, the relations between Turkey and Egypt have become more and more distant throughout modern history. Following the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the two countries have emerged as leading Muslim powers in the Mediterranean. Despite the historical and cultural similarities, Ankara and Cairo were not seen as natural allies. From the Anwar Sadat era Egypt moved into a western security construct, distancing itself from the Russian orbit of influence. The two countries continued to compete for leadership of the Muslim world, and this competitive element is the fundamental dynamic continues to exist into the contemporary period. The only exceptional period in this relationship pattern was the presidency of Mohammad Morsi between June 2012 and July 3, 2013. During that period, Turkey and Egypt enjoyed a close relationship and both leaders paid each other visits and signed a number of cooperation agreements. This period ended with the July 3rd military coup in Egypt, and since then, the relationship between Ankara and Cairo deteriorated to a low level indeed (Telci 2018: 192–217). This relationship pattern has also manifested itself in the relations of the two countries in the Mediterranean context. While Turkey and Egypt do not follow a cooperative agenda in the Mediterranean, the two countries have situated themselves in opposite camps (largely identified as pro-Islamist and anti-Islamist, especially Muslim Brotherhood, respectively). This informs their approach to political developments in the region. Although during the Morsi period, there was a possibility of a joint foreign policy objectives in the Mediterranean, the Sisi regime has taken a hostile approach toward Turkey and has even initiated an alliance that aims to exclude Ankara from regional developments. In the aftermath of Egypt’s discovery of large-scale natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2015, Cairo has pursued a more assertive foreign policy

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agenda in the region. This agenda has become institutionalized in the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum with the leadership of Egypt at the beginning of 2019, and the participation of Israel, Cyprus, and Greece, as noted by Al Masry Al Youm (2019). Alongside Egypt’s efforts, Turkey has also intensified its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean during this period. Ankara has conducted natural gas exploration activities and increased its diplomatic maneuvering. Ankara has dispatched civilian as well as military vessels to the Eastern Mediterranean in order to explore natural gas resources and secure its interests in the region. As Ibish (2020) notes, as long as Turkey shows it is an aspiring hegemon in the Mediterranean it will create a significant backlash for regional states, not least from Egypt. Egypt has also tried to influence Turkey through its military activities in the Mediterranean sea. Springborg and Williams (2019) find that the Egyptian government heavily invested in naval forces by purchasing battleships, submarines, gunboats, and other marine high-tech defense types of equipment from France, the USA, Russia, and Germany. The Egyptian army has repeatedly conducted exercises with the armies of countries such as the USA, France, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Russia. The main objective of the Sisi regime in this regard is to send Turkey a strong message about its military readiness vis-a-vis Ankara (Daily Sabah 2020). The competition between Turkey and Egypt has spilled over to other regional developments, including Libya. Turkey’s increasing involvement in political events in Libya has seriously disturbed Egyptian policies. Ankara’s strong support for Libya’s government and the signing of several agreements with Tripoli further angered the Sisi regime.

Turkish Policy in the Eastern Mediterranean Versus Regional and Global Powers Recently the Eastern Mediterranean has attracted considerable attention from regional and global powers. Not only state actors but also nonstate actors such as drilling companies, oil companies, and other energy firms which have diverted their attention toward exploration initiatives and efforts of extracting hydrocarbon reserves. As the country that has the longest border on the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey is conducting a more active policy in the region that asserts its interests through initiating

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an open policy aimed at entering into dialogue with all parties concerned. The Eastern Mediterranean policy of Turkey continues to send messages to the relevant parties in the region. Turkish policymakers initiated a Turkey–Libya maritime deal (Hürriyet Daily News 2019). The signing of the maritime agreement served to open the way for earlier Turkish efforts to determine an extended Exclusive Economic Zone in the Eastern Mediterranean. Paksoy (2019) writes that the unilateral drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean by the GSACS and Greece are prevented with this move. Thus, the maritime deal and the active stance of Turkish foreign policy engagements that made the maritime deal possible irritated some European powers who also have an interest in the Eastern Mediterranean either through state-level or through private national companies (Baker et al. 2019). One of the key actors in the Eastern Mediterranean is Italy. In this respect, the Turkey–Libya deal temporarily halted the efforts of Italy to become a significant energy transit through the EastMed project because the planned project has to make its way through the Turkey–Libya agreement zone. Now that Italy has to find another solution for its EastMed project, it needs to look out for other policy options. Within this background, one clear issue is about the implementation of the deal. The question is about effectively implementing the Turkey–Libya agreement, and it’s ability to protect the party’s rights. That explains why there has been an intense interest in terms of making high-level visits to Fayiz esSerrac, the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, and the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA). In that respect, it is clear that along with Turkey, Italy, France, and Saudi Arabia, Qatar also stepped up diplomatic efforts to become an influential actor in the Eastern Mediterranean. Another influential actor in the Eastern Mediterranean is France. It is widely accepted that France diplomatically and militarily backs Haftar, which aids any interest in the territorial waters of Libya. The drilling efforts of Italy and France in the Eastern Mediterranean have centered upon Italy’s ENI and France’s TOTAL consortia (TRT Haber 2019). Given that ENI-TOTAL consortia has struck a deal with GCASC on the 7th parcel, it is clear that Italy and France are furthering supporting the interests of Israel, Greece, and Egypt. According to the Daily Sabah (2019), ENI won’t drill if warships are deployed. Turkey is conducting exploration initiatives in the Eastern Mediterranean by introducing Yavuz

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and Fatih drilling vessels. The fact that the exploration and drilling activities of ENI-TOTAL consortia are carried out on the Turkish continental shelf have pitted Turkey against France and Italy in the regional theatre. However, as noted in Middle East Monitor (2020a), the Northern Cyprus Foreign Minister says that ENI-TOTAL consortia’s drilling rights are supposed to stem from their agreement with GCASC, which undermines the sovereignty of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). One of the reasons why Italy and France have built partnerships with GCASC to the detriment of Turkish interests is that GCASC has ratified certain agreements with regional actors, allowing it to articulate its Exclusive Economic Zone early on; with Egypt in 2003, with Lebanon in 2007 and with Israel in 2010 (Casin 2019). Although Turkey has objections to these agreements, with the partnership of Italy, France, and their private companies alongside GSACS, new parcels have been created. The USA is also speculated to have sought ways to counter the influence of Turkey and Russia in the region. Kelly (2019) writes that Congress has made efforts to allow the USA to establish partnerships with energy companies in the area. In that respect, the USA has recently strengthened its military relations with Greece and mended its ties with GCASC. The way the USA wants to become influential in the region looks to be through private, nongovernmental organizations, and the companies of European powers. The EU is also using sanctions as a policy in the region. In February 2020, the EU announced a new mission to monitor the UN arms embargo in Libya (Ulger 2020). With this move, the EU will be able to monitor Libyan developments by sea, air, and satellites, but mainly target Turkey and do less to prevent arms flows from other states, such as the UAE, to Khalifa Haftar (Megerisi 2020). The EU will also therefore become an influential actor in reading and participating in Eastern Mediterranean developments, whereby it could choose to expand or restrict some developments in the region for its benefit. The reason why the EU has decided to form a mission to Libya is about Russia and Turkey’s active stances in Libya where appear to be detrimental to its interests. Also, as Akdeniz (2020) notes, the Greek administration announced that it is agreeing with the EU, particularly with its decision to launch a new patrol mission to prevent arms from entering Libya. Turkish foreign policy toward the Eastern Mediterranean is complex and developments are inherently dependent on the developments in Libya. Therefore, Turkey’s interests in the region are intersecting with

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those of Italy, France, the USA, and Russia. Nonetheless, Turkey, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emphasized many times, sought to enter into dialogue with all parties concerned in the region. Rather than making speculative moves that endanger the national security of concerned countries, Turkey intends to engage with any country based on open dialogue and common interests.

Turkey’s Activism in Libya As Telci (2020) notes, for the first time in the postwar world, Libya now occupies a pivotal position in Turkish Mediterranean policy. The Turkish government and Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli signed the “Restriction of Marine Jurisdictions” agreement on November 27, 2019. Through this mechanism the two countries delineated their maritime borders in the Mediterranean. The agreement signed with the internationally recognized GNA of Libya was led by Fayez al-Sarraj. Another vital agreement within this framework is the “Memorandum of Understanding on Security and Military Cooperation“ signed by the two countries at the request of the Libyan government. Through this agreement, Turkey indicated its determination and readiness to provide support for the protection of Libya’s territorial integrity and the elimination of threats to the Fayez al-Sarraj government, which is recognized by the international community. The agreement also provides for Turkey’s help in the establishment of, and support for, the Libya Rapid Reaction Forces. It includes the provision of munitions and planning to them; the formation of bases for land, sea and air vehicles; the deployment of military personnel, and technology transfer in the defense industry (Casin 2019). The Libya– Turkey agreements have transformed the nature of the relationship between the two countries from loose cooperation to strategic partners. The rapid change has caused significant concern for the countries that have divergence foreign policies to Turkey. But by establishing a strategic partnership with Turkey, the Libyan government aims to protect its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean. Some regional actors that perceive the rapprochement between Turkey and Libya as a threat have reacted quickly to these agreements. Following the deal, countries such as Greece, Egypt, the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus (GASC) and Israel reacted negatively, and international pressure on the Libyan government

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increased. The militia group led by former general Khalifa Haftar, one of the most significant armed forces in the country, has intensified its efforts to seize the capital, overthrow the internationally recognized GNA and establish a military regime. Uncomfortable for a long time with Turkey’s policies in the Eastern Mediterranean, these countries have used the latter agreement, which has a crucial role in protecting the interests of Ankara in the region, as a pretext and increased their support for the Haftar forces who lack international recognition and are subjected to an arms embargo by the UN. Immediately after the agreement, Greece, Egypt, Italy, and Israel also made a series of diplomatic moves. Greece declared the Libyan Ambassador Persona non grata. On December 22, 2019, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias paid a visit to Libya and met with General Khalifa Haftar (Anadolu Agency 2019a). Dendias’s failure to meet with GNA officials drew a negative reaction from Tripoli. Egypt also reacted along the same lines as Greece. In Cairo, the foreign ministers of Greece and Egypt declared the maritime border agreement between Turkey and Tripoli to be invalid. The Egyptian government also referred the memorandum of understanding signed between Turkey and the GNA to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). According to the Middle East Monitor (2019) and Al Jazeera (2020), the Libyan government decided to halt the activities of their embassy in Egypt and to demonstrate the discomfort they felt due to the actions of the Cairo administration. Regional actors chose to oppose the Ankara–Tripoli alliance and the agreements of the GNA and its leader Fayez al-Sarraj and Turkey. The fact that Athens, Cairo, and Rome have all had talks with the LNA leader, Khalifa Haftar, and promoted him as the legitimate leader in the country, could be considered as part of this strategy. The next step would be to provide international legitimacy to Khalifa Haftar, who wants to establish a military administration in Libya. Turkey’s deal with the Libyan government and its political activism in the Eastern Mediterranean ought not to be evaluated as part of an exclusively interventionist approach. The main objective of Turkish policy toward this part of the world is to protect its national interests which could shift. Turkey’s agreement with Libya and activities in the Eastern Mediterranean reveal that Ankara’s foreign policy has bounced back after the failure of its ‘zero problems with neighbors’ policy. But it has become much more focused on real politik. Turkey has performed successful

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military operations in Syria, used hard power elements in the Horn of Africa and Gulf regions as a foreign policy tool and, finally, engaged in an Eastern Mediterranean-centered foreign policy activism. Turkey is experiencing a resurgence in regional policy which demonstrates Turkey’s determination to become a key player in regional politics. Turkey is able to employ both diplomatic and military capabilities when its interests are threatened. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan played a significant role in achieving a ceasefire in Libya by conducting active diplomacy with both regional and international actors, such as Russia, Germany, Algeria, and Tunisia. However, Turkey appears more committed to exploring hard power options to assert what it regards as its rights in the region.

Turkey and the Maghreb Turkish foreign policy toward Algeria and Morocco has been shaped by a common culture, dialogue, and reverence to shared experiences. Within the context of current bilateral relations with Turkey, the stances on the Libyan civil war, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the democratization processes in the Maghreb countries are easily spotted as central questions. Recently the bilateral relations between Algeria and Turkey have been improving and gaining momentum with high-level official visits. The latest official visits were made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his delegation in January 2020. As part of a business forum, President Erdogan reiterated that Turkey’s approach to the region accounts for something more than just trade gains. The claims made by President Erdogan resonated well with the Algerian media, with most media outlets emphasizing that Turkey’s official visits “boost relations” and could be a way for the Libyan peace process to unfold (Middle East Monitor 2020b). The fact that high-level visits have been people-centric meant that a strengthened partnership could forthcoming. At the forefront of Turkey’s foreign policy strategy in the Maghreb is meeting the demands of the people of the Maghreb. That means supporting democratic claims of the people where it is necessary to do so. In this way, an economic partnership, as well as a common foreign policy connection between Turkey and Maghreb countries, are needed for a reasonable strategy to be implemented. Creating one has not been easy, nor has it been free from obstacles and setbacks.

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One of the obstacles for a stronger Turkey–Algeria partnership is the French influence in Algeria. As an important regional partner of Turkey, the Algerian counterpart has been critical of Turkey. However, with recent official visits and the common understanding between the two countries, it is possible that this partnership could develop into a more formed relationship, at least concerning the Eastern Mediterranean and the war in Libya. However, according to Kasraoui (2020b), another Maghreb country, Morocco, has been somewhat absent in Turkey’s recent tour of the Maghreb. The reason why Morocco has been left out maybe the changing position of Morocco over Turkey’s active foreign policy in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean. In an unexpected move, Morocco condemned the “military interference in Libya,” referring to the Turkish parliament’s approval of a military deployment to Libya (Kasraoui 2020a). The overall statement rejected any country’s military engagement in Libya because it allows other actors to fill the gap created by the military action in the country. In conclusion, current developments in the MENA region require every actor to keep the dialogue doors open and expand already opened doors. In that respect, rather than neglecting an actor, the ways and means to win it back need to be sought. Despite a seeming rift in Turkish– Moroccan ties, it is not necessarily long term in nature. Therefore, just like Algeria and Tunisia, Morocco could play a more significant role regionally that is aligned with other Maghreb countries for the benefit of the whole Maghreb region.

Turkey’s Relations with Tunisia The regional politics in the MENA region continue to give context to a framework in which the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean are placed. Just like other actors in the Eastern Mediterranean, North African countries have been keen to build partnerships, to draft agreements and to maintain a posture that would allow the countries to be taken into active consideration in the regional context. However, it would be wrong to associate the bilateral relations of the North African countries in an extraregional context with only the Eastern Mediterranean context. Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Ticaret Bakanlı˘gı (2020) states that the relations between Turkey and Tunisia stand as an example of this argument. That means,

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Turkey–Tunisia relations may have been animated by the developments regarding the Eastern Mediterranean, but as recently as 2017, Al Jazeera (2017) wrote that Turkey and Tunisia committed to working together on many policy areas, and several cooperation agreements were reached. Recently, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his delegation have paid an official visit to Tunisia and met with Tunisian President Kays Said. The meeting between the two heads of state concluded with a common understanding of the civil war in Libya, which is to reaffirm the support for the Chairman of the Presidential Council of the Libyan Government of National Accord, Fayiz es-Serrac. In a regional context, along with Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia did not welcome the new foreign policy alignment between Turkey and Tunisia (Anadolu Ajansı 2019b). Although Tunisia has pursued a more low key foreign policy toward the war in Libya, Tunisia and Turkey’s alignment on Libya could have further implications for the Eastern Mediterranean. Media platforms manipulated by Khalifa Haftar have spread propaganda on the relations between Turkey and Tunisia, saying that Turkey has demanded Tunisia to allow Turkish jets to use Tunisian airspace enroute to Libya. However, the President of Tunisia declared that “no such demand relating to being cooperative in the usage of airspace has been made by Turkish officials,” effectively countering Haftar’s propaganda (Anadolu Ajansı 2020). The recent upsurge in Turkey–Tunisia relations has demonstrated that there is a great potential to animate cooperation for the benefit of Turkey and Tunisia in a regional context. President Erdogan maintained in a visit to neighboring Algeria that Algeria, Tunisia, and Qatar should make a serious effort in the Libyan peace process. Therefore, by taking a closer stance with Turkey, it might help Tunisia to undertake a new role that will reinforce Tunisian capabilities. It will also create a stronger partnership between Turkey and Tunisia, both in the context of the Libyan peace process, the Eastern Mediterranean and the MENA region at large.

Energy Politics in Eastern Mediterranean During the past few years, Turkey has focused significantly on the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. These developments were mainly due to increased competition over natural resources in the region. The discoveries made by Egypt and Israel have pushed Turkey’s intention

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further to join the natural gas producer countries club. This competition has turned into a serious dynamic in Eastern Mediterranean politics as Turkey has proven its seriousness in pursuing its foreign policy agenda in the region. There are four main reasons why the Eastern Mediterranean is vital for Turkey. First, Turkey is a giant energy importer, and is particularly dependent on Russia and Iran in this respect. Ankara’s hydrocarbon imports reached US$45 billion in 2018, which puts severe pressure on the national budget, especially as the Lira has weakened in 2020 compared to 2019. For this reason, it is crucial for Turkey to find its own natural resources in order to reduce dependency on foreign markets. With its substantial proven reserves, the Eastern Mediterranean is a vital area for Turkey to explore both oil and natural gas resources. Any significant discovery of these resources by Turkey could contribute to Ankara’s future development plans. Second, Turkey aspires to become a major hub for energy transfers from the East to the West. With several projects already completed in this sector, Turkey serves as a critical transit point for hydrocarbon resources from the Middle Eastern and Asian markets into Europe. Most analysts argue that Turkey is the best option to transport oil and gas resources from the Eastern Mediterranean to European markets. However, geopolitical rivals such as Egypt, Israel, and Greece, are trying to undermine Turkey’s role in this sector. Therefore, Ankara aims to become the major actor in transporting energy resources from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe. Such developments could increase Turkey’s geostrategic importance. Third, Turkey’s policies in the Middle East have been facing confrontation from two notable actors in the region, namely Israel and Egypt. Both countries have competed with Turkey in various policy fields. The Eastern Mediterranean is among such venues where Turkey and its regional competitors have differing strategic calculations. Egypt and Israel, together with Greece and the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus, have been trying to isolate Turkey from political and economic developments in the Eastern Mediterranean by forming alliances and establishing formal institutions. In response to these activities, Turkey has been defiantly continuing its efforts to take part in the Eastern Mediterranean power struggle. While criticizing regional rivals diplomatically and emphasizing its determination to participate in energy politics in the

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Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey is also engaging actively in exploration and military activities in the region. Finally and most importantly, the Eastern Mediterranean is a region crucial for Turkey in terms of national security. It has been the scene of military activities of many countries in the past years, particularly military exercises led by Egypt supported by countries such as Greece, the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus, and Israel. Global political actors such as the USA, France, Russia, and China have also increased their presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. Therefore, Turkey is not only considering the Eastern Mediterranean in terms of hydrocarbon resources but also as a strategic area which can serve Ankara’s national security needs. Turkey’s military activities in the Eastern Mediterranean is proof that Ankara considers the region as a line of defense in the face of threats that may come from the south. Turkey places strategic importance on the Eastern Mediterranean and considers the region as a red line in its foreign policy. Therefore, Ankara will not deter from its activities because of the threats and calls from Greece, the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus, Egypt, and Israel. Ankara will continue its exploration and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean while resisting regional and international actors that might hinder its interests in the region. According to Telci (2019) regional and international actors must remember the fact that the Eastern Mediterranean has been a Turkish inland sea for centuries, and this historical fact will be at the center of Ankara’s future conceptualization and strategies.

Conclusion Turkish foreign policy toward the Mediterranean and the countries in the region could be aligned in the peaceful pursuit of hydrocarbon resource exploration and extraction in the Eastern Mediterranean if Ankara adjusted its hegemonic approach and if regional and international actors engaged more fully with Ankara. If Turkey were to work more cooperatively with the EU and other regional stakeholders on securing and extracting resources, it could contribute to a number of aims and objectives including its desire to be at the forefront of hydrocarbon connectivity between East and West. One of the possibilities would be to setup a virtual gas hub and improve transparency in the best practice of energy trading contracts (Tanchum 2019). The Turkish position

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in the Mediterranean will be shaped by the country’s interests in the wider region, including energy politics and regional competition as well as new partnership and alliance opportunities. Turkey has augmented its efforts to support the Government of National Accord in Libya and developed relations with the Tunisian government. Turkey could also cohesify some of the policies of Mediterranean littoral states and provide an important first step (perhaps a confidence-building measure) which could support other diplomatic dialogues on Cyprus, migration and economic assistance.

References Akdeniz, D. (2020). Yunanistan’dan, AB’nin Do˘gu Akdeniz’deki Libya’ya silah akı¸sını kesme operasyonuna destek mesajı. Sputnik. 18 February. https:// tr.sputniknews.com/dogu_akdeniz/202002181041425075-yunanistandanabnin-dogu-akdenizdeki-libyaya-silah-akisini-kesme-operasyonuna-destek/ [accessed 3 March 2020]. Al Jazeera. (2017). Erdogan Pledges to Boost Turkey-Tunisia Trade Ties. 27 December. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/erdoganpledges-boost-turkey-tunisia-trade-ties-171227134106529.html [accessed 3 March 2020]. Al Jazeera. (2020). Four Mediterranean Countries Call Turkey-GNA Deals ‘void’. 9 January. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/mediterra nean-countries-call-turkey-gna-deals-void-200109062417867.html [accessed 3 March 2020]. Al Masry Al Youm. (2019). East Mediterranean Gas Forum to Be Established in Cairo. 14 January. Anadolu Agency. (2019a). Libya Slams Greek FM’s Meeting with Haftar. 23 December. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/libya-slams-greek-fm-s-mee ting-with-haftar/1681277 [accessed 3 March 2020]. Anadolu Ajansı. (2019b). Hafter’e yakın medya Erdo˘gan’ın Tunus ziyaretini çarpıttı. 27 December. https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/dunya/haftere-yakinmedya-erdoganin-tunus-ziyaretini-carpitti/1685355 [accessed 3 March 2020]. Anadolu Ajansı. (2020). Tunus: Türkiye, Libya için deniz ve hava sahamızı kullanma talebinde bulunmadı. 7 January. https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/dunya/ tunus-turkiye-libya-icin-deniz-ve-hava-sahamizi-kullanma-talebinde-bulunm adi/1695441 [accessed 3 March 2020].

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Baker, L., Gumrukcu, T. and Kambas, M. (2019). Turkey-Libya Maritime Deal Rattles East Mediterranean. Reuters. 25 December. https://www.reuters. com/article/us-turkey-libya-eastmed-tensions-explain/turkey-libya-maritimedeal-rattles-east-mediterranean-idUSKBN1YT0JK [accessed 3 March 2020]. Casin, M. (2019). Strategic, Legal Aspects of Turkey-Libya Deal. Anadolu Agency. 12 December. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/analysis-strategiclegal-aspects-of-turkey-libya-deal/1673079 [accessed 3 March 2020]. Daily Sabah. (2019). Eni Won’t Drill in East Med If Warships Deployed. 12 October. https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2019/10/12/eni-wont-drillin-east-med-if-warships-deployed [accessed 3 March 2020]. Daily Sabah. (2020). Mediterranean Powers Unite Against Turkey, Seeking Ways to Limit Ankara’s Moves in Region. 7 January. https://www.dailysabah. com/politics/2020/01/07/mediterranean-powers-unite-against-turkey-see king-ways-to-limit-ankaras-moves-in-region [accessed 2 March 2020]. Hürriyet Daily News. (2019). Turkey and Libya Sign Deal on Maritime Zones in the Mediterranean. 28 November. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ turkey-and-libya-sign-deal-on-maritime-zones-in-the-mediterranean-149216 [accessed 2 March 2020]. Ibish, H. (2020). Competition for Mediterranean Natural Gas Deepens as Gulf, European States Join the Fray. The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, 27 February. https://agsiw.org/competition-for-mediterraneannatural-gas-deepens-as-gulf-european-states-join-the-fray/ [accessed 5 March 2020]. Kasraoui, S. (2020a). Morocco Condemns Military Interference in Libya. Morocco World News. 7 January. https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/ 2020/01/290641/morocco-military-interference-libya/ [accessed 3 March 2020]. Kasraoui, S. (2020b). Morocco, Notable Absentee in Erdogan’s African Tour. Morocco World News. 26 January. https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/ 2020/01/292129/morocco-erdogan-african-tour-algeria/ [accessed 3 March 2020]. Kelly, L. (2019). Congress Looks to Mediterranean Allies to Counter Turkey, Russia. The Hill. 25 December. https://thehill.com/policy/internati onal/475827-congress-looks-to-mediterranean-allies-to-counter-turkey-russia [accessed 3 March 2020]. Megerisi, T. (2020). Make-Believe in the Med: Europe’s New Libya Mission. ECFR. 20 February. https://www.ecfr.eu/amp-article/commentary_make_ believe_in_the_med_europes_new_libya_mission#click=https://t.co/FIbz8j DjD4 [accessed 17 March 2020].

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Middle East Monitor. (2019). Egypt Calls on UN ‘Not to Register Turkish-Libyan Deal’. 19 December. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/ 20191219-egypt-calls-on-un-not-to-register-turkish-libyan-deal/ [accessed 3 March 2020]. Middle East Monitor. (2020a). Northern Cyprus FM: EU cannot stop Turkey in Eastern Mediterranean. 24 January. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/ 20200124-northern-cyprus-fm-eu-cannot-stop-turkey-in-eastern-mediterra nean/ [accessed 3 March 2020]. Middle East Monitor. (2020b). Algeria’s Newspapers: Turkey’s Erdogan’s Visit Boosts Relations and Peace in Libya. 28 January. https://www.middleeastmo nitor.com/20200128-algerias-newspapers-turkeys-erdogans-visit-boosts-relati ons-and-peace-in-libya/ [accessed 3 March 2020]. Murat Paksoy. (2019). Turkey Proved Power on Table, Ground, Says Top Official. Anadolu Agency. 29 December. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/ turkey-proved-power-on-table-ground-says-top-official/1687029 [accessed 2 March 2020]. Springborg, R. and Williams, F. (2019). The Egyptian Military: A Slumbering Giant Awakes. Carnegie Middle East Center. 28 February. https://car negie-mec.org/2019/02/28/egyptian-military-slumbering-giant-awakespub-78238 [accessed 1 March 2020]. Tanchum, M. (2019). Gas for Peace. Foreign Policy. 28 May. https://foreignpo licy.com/2019/05/28/gas-for-peace/ [accessed 23 March 2020]. ˙ skileri. Çatı¸smaya, I. ˙ In Devrim (ed.) Sonrası Telci, I. (2018). Türkiye-Mısır Ili¸ Mısır Dı¸s Politikası: Dönü¸süm Arayı¸sından Me¸sruiyet Çıkmazına. Istanbul: SETA Foundation: 192–217. https://setav.org/assets/uploads/2019/04/ M%C4%B1s%C4%B1rDP_Ozet.pdf [accessed 1 March 2020]. Telci, I. (2019). Why the Eastern Mediterranean Is of Strategic Importance for Turkey. New Turkey. 13 May. https://thenewturkey.org/why-the-easternmediterranean-is-of-strategic-importance-for-turkey [accessed 3 March 2020]. Telci, I. (2020). Restoring Order in the Eastern Mediterranean: Understanding Turkey’s Activism in Libya. New Turkey. 13 January. https://thenewturkey. org/restoring-order-in-the-eastern-mediterranean-understanding-turkeys-act ivism-in-libya [accessed 3 March 2020]. ˙ TRT Haber. (2019). Türkiye’nin itirazı kar¸sılık buldu: Fransız ve Italyan s¸ irketler, Do˘gu Akdeniz’de 7.parselden çekiliyor. 4 November. https://www.trthaber. com/haber/gundem/turkiyenin-itirazi-karsilik-buldu-fransiz-ve-italyan-sirket ler-dogu-akdenizde-7-parselden-cekiliyor-439155.html [accessed 3 March 2020].

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CHAPTER 9

European-North African Security: The Complexity of Cooperation Yahia H. Zoubir and Djallil Lounnas

Introduction Relations between Europe and North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, also known as the Maghreb) are quite complex; this is due to multiple factors, including the colonial legacy and the divisions among the North African countries on how to interact with the European Union and vice versa (Zoubir 2017a). The complexity of the relations between the two sides has increased in the past 10 years, especially since the European Union perceives North Africa under the prism of “security threats” in the wake of the Arab Uprisings and the rise of terrorism in North Africa (Libya, Tunisia) or in the Sahel. Although Algeria (Zoubir and Aghrout 2012) and Morocco (Pelham 2012) eluded the initial Arab

Y. H. Zoubir (B) KEDGE Business School, Marseille, France e-mail: [email protected] D. Lounnas Al Akhawayn University, Ifran, Morocco © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_9

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Spring, they face the threat of terrorism. According to Djallil Lounnas’ interview with an EU official in January 2018, relations between the two shores of the Mediterranean are structured three key security issues: (1) terrorism which includes terrorist organizations in North Africa related either to Al Qaeda or the Islamic State (I.S) as well the threat of the Foreign fighters returnees, (2) illegal Migration, (3) securing the North African borders from the instability in the Sahel as they are the “gateway to Europe.” This “securitization” of relations however faces multiple constrains, including the different strategies and perceptions of these threats from North African states, their diverging perceptions of the EU, and the difficult relations among themselves, especially the Algerian– Moroccan regional rivalry. This makes any cooperation between the two shores particularly difficult, resulting in “bilateral” cooperation between each of the North African States with the EU. Thus, there exists no single unified coherent policy. Recent events in Algeria have increased this uncertainty in both Europe and North Africa regarding policies that Algeria, a key regional player, will pursue.

Algeria and the EU: A Difficult yet Unescapable Partnership The relationship between Algeria and Europe is of paramount importance given the geographic proximity, as well the historical and deep economic ties that bind them. This was evident in the French government’s declarations/communiqués during President Emmanuel Macron’s official visit to Algeria in late 2017 during which he explained that the purpose of this visit was to speak about the security situation in the Sahelian region and Libya, and to emphasize that Algeria is a key partner in the fight against terrorist groups in both (Bozonnet and Bonnefous 2017). The fact that during this visit President Macron talked personally with General Ahmed Gaïd Salah (AGS), Head of the Chiefs of Staff of the Algerian Armed Forces (ANP) and other security officials, reflects the major importance of the security issues on the European agenda in the relationship with Algeria (Jeune Afrique 2017). An EU official was very clear to Djallil Lounnas in June 2015 that: “Algeria has a key role when it comes to security, everyone wants Algeria on board and more involved. Algeria could be a facilitator in mediations in Libya and Mali, not mentioning its experience in combating terrorism.”

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Algeria has been the target of terrorism since 1992; terrorism throughout the 1990s directly hit Europe, especially France (e.g., the 1994 hijacking of the Air France plane and the Paris bombings in the summer of 1995). On the Algerian civil strife see Martinez (2000) and Willis (1996). On Europe and US reactions to the crisis, see Darbouche and Zoubir (2009: 33–55). Algeria is also the country where Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) was founded in 2007, then expanding onto the Sahel. Indeed, AQIM in the Sahel and its successor the Group for the Defense of Islam and the Muslims (GSIM), created by Algerian jihadists, is today the most powerful Jihadi organization in Africa and the second most powerful Al Qaeda affiliate in the world after the Harakat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS) in Syria. Since its creation in 2017, as a result of the merging of several pro-Al Qaeda organizations in the Sahel, the GSIM has launched guerrilla warfare all over the region, destabilizing the whole area while being involved in intense fighting against French troops belonging to operation Barkhane and their Sahelian allies. At the same time, the Sahel has witnessed the rise of a new and powerful IS affiliate, namely, the Islamic State in the Grand Sahara (ISGS). On the GSIM and ISGS, see Lounnas (2019). Worse, since 2018, both organizations, which initially were rivals, have been working closely together. A spokesman for ISGS announced in early 2018 that, “we will do everything we can to prevent the G5 Sahel from deploying itself in the Sahel. […] Our brother Iyad Ag Ghali [leader of the GSIM] and the other mujahedeen defend like us Islam. […] To defend Islam we give help to each other and will continue to do so” (AFP 2018). Similarly, in Libya, a collapsed State since the fall of the Qaddafi regime in October 2011, Abu Nabil Al Anbari, leader of the IS branch in Libya in September 2015, declared in IS’s online magazine, Dabiq, that, Libya “is in Africa and south of Europe. […] It is also a gate to the African desert stretching to a number of African countries.” He also explained that given the important oil and natural gas resources of Libya and European countries’ reliance on them, “The control of the Islamic State over this region will lead to economic breakdowns especially for Italy and the rest of the European states ” (Dabiq 2015: 63). Given its experience in fighting terrorism and its familiarity with Jihadi organizations in the region, Europe sees Algiers as a key partner. The same EU official cited above explained in an interview with Djallil Lounnas back in 2015 that, “Algeria helped a great deal in combatting terrorism during Serval operation [ French-led operations in Mali in 2012–2013 against Jihadi organizations] and proved to be a reliable

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partner.” Indeed, Algeria shared information on the terrorist organizations, allowed French aircrafts to fly over its territory and provided fuel for the French troops (Guisnel 2013). The fact is that, according to an interview with EU officials by Lounnas in January 2018, the country is the only one which can talk to all the factions. This is because it has never been involved in any intervention and kept relations with all the parties, including Field Marshall Haftar, with whom Algiers has difficult relations. In this regard, a former Algerian diplomat insisted in an interview with Lounnas in January 2018 that: “Algiers must contain the situation in Libya by having the best relations with all the actors involved in the crisis. Our friends are as much in Tripoli as in Benghazi.” Nevertheless, there are major differences between Algeria and the Europeans about terrorism and security issues. Indeed, European countries have favored military interventions in both the Sahel and Libya to counterterrorist groups and expected Algeria to participate in such operations. However, Algeria has always opposed foreign interventions in what it considered the “internal affairs” of States; thus, as a matter of principle, Algerians opposed European operations in Libya and the Sahel. Algiers considered that in both cases, there are local problems and socioeconomic grievances that need to be addressed first because transnational terrorist groups usually take advantage of the situation in those areas (weak/failed States, corruption, poverty). For their part, European countries, especially France, have pursued a hardline policy and considered all the armed non-states actors in the region as similar, considering them terrorist organizations to be fought. By contrast, Algeria called for political and inclusive dialogues between local actors and the authorities in order to “cut the link” between the local populations and the transnational terrorist organizations. This difference of approach made cooperation between the two difficult beyond the logistical/material aspects. Furthermore, as Akram Kharief, a security expert explained in an interview with Lounnas in January 2018, Algeria refused to intervene both because the doctrine forbids it from doing so but also, more importantly, because it refuses to be an auxiliary of Europe. The result is that for an EU diplomat speaking to Lounnas in January 2018: “security cooperation was difficult especially between 2013 and 2017, but then the situation improved as the differences in approach narrowed between the two sides even if they persist.”

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Another major difference in terms of approach resides in the fact that the Algerian authorities have favored bilateralism rather than multilateralism. Indeed, for Europeans, those problems are to be treated in regional/multilateral frameworks and mechanisms, whereas Algeria prefers to deal with each European state bilaterally. The result is that there are different agreements signed with different each state and complicates relations between Algierians and the Europeans (ibid.). The same problems occur regarding illegal migration and border controls. Indeed, Algeria is very much concerned with illegal immigration/human trafficking and the security risks associated with this phenomenon, including weapons smuggling, drugs, and transnational criminality. Algeria shares the same concerns as the European countries and believes that the two sides should have intense cooperation. However, one should note that while Algeria is not a major country of destination for illegal immigrants, it remains a “route de passage,” that is, a transit hub for those who are trying to reach southern Europe either via Morocco or Tunisia/Libya. Between 2015 and 2018, Algeria spent $20 million dollars to control the influx of migrants coming from the Sahel; it also expelled thousands of would be migrants to their home countries, especially Mali and Niger, actions which have drawn criticism from the international community, including the UN (Chikhi 2018). In 2018, Algeria announced that each year, it prevented some 40.000 migrants from reaching Europe (Xhinua China News Agency 2018). In this regard, cooperation between Algiers and Europeans remains difficult. Indeed, when the EU created the European Trust Fund for Africa, which aimed at among other things reinforcing border controls through cooperating with the African countries, especially North African ones, Algeria refused resolutely to participate. According to an EU official interviewed by Lounnas in January 2018, Algeria preferred instead to focus on the economic development part of the project. This reflected the overall deep mistrust of the EU initiative on the part of Algiers, which, once again, did not want to be Europe’s proxy (Zoubir 2018). Finally, all these problems are aggravated by the lack of political and economic regional integration in North Africa, exacerbated by the tense relations between Algeria and Morocco. In turn, this compels European countries to deal with Algeria and Morocco, the two major regional powers, separately, and to develop specific programs of action for each. The existence of regional mechanisms of cooperation, such as the 5+5,

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which deals with security cooperation, including terrorism and immigration, remains informal and simply a forum for discussion without any effective power. The 5+5 is an informal mechanism of consultation between Spain, France, Italy, Malta, and Portugal on the one hand and Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia on the other. See Coustillière (2012).

Morocco: A Privileged Partner Morocco has positioned itself as a major security partner of the European Union; for its part, Volpi (2010) believes the EU has long considered the Kingdom of Morocco as a privileged partner for the EU. It would not be an exaggeration to argue that Morocco has been a favored partner in the EU’s strategy of protecting its border in the Mediterranean and has thus considered the kingdom as a stable partner with which the EU can cooperate, especially as it views it as a relatively democratic country. The country has enjoyed since 2008 an “advanced status” in the European Neighborhood Policy that reinforces its importance in a variety of areas. In 2013, speaking of Morocco, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso emphasized the “very positive” nature of the EU’s relations with a “privileged partner” (Statewatch 2013) The EU Action Plan 2012–2016 had anticipated many areas of cooperation with Morocco. With respect to security, it included, “…reinforced dialogue on cooperation in the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP); parliamentary cooperation between Morocco and the European Parliament; observatory status at the Council of Europe; cooperation on civil protection and security especially in view of the potential signature of a cooperation agreement between Morocco, EUROPOL, and CEPOL and the future creation of the Higher Institute for the fight against criminality (Institut Supérieur de lutte contre la criminalité); Cooperation on countering terrorism and organized crime; Cooperation on migration, border management and international protection in view of the signature of a Mobility Partnership and the reinforcement of asylum law and effective access to international protection in Morocco” (ibid.). Morocco’s relations with the EU do not date from that period. Since its independence, Berramdane (1990) states that Morocco has made a deliberate policy choice to anchor itself in the Western camp. Unsurprisingly, cooperation between the EU and Morocco extends to areas beyond security and defense (e.g., trade, political relations).

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However, in the early 2000, terrorism and migration have become paramount, especially for the EU. The rise of terrorism in North Africa, particularly Al-Qaida and the so-called Islamic State, has generated great concern among Europeans, particularly Spain and France, and, more recently Germany and the UK. Security, counterterrorism and migration have become paramount in the EU’s policy toward the Southern Mediterranean countries. But, while Europe has been the target of terrorism on its territory and recipient of illegal migrants and waves of refugees following the collapse of Libya and Syria, Morocco has not been immune against terrorism. Morocco has also produced foreign fighters (currently estimated between 1500 and 2000 by Masbah (2019: 182)) who have gone to fight in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Their eventual return remains worrisome for both Morocco and the EU countries. With respect to terrorism, Morocco suffered a terror attack in May 2003; that “shattered two myths about Moroccan politics. First, the attacks and the government’s immediate response to them undermined Morocco’s image as a democratizing monarchy. Second, they destroyed the illusion that the Moroccan monarchy’s grounding in Islam protects it from Islamic extremism and terrorism” (Maghraoui 2008). These attacks prompted the monarchy to introduce major counterterrorism legislation that curbed not only terrorist activities, but also peaceful political activity. In 2007, several other suicide bombings took place in the same city according to Yonah (2010: 18). Links were established between the existing terrorist cells in Morocco (Rachidi 2004) and the perpetrators of the Madrid train station bombings on March 11, 2004 and the July 2005 attacks. After the attacks in 2005, Morocco adopted an antiterrorist strategy that incorporated an antiterrorism law, social assistance programs, and a reform of the religious sector. The Moroccan legislation gave terrorism a broad definition, allowing the authorities to inflict heavy sentences (a minimum of a 10-year term in prison) and giving security forces wide prerogatives in terms of investigation, seizure of properties, detention, and control of the means of communication (Zoubir 2013: 108). This proved relatively successful until the bombing in Marrakech on April 28, 2011 that killed 15 people, 10 of whom foreign nationals (BBC News Africa 2011). The legislation was harshly criticized by many NGOs, which argued that the law violated individual liberties, criticism that the government rejected under the pretext that the absence of terrorist attacks proved that the legislation was effective. In addition to the repressive laws,

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the government introduced some economic measures to alleviate poverty, seen as a cause of terrorism, such as the National Initiative for Human Development. Furthermore, it used religion to undermine the legitimacy of the ideological precepts of violent extremists through a reform and modernization of the national religious corpus. Nast (2010) notes that in 2006, the government made one of the most spectacular and publicized decisions: the introduction of the Mourchidate (female Muslim clerics), a unique move in the Arab-Islamic world, which appealed greatly in Europe and other Western countries. Like Algeria, Morocco eluded the Arab Uprisings and, like Algeria, the promised reforms made immediately after the uprisings proved more cosmetic than the hoped-for radical changes that would transform the authoritarian governance. Despite some positive measures, the monarchy maintains overwhelming control over the political process. Although Morocco has made noticeable progress in creating a more favorable climate for international investors, it has failed to reduce unemployment, especially among the youth. The reforms were initiated following the 20 February Movement in 2011 but failed to address issues of real political participation, youth unemployment, marginalization, and favoritism (Malka 2016). Undoubtedly, as in the rest of the Maghreb region, marginalization, and unemployment remain the primary factors that push young people to join Jihadist groups. Studies by analysts such as Christophe Stitou and Guguen (2015) have shown that two-thirds of the Moroccan fighters who joined the “Jihad” in Syria and Libya are under 25, and three-quarters come from poor strata living in the shantytowns of large and medium-sized towns, such as Casablanca, Salé and Tangier. Evidently, Masbah (2015: 46) notes that “poverty and the lack of alternatives…have pushed youths into informal or illicit activities… For quite a few, travelling to Syria is just another option to escape a social reality that offers limited prospects for a decent living, and constitutes an almost seamless transition from one type of illicit activity to another.” It seems that, at the start, Moroccan authorities did little to prevent Moroccan Jihadists from leaving the country and “this policy was clearly driven by the desire to get rid of them and reduce the burden of controlling and containing the local Salafist-Jihadist scene, within as well as outside the prison system” (ibid.). In 2012–2013, Morocco’s position on Syria, i.e., the toppling of President Bashar Al-Assad, overlapped with the Jihadists’ readiness to join the Sunni opposition there. However, the return of the fighters to Morocco from Syria and, more recently, from Libya, compelled

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the Moroccan authorities to revise the leniency they had shown toward Salafist-Jihadists hitherto. They have taken new measures to obstruct the menace by reinforcing in 2014 the Antiterrorist Law enacted in 2003 following the Casablanca attacks. In addition, Jihadists have now been prevented from travelling to join IS or other Jihadist organizations. Security forces have cracked down on Salafist-Jihadists and dismantled many cells throughout the kingdom. Although the terrorist threat in Morocco is real, it has been politicized and serves both domestic and international functions. According to Mesbah (2014), a tendency within the security apparatus has been to exaggerate the threat with the scheme to “assert its independence from the elected [PJD] government and to reestablish a free hand over internal affairs, unhampered by oversight from the government or civil society.” Morocco has undertaken commendable measures, such as deradicalization programs and modernization of the security sector, to obstruct terrorist threats; however, like the other Maghreb countries, it has failed to effectively address the issues of marginalization, youth unemployment and other socioeconomic and political questions that contribute to the expansion of violent extremism. The riots that have reignited in the Rif in February 2017 confirmed the urgent need to address the root causes of discontent and enrolment in Jihadist organizations. In addition to its domestic policy on terrorism, Morocco has established close links with the EU and the USA in the fight against terrorism, so much so that Europeans perceive Morocco as an indispensable, valuable partner in security cooperation. This cooperation has become particularly important since the terrorist attacks on European soil since 2015 and the massive wave of immigrants coming from conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East. Thus, this has constituted the context within which one needs to examine EU–Morocco security relations, for the EU cannot ignore the importance of its southern Mediterranean neighbors, with Morocco occupying a privileged position in its relations with the EU. See “Accord euro-méditerranéen établissant une association entre les communautés européennes et leurs états membres, d’une part, et le Royaume du Maroc d’autre part” (2000). Article C of the “Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Kingdom of Morocco, of the other part” contends that dialogue and political cooperation aim to “work to consolidate security and stability in the Mediterranean region and in the Maghreb in

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particular.” With the signing of Morocco’s advanced status, it was very clear that the EU sought close security cooperation with Morocco: “In relation to measures to improve dialogue between the two parties, the agreement provides in particular for a strengthening of the collaboration within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), which can take the form of ‘support for CFSP declarations’ and Morocco ‘s participation in CFSP missions.” The agreement also stipulates that, “This partnership [between the EU and Morocco] now also addresses strategic areas related to collective security, regional cooperation, conflict resolution, good governance, human rights and the rule of law, the fight against terrorism, the regulation of migration flows, the promotion of human rights and cooperation in employment and social affairs” (Délégation de l’Union européenne au Royaume du Maroc 2016). Recent studies by scholars such as Zardo and Cavatorta (2018) have shown that security and defense dwarf issues of human rights, even after the Arab Uprisings. Concerning security, the two sides envisaged to: “Establish a Higher Institute for the Fight against Crime: agreement to examine this project within the framework of existing cooperation mechanisms; Develop border control mechanisms: a deepening of cooperation in this field, already highly developed with Morocco, could continue and be consolidated, to the satisfaction of both parties, once the negotiations on the readmission agreement have been completed; Participation of Morocco in training activities and seminars of the European Police College (CEPOL); Conclusion of a cooperation agreement between Morocco and CEPOL; Conclusion of a cooperation agreement between Morocco and the European Police Office (Europol); Establishment of a dialogue on the fight against and prevention of drugs, and initiation of cooperation actions with the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).” Obviously, this also included the sale of weapons, without necessarily abiding by the human rights conditions attached to it (Camello 2018). The EU regulates arms’ sales through its Common Position 2008/944/PESC of the Council of the European Union of December 8, 2008 (EUR-Lex 2008) which set eight criteria for such sales. For instance, “Criterion Two: Respect for human rights in the country of final destination as well as respect by that country of international humanitarian law.” The norms were reiterated in 2015, and again in 2019 (European Council 2019). However, this criterion regarding human rights has

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been ignored by European states according to Camello (2018: 20–22). Furthermore, the sales might also violate Criterion 7, i.e., the “existence of a risk that the military technology or equipment will be diverted within the buyer country or re-exported under undesirable conditions.” As Camillo put it, based on past behavior, “it can be said that there is a risk that the weapons sold to [Moroccan] military or police forces are used to commit acts of repression and human rights violations” (ibid.: 23). Willingly or unwittingly, the EU members sales of weapons to the Southern Mediterranean countries are in violation of the norms that the EU has set for itself. The risk of terrorist activities by Moroccans in Europe has resulted in greater cooperation between the EU and Moroccan security officials. This explains why Dworkin and El Malki (2018: 18) state that: “Morocco has benefited from substantial European capacity-building assistance in operations and training, as well as from development funds and initiatives designed to assist the population and, by extension, curb the drivers of extremism.” Morocco has positioned itself has an inescapable actor in the fight against terrorism and discloses frequently the dismantling of terrorist cells, including those of the Islamic State, in the country. The Moroccan government has established an apparently effective system of surveillance throughout the kingdom, where many thousands of auxiliaries (mqadmin) of the security forces, who depend on the Ministry of the Interior, serve as “the eyes and ears of the state,” and control the movements of the population (ibid.). Of course, this has created fears of the development of a police state. This type of control extends beyond Moroccan territory; indeed, Moroccan intelligence has operated for decades in Europe to allegedly strengthen antiterrorism and anticrime efforts (AP Interview, 2017). All this monitoring and surveillance of Moroccans on European soil is supported by European authorities. Among the other antiterrorism measures, Morocco has continuously undertaken important reforms in the religious sphere. Moroccan officials have referred to the reforms as “Spiritual Security,” which basically relate to antiterrorism and deradicalization programs that the kingdom has initiated (Nejjar¸2018). Again, this policy is not limited to domestic reforms; it has also served Morocco’s “religious diplomacy,” which consists of positioning Morocco as a beacon of moderate Islam. To that effect, in March 2015, Morocco inaugurated the Mohammed VI Institute for Training of Imams, Morchidines and Morchidates whose objective is to offer training for religious preachers and imams (Sunnis). Recruits come

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not only from Morocco, but also from Tunisia, sub-Saharan African countries and France. In 2019, VOA News stated that 1300 students (of whom 100 women) were enrolled in the Institute. Despite the numerous measures that the Moroccan government has implemented, the threat of terrorism has not dissipated. Like in the other Southern Mediterranean countries, the conditions that have led to young people enrolling in AQIM or IS groups remain and are conducive to jihadism (Zoubir 2017b). Evidently, “poverty and the lack of alternatives…have pushed youths into informal or illicit activities… For quite a few, travelling to Syria is just another option to escape a social reality that offers limited prospects for a decent living, and constitutes an almost seamless transition from one type of illicit activity to another” (Masbah 2015). The riots that have reignited in the Rif in February 2017 confirmed to the authorities once again the urgent need to address the root causes of discontent and enrolment in Jihadist organizations. Migration The management of migration flows has been not only a priority but also an essential feature of the cooperation between the European Union and Morocco. Both have worked jointly and effectively in managing migration flows, especially regarding the fight against illegal immigration. Europe does not have a unified mechanism since the Visegrád group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) has rejected any type of solidarity mechanism. According to Fine (2019: 5), the EU has sought to delegate this task for asylum management to the North African countries. Cooperation between the EU and Morocco has increased in recent years, particularly since migration through the Western route has increased. For example, in 2018, Valdivia (2018) stated that 57,000 migrants from subSaharan Africa and North Africa had reached the Spanish coasts through Morocco. Morocco was to play once again a major role for the European Union, this time on immigration and border control policies. Therefore, the EU’s additional funding adopted under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa allocated e148 million assistance to Morocco for the overall migration-policy (European Commission 2018). According to some analysts such as Valdivia (2018), this new role has had important political consequences on EU–Moroccan relations regarding the dispute in Western Sahara.

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Cooperation on migration has been particularly important between Spain and Morocco. This dates to at least 2004, when the two countries deployed joint patrol teams, covering the Strait of Gibraltar and, later, the Atlantic coast. Spain and Morocco have reached a deal on an exceptional strategy to control irregular migration. Under the deal, Spain’s sea rescue services, Salvamento Marítimo, could take some of the rescued migrants back to Moroccan harbors instead of keeping them in Spanish ports as was the practice in the past (Martín and Abellan 2019).

Tunisia: A Strong Partnership with Europe In March 2015, IS conducted a major attack against the Bardo Museum in downtown Tunis that killed 24 people, including 21 European tourists. Three months later, in June of the same year, IS conducted a new attack in the seaside resort of Sousse, which left 38 European tourists dead. Those two attacks were the culmination of a terrorist insurgency that started shortly after the collapse of the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia. Indeed, taking advantage of the instability and security vacuum in the context of the Tunisian revolution of 2011, AQIM sent one of its brigades, the Okba Ibn Nafaa brigade to the Mont Chaambi in eastern Tunisia, to recruit volunteers and expand its presence in the country, thus starting an insurgency in 2012. In a similar way, IS, taking advantage of the chaos in Libya and the instability in Tunisia, attempted to deploy in this country by establishing training camps in Libya from which it launched attacks against Tunisia. Furthermore, in 2014, the Jund Al Khalifa terrorist cell was created in Tunisia, pledging allegiance to IS. It launched attacks against the Tunisian authorities. As early as 2011, thousands of young Tunisians, left their country to join the Jihad in Syria-Iraq; most of those volunteers joined IS. By 2014, Tunisia had become the largest “provider” of Jihadist foreign fighters in the world in the Middle East with over 4000 young men there. This was made clear in an interview with Habib Sayyah, a Tunisian security, with Lounnas in March 2018 (also see Zoubir 2017b). In the area of migration, and given its geographic proximity to Europe, especially Italy, Boubakri, and Mazzella (2005: 149–165) confirm that Tunisia has been a major hub for migrants seeking to reach Europe. Since the Tunisian revolution, the phenomenon has dramatically increased with both sub-Saharan African and Tunisian haraga [those without ID papers] trying to cross the Mediterranean to escape misery and conflicts

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in the home countries. In 2011, 23,000 Tunisians reached the coasts of Italy and, while these numbers have decreased since, with 6000 Tunisians illegally reaching Europe in 2017, and 9000 others apprehended in Tunisia while trying to illegally leave for Europe, their number remains nonetheless high (Lixi 2018). Tunisia has also become a major route for Sub-Saharan migrants trying to reach Europe with thousands being intercepted in Tunisia in the last few years. However, and contrary to widespread belief, Tunisia has become the “last destination” for SubSaharan migrants rather than a transit point. Herbert and Gallien (2018) show that most of the illegal migrants attempting to reach Europe from Tunisia are actually Tunisian nationals. Clearly, for Europe, the security and stability of Tunisia are of paramount importance, given its geographic proximity but also because of historical, political, cultural, and economic relations. As Michael Ayeri from Crisis Group underlined in an interview with Lounnas in March 2018, Tunisia is and has always been a major partner for the Europeans. The collapse of Tunisia, especially in the context of the breakdown of the Libyan State would dramatically destabilize Europe. Therefore, European countries especially France, helped massively the Tunisian State in reinforcing its security capabilities especially since Tunisia had never been confronted to guerilla insurgencies in the past. Consequently, its security services were untrained for such situations. From 2015 onward, the most critical period for Tunisia, the EU has developed a high-level dialogue with the Tunisian authorities and provided a “complete package” to counter the rise of terrorism. Kerchove (2018) puts this package at e23 million, which is aimed at reforming the security sector. Included is the reinforcement of the operational capabilities of the Tunisian security services by providing them with material and training, as well the reinforcement of the capabilities of the intelligence services to control the borders. Indeed, shortly after the 2015 attacks whose perpetrators came from Libya, Tunis decided to build a “protective wall” on its borders with Libya. As Huda Mzioudet from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace explained to Lounnas in March 2018, “rather than a wall, it is a system of trenches, obstacles and detection systems, which France, Germany and the United States helped to build.” This “wall” in turn played a major role in securing Tunisia and decreasing the number of attacks coming from Libya (Jeune Afrique 2016). In the area of illegal immigration, the upsurge in the number of migrants crossing illegally the Mediterranean led to a major stiffening of

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European States on this issue. Claude Guéant, French minister of the interior, declared in 2011 during a visit to Tunisia that “Our policy is clear, we cannot change it, we do not accept illegal migration” (Khalifa 2011: 182–188). In this context, the European Union and Tunisia reinforced their cooperation to fight illegal migration. However, as Luca Lixi (2018) underlines, when it comes to these issues, the relationship has been often transactional with Europe, financing assistance in exchange of Tunis preventing migrants from leaving the country. Instead of signing a global agreement with the EU, Tunisia has resorted to bilateral agreements with the countries which allow the country to extract more financial, material and technical assistance. In return for these benefits, Tunisia has reinforced its anti-illegal migration policies by creating a task force whose role is to prevent both illegal migrants from crossing the Mediterranean to Europe and to rescue those migrants whose lives are put in danger when those attempts fail. In return for these measures, Europe has financed 10 important projects through its trust fund in the amount of e136 million (Tunis, Emergency Fund for Africa). The Tunisia–EU partnership has a strategic dimension that has developed over the years between Tunis and the Western countries in the area of security, a relationship which led NATO in 2015 to make it a major non-NATO ally; this status gave it access to additional military support. The proximity of Algeria with Tunisia, especially in combating terrorism, facilitated this relationship with Europe although Algiers did not view positively those European initiatives, but neither did it express major opposition to them.

Libya: A Major Migration and Security Concern Under the Qaddafi regime, Europe’s relations with Libya were until 2003, marked by tension and even enmity. Indeed, Europeans had for decades regarded Qaddafi’s Libya as a “geopolitical outlaw in the Mediterranean.” Arab nationalism and anti-imperialism constituted the main foundations of his political regime; unsurprisingly, Libyans believed that their country and the Arab world should oppose the colonial powers, Western imperialists and their expansionism into the region through Israel. In order to achieve its objectives, and unlike other Arab countries, Libya resorted to international “terrorism” by supporting organizations opposed to Western interests. It is precisely this determination to oppose the West and Western interests which inspired such animosity between

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Libya and the Western powers. Indeed, they imposed sanctions and took retaliatory measures against the Libyan regime, perceived as a threat to Western interests and to the stability of the Middle East and North Africa. Despite the often-eccentric behavior of its leader, Libya remained a strategic Mediterranean country (1800 km of coastline) due to its geographical position and its natural resources, especially oil and gas. Europe had faced a major dilemma: Libya, a considerable energy supplier and an important trade partner, was also perceived as a great threat to European security (Zoubir 2009). Although trade relations with Libya were significant, the EU had not included Libya in the Barcelona Process, launched in November 1995, and did not associate it with the establishment or operation of the institutional machinery. Libya was also de facto excluded from the debates around the project to establish a system of collective security in the Mediterranean. Libya’s prompt decision to join the US-led “global war on terror” in the aftermath of attacks on the USA on September 11, 2001, and its cooperation with intelligence services in Europe and the USA to capture terrorists, helped it improve its standing. In October 2004, the EU Council annulled the punitive measures that the EU had adopted in application of UN Security Council Resolutions 748 (1992) and 883 (1993); it also lifted the arms embargo, which had been imposed on Libya since 1986, and sent a technical mission to Libya to discuss measures to combat illegal immigration—the mission went to Tripoli in November–December 2004. In June 2005, the EU Council of Ministers adopted concrete measures to cooperate with Libya against illegal immigration. The EU called repeatedly on Qaddafi’s Libya for assistance in fighting illegal immigration. Libya, which has long sea and land borders, had often been a transit location for sub-Saharan Africans wishing to migrate illegally to Europe through the Mediterranean. Since border patrols and coastal radars had facilitated Spaniards’ and Moroccans’ better control, the influx of illegal migrants had concentrated on Libya as the transit route to reach Europe. In 2008 alone, close to 70,000 people crossed the Mediterranean Sea (with half of them landing in Malta and Italy). This required funding. Thus. in February 2009, the EU offered Libya a meagre e20 million, to halt the flow of migrants. The European Commission had also sought to coopt Libya into joining FRONTEX (the European agency for the control of external borders) patrols in the central Mediterranean. Although Libya declined to partake, the deal Libya had signed with Italy to execute joint maritime patrols in Libyan waters had

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brought Libya closer to participating in FRONTEX operations (Kananen 2009). The patrols were relatively successful since they saw a growth in deportations of migrants to Libya. This practice had halted momentarily in 2012, due to the European Court of Human Rights condemnation, since those practices violated human rights. Regardless of that condemnation, the practice continued; indeed, since 2017, the Libyan Coast Guard, with Italian and EU backing, caught a growing number of immigrants and sent them to Tripoli (Fine 2019: 12). This concern was reiterated by the Danish Refugee Council (2018) which was dealing with refugees: The EU’s approach is predominantly based on strengthening external borders with the view to stemming arrivals to the EU’s shores. While the strategy is delivering in terms of reducing migratory flows to Europe, it is a path that is subordinating protection responsibilities and that compromises the EU’s ability to advocate with States to uphold rights and standards. It is a strategy that fails to consider the wider economic, security, and political context of mixed movements toward Europe and ultimately undermines the prospect for longer-term solutions.

The problem of illegal migration from Libya to Europe is Europe’s own doing; the overthrow of the regime that France and the UK instigated was clearly responsible for the chaotic situation in Libya, whose government splintered in 2014 into two. Eventually, one was joined by a third UNbacked government in 2016. The situation has resulted in the breakdown of the rule of law, major insecurity, massive unemployment, economic inactivity, and the multiplication of militias, as well as Jihadist organizations made up of foreign fighters. Those fighters represented a serious threat to the neighboring countries, particularly Tunisia and Algeria, both of which have suffered terrorist attacks against tourists (in Tunisia 2015 and 2016) and the gas plant in Tinguentourine (2013) in southern Algeria; the terrorists who committed those acts had come from Libya. The chaos and absence of strong state structures has created a vacuum that favored the presence of IS and other jihadist organizations, resulting in planned attacks on European soil, such as the attack in Manchester in May 2017 (Brahimi 2017). While its numbers have been exaggerated, IS presence exacerbated the crisis not only due to the alignments and realignments of the various militias with or against IS, but also because of

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the setting up of training camps to prepare fighters to operate in neighboring countries. The chaotic situation has also produced organized crime networks. In 2013, the EU launched the European Union Integrated Border Management Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya), which was relocated in Tunis in 2014 because of the insecurity prevailing in the country. EUBAM falls under the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). Its objectives according to European Union External Action (2019) are to buttress the “capacity of Libyan authorities to enhance the security of their land, sea and air borders in the short term and to develop a broader Integrated Border Management (IBM) strategy in the long term.” In December 2018, the European Council amended and extended EUBAM’s mandate from January 1, 2019 until June 30, 2020. The objective is to “actively support the Libyan authorities in contributing to efforts to disrupt organized criminal networks involved notably in smuggling migrants, human trafficking and terrorism. With the new mandate the Mission’s headquarters was moved to Tripoli, Tunis remaining its suboffice …” (ibid.). According to the German government (Bendiek and Bosso 2019), the main work of EUBAM is: “identifying relevant international and Libyan partners on the ground and gradually establishing links and cooperating with the Libyan security authorities and actors under the Libyan unity government.” However, given the complicated crisis in Libya, it is difficult to see how EUBAM, which returned to Tripoli in 2018, can accomplish any of those stated objectives. Furthermore, given the dissensions within Europe regarding which government to support, the EU remains powerless in bringing about a solution. In the area of counterterrorism, the Libyan government in Tripoli (the Government of National Accord, GNA) has collaborated closely with the USA. The United States Department of State (2019) asserted that the GNA participates in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and has worked with the USA to counter the spread of terrorist groups. The US coordinated with the GNA to conduct “periodic precision airstrikes on ISIL-Libya and AQIM cells.” However, neither the government in Tobrouk (east) nor the one in Tripoli have developed a counterterrorism strategy. Because of the domestic conflict, counterterrorism cooperation has been difficult and limited, especially since most foreign organizations and diplomatic missions had to evacuate when the quasi-civil war broke out. While France, for instance, has special forces on the grounds

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in Libya, the Dutch gendarmerie has worked with the Libyan authorities; it instructed 128 officials in uncovering the forging of Schengen visas (Bendiek and Bosso 2019: 11). The EU, very concerned about migration, gives wide-ranging equipment and training; aid is co-financed by the EU (European Parliament 2019). Amnesty International (2017) mentions that the EU also shares operational intelligence with the Libyan Coast Guard. Again, all the European actions show that securitization of North Africa trumps the question of human rights that have been violated against refugees and migrants. It also demonstrates that Europe is more concerned about security than dealing effectively with the question of development. In fact, this kind of securitization has resulted in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) bringing complaint cases against the EU and Italy for violations of human rights because of their relations with the Libyan Coast Guard, allegedly known for such violations. Thus, in June 2019, experts in international law started a case with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against officials in the EU regarding the “EU’s responsibility for crimes against humanity in the context of its migration policy in the southern Mediterranean” (Bendiek and Bosso 2019: 6).

Conclusion Contrary to its professed normative power, the European Union has focused more on securitizing the North Africa (and the Sahel) region than on promoting genuine development. Its major concerns revolve around terrorism, migration and transnational trafficking (drugs, weapons…). In order to achieve its goals, the EU has cooperated with its southern neighbors. However, it did this while overlooking the nature of the incumbent regimes. For many years, academics and politicians alike have brought to the EU’s attention to the fact that the fight against terrorism and migration will not cease as long as the socioeconomic problems in the region have not been addressed, for these problems play in the hands of terrorists, smugglers, and narco-traffickers. Furthermore, the EU has often sacrificed its norms and values to engage authoritarian regimes in the south to protect its borders, thus overlooking the nature of those regimes. Its claims to be a promoter of democracy and human rights fall into deaf ears among the populations,

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while giving green light to the regimes to continue oppressing their citizens in the name of antiterrorism. Despite such leniency toward those regimes, cooperation with them has been complex. The EU has failed to create a collective security community; this is partly its fault but also because its partners in the south prefer to deal with the EU bilaterally rather than as a coherent group—a reflection of the unwillingness to create an integrated North Africa region. However, as long as neither the EU nor the North African states make good governance and socioeconomic development their priority, the threat of terrorism for both will persist.

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CHAPTER 10

International and Gulf State Influence in the Southern Mediterranean Robert Mason

Introduction European powers and the EU as a whole are no longer the only dominant actors in the Southern Mediterranean region, so the EU must consider broader influences in the region, including from the USA, Russia, and China (Ehteshami and Mohammadi 2018). The chapter on Russia in this volume outlined its interests in the Mediterranean and the broader region, including reference to its activities in Syria and Libya. This chapter extends the analytical focus to other major actors such as the USA, China, the Gulf states, including reference to some of the non-state actors they support in their proxy conflicts against adversaries. The chapter also considers largely nonmilitary actors such as Japan, intergovernmental organizations such as the African Union (AU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as international financial institutions such as the World Bank in the dynamics of the Mediterranean (see Nye and Keohane 1977). The growth and geographical spread of violent Islamist groups has served to

R. Mason (B) Middle East Studies Center, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_10

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further contest the notion of sovereignty post-Arab uprisings. But while the security challenges in the Mediterranean region remain numerous, they are also diffuse in their intensity and socioeconomic impact, and remain mainly a function of domestic politics and insecurity particularly in North Africa, the Levant and Sahel. The Southern Neighborhood has been convulsed in violent uprisings from the Levant to Africa, giving opportunity to forces outside the region to shape the security landscape in theaters of conflict. Foreign fighters have traveled from Europe via Turkey to states such as Syria, putting pressure on Turkey to respond to a domestic and neighboring security threat. Meanwhile, terror attacks supported by groups such as ISIS have taken place in Belgium, France, Denmark, and Germany. While these threats have dominated an overly EU securitized approach to the Southern Neighborhood, other organizations such as UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Médecins Sans Frontières, and Doctors of the World continue to undertake humanitarian work. Other NGOs are taking a more legalistic approach by challenging states on their closed border policies, and aim to foster cooperation on migration management and resettlement. When considering the extent of the inequality between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean and the extent of displacement due to conflict, international aid and external development assistance looks to be completely inadequate at addressing the human security need.

US Policies Toward the Mediterranean The USA has been active in the Mediterranean in the spheres of maritime security, diplomacy, economics, and security for more than 200 years. Throughout the nineteenth and for the first half of the twentieth century, US foreign policy in the Eastern Mediterranean supported its objectives on anti-colonialism, open and democratic societies, and oppression when in line with US interests (Litsas 2020). These have been evident during episodes such as First Barbary War (1801–1805), by the Truman Doctrine (initially designed to limit Soviet expansion and developed to contain Soviet threats in Greece and Turkey), during the Suez Crisis, and up to the Imia Crisis in 1996 (ibid.). The US Sixth Fleet, founded in 1950, has an explicitly Mediterranean mandate and is operated out of Naples, Italy. The USA continues to play a role in securitizing the Southern Neighborhood since a large portion of its global interests remain Europe-centric,

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but it will also play a securitizing role by extension and as a consequence of its Greater Middle East policies. The USA has never engaged substantively on European initiatives such as the Barcelona Process. US policy toward the Mediterranean, even during the Trump administration remains generally in line with previous administrations. US support for NATO continues despite ongoing tensions over European expenditure on defense, raised notably toward the end of the Obama administration (Goldberg 2016). The Mediterranean links two important regions for the conduct of US policy: Europe and the Middle East, and increasingly between the Middle East and Asia. For the USA to remain a global power, it must remain engaged in the Mediterranean as a security guarantor. This has been evident since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 through the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), increased bilateral defense planning and exercises and forward basing US forces in Central Europe and US naval activity in the Black Sea (Carafano 2019: 228). These activities are primarily targetting Russian activities alongside spillover from conflict, terrorism and other tensions in the Middle East. Should President Putin remain in situ as is expected, the policies of the Kremlin are likely to remain undeviating. Should crises become more numerous and intense in the Southern Neighborhood, it is possible that US and EU threat perception and policy responses will converge more often. The most logical institution for coordination and response is NATO, especially since it should include Turkey as a member of NATO but with generally favourable relations with Russia. As noted in this book’s introduction, the Instanbul Cooperation Initiative launched in 2004 could bring together more stakeholders from the Gulf, but until Turkish–Saudi relations improve, and indeed until US/European– Turkish relations improve, this NATO framework is unlikely to leverage Gulf–Mediterranean relations in any meaningful way. US policy toward Turkey is therefore important in driving forward peaceful relations in the Mediterranean and to contain Russia through its control of the Bosphorous which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Poor US relations with Turkey have been apparent in the lead up to the 2003 US intervention in Iraq when Turkey prevented US forces an approach. But tensions have increased during Erdogan’s presidency, notably after the attempted military coup against him in 2016. After this President Erdogan’s suspected that the USA may have been complicit in the coup attempt. Western responses to increasing repression in Turkey following the coup attempt were also rather negative. Turkey

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has moved from European accession talks to pivot back to the Middle East, with emphasis on relations with Qatar, Iran, and Russia as a major actor in Syria. On Syria, President Trump first relied on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which Turkey, the EU and USA have designated as a terrorist organization, to counter ISIS. This was originally part of President Obama’s “offshore balancing” project to defeat ISIS in three years and limit US troop deployments into Syria from 2014. Turkey was unwilling to allow YPG grow stronger by defeating ISIS and so allowed some ISIS victories early on in cities such as Kobane (Gurcay). Turkey conducted Operation Euphrates Shield against ISIS from 2016 to 2017 but then turned on the YPG. Operation Olive Branch in 2018 specifically targetted the PKK and YPG in Afrin. In October 2019, another Turkish intervention was performed to create a “safe zone” in northern Syria to limit the ambitions of the YPG after the USA pulled out its forces from northern Syria. This time President Trump reneged on the tacit alliance. It has effectively allowed Turkey to degrade and destroy the Kurdish fighting force the USA had relied on in the Middle East since World War I. US policy toward Turkey is likely to center on the possibility of expanding free trade, but Turkey’s deal to buy the S-400 missile defense system from Russia in June 2019 effectively meant losing the preferential trade status it already had, covering $1.7 billion of goods, even though it was justified in strictly economic development terms (Koc). Turkey was also excluded from participation in the F-35 fighter program, although it remains to be seen whether the USA will enact further sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA). Turkey will remain problematic to US and EU interests as its visions and interests diverge significantly. States such as Russia and China (but also inclusive of “rogue regimes” such as North Korea and Iran) were deemed to be the preeminent security threats being faced by the USA as outlined in the US National Security Strategy 2017 (White House 2017) and in the National Defense Strategy 2018, over and above terrorism (US Department of Defense 2018: 2). While Russia is resurgent on its borders and in the MENA region, China is ambitious in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. The combination of these trends with a weakening postwar order, partly facilitated by President Trump’s unilateral policies on major foreign policy issues such as

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Iran, makes for a stark challenge for future US and European policymakers to contend with. President Trump has used a “trade war” with China as a pretext for the containment of China as the USA seeks to reduce or eliminate the significance of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Many academics and analysts continue to view China as a challenge to the USA (Christensen 2015; Goldstein 2015) and openly discuss “Thucydidies’s trap” in managing the growing competition between the USA and China in a way which avoids war (Allison 2017). EU policies toward the Southern Neighborhood are often influenced by the transatlantic relationship. President Obama temporarily suspended arms sales to Egypt in the wake of the military overthrow of President Morsi in 2013 and requested that Egypt make “credible progress towards democracy” (Baker 2015). But even this symbolic gesture was quickly lifted in 2015, possibly in recognition that the USA needed Egyptian support for policies on Yemen, Libya, against ISIS in Iraq and the nuclear deal with Iran (ibid.). The causality here looks dubious, but perhaps was aimed at the USA feeling isolated in the MENA region following Arab Gulf state dissatisfaction with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This had an important foundational quality to it in terms of building more cooperative relations between the permanent five UN Security Council members, especially with Russia and China, which continues to affect EU perceptions about China globally. President Trump has maintained close relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE based on economic and security calculations. Within this context the USA and EU are often accused of double standards and hypocrisy when it comes to pushing for reforms. US policy after 2011 has generally led to support for registered NGOs and a top-down approach, like the EU. The Trump administration’s withdrawal from the JCPOA in 2018 marked a low point in transatlantic relations and the E3 (UK, France and Germany) have been active in trying to say it ever since. Escalating tensions with Iran have been apparent, especially the “maximum pressure” policy against Iran, including extensive sanctions and the assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani in January 2020. Within this heightened threat environment, Iran targeted US troops in Iraq and the IRGC accidentally shot down a Ukrainian International Airlines flight after takeoff in Iran. The Trump administration has also allowed conflict in Yemen to continue with its tacit support. It allowed and perhaps even encouraged

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Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE to isolate Qatar creating a crisis since 2017. The hollowing out of the State Department certainly did not help the administration respond to changing facts on the ground, including unfilled ambassadorial roles in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Libya (Miles and Gramer 2018). Like the EU, the USA is concerned about illegal migration from Libya across the Mediterranean. Some deals, such as the Memorandum of Understanding on Migration between Italy and Libya was extended for three more years from October 2019, may be effective at stemming the number of refugees entering the EU in the short term but Amnesty (2020) says Italy is complicit in the abuse (including rape and torture) of returning refugees and migrants in a war-zone. The USA could work more closely with Libya to extract more oil which would support its divestment away from Iranian oil and put pressure on Turkey which has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Libya on energy in the Mediterranean. By stabilizing Libya, it would address a number of challenges: it would give the 2011 NATO intervention more credibility, it could encourage states such as France into more coherent policies by picking a side to support, and greater stability would enhance prospects for post-conflict reconstruction and push back against traffickers. It would also help turn a page of US policy in Libya after US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed in Benghazi by members of Ansar al-Sharia on 11–12 September 2012. The Trump administration has made explicit what many suspected for years, in its overt support for Israel over Palestine in the peace process. Although it launched a “peace to prosperity” vision in 2019 (Mason 2019) and a political peace plan in 2020 (Vox 2020), both have fallen well short from the accepted parameters of the two-state solution. Greater disappointment has been registered in the international community following President Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem before a final peace deal had been signed, to withdraw US funding from the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which supports Palestinian refugees, and in unilaterally recognizing Israeli sovereignty of the Golan Heights. In summary, US policies in the Mediterranean over the last decade have been unable to significantly shape the outcomes in many theatres of conflict and in key bilateral relations. More resources, more targeted policies, and leadership along with European allies are needed to encourage better containment of illegal trafficking, more constructive engagement

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with regional partners and enhanced prospects for longer-term solutions. Since Turkey should be central in all US policies regarding Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the Caucasus, one way to reengage with the only Muslim majority democracy in the Middle East (the US template for the entire region and a major factor for the 2003 Iraq War) might be to resolve the Cyprus issue. Addressing major Turkish and Greek contention there would consolidate Greek and Turkish NATO membership. It will also benefit Turkish accession negotiations with the EU and enhance prospects for more stable relations going forward, including sustaining common refugee and energy policies in the Eastern Mediterranean. It could also involve greater Turkish buy-in into US and European foreign and security policies, such as the European intervention initiative or E12, which Turkey vetoed in 2002 after EU assurances to Greece that it would not be used in the Aegean or on Cyprus (Black 2002).

China’s Engagement in the Mediterranean China’s engagement in the Southern Mediterranean and other parts of the world has been longstanding. It’s economic rise internally and externally took off during Deng Xiaping’s “Open Door” policy from 1978. This was followed by a policy of “Zou Chu Qu” (“Going Out”) in the 1990s to encourage international expansion of Chinese companies. Economic engagement took off after the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched in 2013 and is widely regarded to be the most ambitious geopolitical initiative of the early part of the twenty-first century (it is planned for completion in 2049). BRI links China to Europe overland via Moscow along the lines of the ancient Silk Route, and across the Indian Ocean via Africa in a contemporary maritime Silk Road. Beijing will be at the heart of a network of approximately seventy countries connected by Chinese-led projects in industries such as infrastructure, shipping, agriculture, tourism and the digital economy (Macaes 2019). While China’s core interests will continue to be located in the East China Sea and South China Sea, it’s global orientation has begun. In 2015, China and the EU celebrated 40 years of diplomatic relations with an “EU - China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.” China’s foreign policy conception is far more joined up than either EU focus on the Southern Neighborhood or US policy in the Near East. Projects have been led by the state banks: China Development Bank and

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the Export-Import Bank of China, as well as the China Bank of Construction and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) with 12 European branches in 2016 (Le Corre and Sepulchre 2016: 3). These banks link State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and investors throughout Europe. China’s engagement in the Mediterranean, particularly its 51% stake in the Greek port of Piraus secured in 2016, is a gateway for Chinese goods into Europe and includes a land-sea express link including modern railway lines through the Balkans and into Hungary. Coupled with its takeover of Belgium’s second biggest port and other investments such as two terminals in Vado, Italy, and its leasing of a terminal at Algeciras port, Spain, China controls ten percent of all of Europe’s total port capacity (Johnson 2018). This could be further extended to the Adriatic–Baltic– Black Seaport Cooperation (‘Three Seas Port Cooperation’), although the ports are smaller and the risks are higher (Zhen 2016). However, this could be a collaborative project which includes Chinese equipment, European technology and eastern European markets. Chinese investment extends beyond ports to include the Marseille International Trade City (MITC) as a wholesale trade center for SMEs from Europe, North Africa, and China (Pavlicevic 2017). Chinese firms are most successful when they use their own workers on their own terms, so there are natural limits to China’s BRI in the EU where this is not possible. Joint ventures might be the way to go. China’s top-down policies such as BRI can also be compromised in Europe by crises (Covid-19, refugees) and frequent changes in government (such as Italy). But in light of Covid-19 with reference to slower economic growth and in the context of greater Chinese–European partnership, there may mileage in linking up with the EU’s Juncker Plan which is an investment plan to encourage more sustainable investment in Europe (European Commission 2019a). China has already sent medical teams to Italy, Serbia and Iran which have been most affected by Covid-19. Beijing has outlined how China is more of a global player in contrast to the very limited international response of the US Campbell and Doshi (2020) call this the United State’s “Suez moment” if it continues to do little and allow its soft power and world power status to continue to be eroded. It is in the Maghreb and in southern Europe that Chinese activities hold the greatest promise, in sectoral cooperation forums, investments in transport, energy and telecoms, and through military exercises and

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maritime presence (Ekman 2018). Economic investments have been facilitated by the Euro crisis and subregional forums have been evidence since 2013 when China organized a conference emphasizing agricultural cooperation with southern Europen countries in Rome, and in 2016 in Xiamen on maritime cooperation as entry points to expanding cooperation (ibid.). Chinese investments are likely to be stepped up following the Covid-19 virus too. China’s significant engagement gives friends and enemies of the USA and core European states an alternative to these states and organizations such as the IMF and World Bank with significant implications for dependency theory and postwar alliances, and yet not necessary to the degree that might be expected (Mason 2017). Still, any changing calculation on economic model could have serious repercussions for political models, alliances, and geostrategic calculations. In diplomatic terms, Chinese investments, particularly in struggling economies, can yield significant diplomatic dividends. For example, Greece, which has received at least $10 billion from China, blocked an EU statement on China about its human rights record in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (Emmott and Koutantou 2017). In a 2017 public opinion survey in Greece, the EU was listed as the most important foreign power, followed by China, not the USA (Le Corre 2018). But influence in the Mediterranean requires the cohesion of states in the region and a detailed understanding of Chinese economic engagement (Schadlow 2020). The push back has already begun. The EU accuses China of neglecting socioeconomic and financial stability in its business and investment activity in third countries (European Commission 2019b). In response China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which is especially attractive to developing states, the EU has attempted to counter through an emphasis on people’s benefits and rights as well as sustainability and innovation (European Commission 2018: 2) instead of what has been described as China’s “debt-trap diplomacy“ (Green 2019). In MENA there are opportunities on offer such as infrastructure and energy, but the threat is different—governance and geopolitical issues. Algeria and Morocco have traditionally fallen under greater EU influence. Egypt is more isolated but functions mostly according to its own large internal market. The focus looks to be more Gulf centric, since China derives around 40% of its energy imports from this subregion (CNBC 2020), although by 2030 20% of China’s electricity consumption is forecast to come from nonfossil fuel sources (Hernandez 2017). Energy dependence has led China to balance relations Iran with the Arab Gulf

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states such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Gulf relations are important: Chinese–Saudi trade was in excess of $70 billion in 2017, Chinese–UAE trade $53 billion, and Chinese–Iranian trade at $37 billion. Iran and Turkey remain important in the possible expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). If Saudi Arabia and the UAE can come to a common understanding with Turkey and Qatar, that would help spur more regional interactions which would facilitate BRI investments. In Israel, Chinese investment in the Haifa port will see it running port operations from 2021, but has caused considerable anxiety in the Israeli security establishment that the port deal will involve more spying into Israel’s sensitive high tech sectors such as artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomics, and semiconductors (Bob 2019). There are also questions as to whether the US Sixth Fleet will continue to dock in Haifa after China begins operating the port (ibid.). China Harbour Pan Mediterranean Engineering Company (PMEX) is scheduled to construct a new port at Ashdod. Chinese engagement has become more evident in states such as Algeria where it has been involved in various sectors including the energy industry. It was in Algeria’s gas installations in the south of the country that Chinese workers were killed during ISIS attacks in March 2016 (Lesser 2015: 3). Chinese influence was particularly noticeable during the NATO intervention in Libya when Beijing was forced to evacuate 30,000 workers (ibid.). In June 2017, Cyprus signed a $650 million deal with a Macau firm for the construction of a casino resort (Roell 2018: 3). Beijing is reported to be injecting $3.8 billion into the Turkish economy during its economic crisis in 2018 (ibid.). In Egypt, China is the biggest investor in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. A Chinese company is also working on plans to participate in the new Egyptian monorail connection between Cairo and the new capital. China began a joint naval exercise with Russia in 2015 but relations between Beijing and Moscow remain relatively low key. In 2017, en route to another joint exercise with Russia in the Baltic Sea, China conducted small scale live firing drills in the Mediterranean Sea (Hille 2017). In 2019, China conducted joint maritime training drills with Egypt (Ahram Online 2019), assisting in Egypt’s focus on becoming a regional maritime power since 2017 to secure its offshore gas fields and compete with other countries in the neighborhood (Springborg and Williams 2019).

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For the EU itself, the BRI is undermining internal cohesion, shifting the global balance of power and could yet impact on European security. Chinese companies are also making headway into major markets in northern Europe, such as Huawei into the telecoms market in the UK which has created tensions with the Trump administration (Kynge and Fildes 2020). A Chinese–French consortium is building the Hinkley point nuclear power station. But China has been wary of infrastructure projects in the EU after China Overseas Engineering Group (COVEC) had to retreat from highway construction linking Warsaw to Berlin failed after the Polish government cancelled the project in 2011, ostensibly due to misunderstandings over environmental law concerning threatened species on the route (Le Corre and Sepulchre 2016: 3). In 2019, a Chinese former Huawei executive was arrested in Poland on spying allegations and yet the foreign minister stated that Poland remains open for business with China in the areas of greenfield development, in the manufacturing and innovative sectors (Plucinska 2019). Dealing with China will increasingly be a topic of dialogue between European capitals and Washington, DC. Chinese interests in the Mediterranean remain mainly a commercial concern, apart from Uzbek and Uyghur militants possibly returning from the MENA region through Asia. In contrast, US and Russian policy in the Mediterranean is bound to be tied more closely to local sources of instability and conflict and containing Iran. However, Chinese policies remain tied to these changing situations. There has also been speculation that China’s Global War on Coronavirus might help tip the international balance of power, but at the time of writing there is little evidence that such an approach has worked (Green 2020).

India’s Engagement in the Mediterranean India has similar energy-based and high-tech calculations as China in the Middle East. Until May 2019 when the US sanctions waiver expired, it was the second biggest buyer of crude oil from Iran, after China (Pant 2020). India’s foreign policy generally balances three major poles of Middle East policy: the Arab Gulf states, Iran and Israel (ibid.). New Delhi has managed to maintain gas imports from Qatar during the “Qatar Crisis” while maintaining strong security cooperation and broadening economic ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. India’s relations with Iran are social and resonate with the north India heartland in places such as Uttar Pradesh. They are also security-related by being able to project

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influence into Central Asia to help contain Pakistan and address a rising China. India and Iran cooperate on a port project at Chabahar and in 2016 Afghanistan agreed to participate in an economic corridor linking to it. In contrast, New Delhi’s relations with Israel are more technically minded, with emphasis on intelligence and military benefits (Cohen 2005). India is now the largest customer for Israeli arms and defense, as well as other high-tech equipment. Between 2000 and 2015 India–Israel arms sales were worth $2.2 billion (Burton 2019). India made history in 2018 when it secured rights for Air India flights to fly direct to Israel using Saudi airspace. Yet the public face of interactions is managed for the large domestic Muslim audience to show a greater focus on agriculture and water management while at the same time toning down rhetoric in support of East Jerusalem as the capital for a future Palestinian state (Kumaraswamy 2019). India’s relations with other states of the Mediterranean, with states such as Turkey, can be seen through the prism of India–Pakistan relations, particularly on the sensitive issue of Kashmir. After India abrogated article 370 on the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, India received support from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. But Pakistan has received support from Turkish President Erdogan. In response Prime Minister Modi met with the leaders of Cyprus and Greece which have territorial disputes with Turkey, and with Armenia which still considers Turkey responsible for a genocide of millions of Armenians in 1915. He further called on Turkey to exercise restraint against the Kurds on October 9, 2019, and canceled his trip to Turkey later the same month. Defense ties have also been affected, including a reduction in arms sold to Turkey. While Indian ties to the Southern Neighborhood states remain dominated by expanding ties to Israel, the rest of the ties remain dominated by domestic economic and political calculations, none more relevant at this time than deteriorating relations with Turkey. It’s growing economic engagement in the Middle East will include the Mediterranean but there is still scope for China to undermine or undo advances through the BRI. The aim to turn India into a $5 trillion economy by 2025 can only be secured through advancing mainly hydrocarbon-rich infrastructure projects utilizing Indian labor and remittances over the coming years.

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Japan’s Engagement in the Mediterranean Japan is very active in the Southern Neighborhood, especially in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco and regularly engages in dialogue on major policy issues such as Syria and the situation in North Korea. Yet it plays an understated role and mainly in the economic and education spheres. There are dozens of scientific, academic, and cultural projects in Egypt, including schools and the Egypt Japan University of Science and Technology (EJUST) in Alexandria. From 2016, the Egypt–Japan Education Partnership (EJEP) has been focusing on early childhood education initiatives such as “learning through playing,” technical education such as soft and practical skills and a work transition pilot program for graduates, and higher education joint research projects and scholarships to Japan to enhance Egypt’s economic and social development (Japan International Cooperation Agency). There is also Japanese technical and financial assistance to the Grand Egyptian Museum worth $392 million as a soft loan to cover part of the building construction, exhibition design, landscape and IT component (Japan International Cooperation Agency—Grand Egyptian Museum). Japan also attached importance to President Sisi’s Chair of the AU 2019–2020. The Rades-La Goulette Bridge in Tunis was built by Japanese and Tunisian engineering firms and financed by Japanese banks. The North African and Mediterranean Centre for Research and Education was established in Tunis in 2006 by the University of Tsukuba to promote exchanges and research collaborations between Japan and North African countries (University of Tsukuba). In Morocco, Japan is important for job creation and as the Kingdom’s largest foreign employer. Japanese aid and development programs, know-how concerning water management and other programs are of great importance. Since 2014, the number of Japanese companies in Morocco has almost doubled and 40% of investment is directed at Morocco’s auto industry (The Japan Times 2019). Yoichiro Ishibashi, managing director of the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) said that Morocco does particularly well due to market size and growth potential. He added “Tax incentives, free trade zones, a concentration of ‘partner companies’, effective government programs, strong infrastructure and the country’s favorable geographical location make Morocco a preferred investment destination” (ibid.). Japan also works through multilateral mechanisms such as the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), established

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in 1993 and is cosponsored by the United Nations, the UN Development Program, the African Union Commission and World Bank to contribute to economic development in Africa. In other parts of the region, such as Israel, Japan is increasingly engaged on technology and to collaborate on new business projects. In 2019, Hiroshige Seko, the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry led Tokyo’s biggest business delegation to Israel, including 150 representatives from 90 companies (Ynet News 2019). Japan’s greatest contribution to the Mediterranean region is possibly through the EU-Japan infrastructure deal, signed in 2019, as a response to China’s BRI. It follows the EU–Japan free trade deal which was sealed in 2018. In the new deal worth $65 billion, the EU and Japan agree to build infrastructure in areas such as transport, energy and digital services to improve connectivity (Die Welt 2019). The push is designed to leverage EU economic volume in trade, aid and investment to achieve more foreign policy goals. Japan is part of a trilateral forum with the EU and USA which aims to foster democratic values, economic stability and a rules-based international system. Tokyo is developing its narrative of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) which would include closer cooperation with states such as the USA, India, Australia, ASEAN, European, and Middle Eastern countries. The focus of which is to: (1) maintain the international order including peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific; (2) pursue economic prosperity through: improving connectivity (infrastructure development such as ports and railways, people to people connections and institutional connectivity); (3) committing to peace and stability through capacity building (maritime law enforcement, HR development) and humanitarian assistance, anti-piracy and peacekeeping operations, many of which are already in effect (Japanese MOFA 2019). Like many states in Asia, Japan places great emphasis on safeguarding its supply of oil, 80% of which came from the Middle East in 2018 (International Institute for Asian Studies 2018). Therefore energy security, particularly relevant in relations with the Gulf states is of special concern. The Middle East is also an important market for autos and machinery exports, as well as infrastructure development for Japanese companies. Direct flights from the Gulf to Japan has also raised their people to people connections. Dubai has thus joined Cairo and Istanbul as an important Japanese tourist destination in the region.

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Japan’s “Proactive Contribution to Peace” policy tends to involve Self-Defense Force (SDF) contributions to UN peacekeeping operations. The SDF has been deployed to, among other regions, the Gulf (1991), Goland Heights (1996–2013), Iraq (2004–2008), Sudan (2008–2011), and South Sudan (2011–2017) (ibid.). Japan has been involved in a dialogue with NATO since the 1990s, and have aimed to strengthen cooperation since 2013 in areas such as cyber defense, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief nonproliferation, defense science and technology, and women, peace and security (NATO 2018). The Maritime SDF has trained with NATO off the coast of Spain and in the Baltic Sea (ibid.). During heightened tensions between Iran and the USA in early 2020, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attempted to engage both sides in dialogue. There are plans to send a destroyer off the coast of Yemen and Oman in February 2020 to monitor the situations in the Gulf of Oman, the northern part of the Arabian Sea and the eastern side of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait to strengthen intelligence and secure the safety of Japanese related ships for one year (renewable) (Yoshida 2019). Peace and stability remain key to this large-scale energy importer.

Gulf State Policies in the Southern Mediterranean Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and other small Gulf states have an established pattern of aid, investments, trade, tourism and remittances in the Mediterranean region and the UAE. The Arab uprisings swept away some of the established alliance patterns between the Gulf and North Africa or opened new opportunities for foreign interventionism after the removal or forced displacement of Ben Ali in Tunisia, Gaddafi in Libya and Mubarak in Egypt. The UAE and Qatar have been particularly active in their support for the NATO intervention in Libya, then the large-scale economic assistance Qatar provided to the Muslim Brotherhood’s President Morsi in Egypt, followed by the multiplied impact of economic assistance (about $30 billion in total) provided by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait to President Sisi from 2013–2016. Egypt has been at the center of Gulf state economic and diplomatic interventionism in the Middle East (Young 2017). Yet the volume of aid from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait, including grants and loans (Khan and LeBaron 2013), while useful in supporting the central bank and Egyptian energy security, is not enough to continue to support a

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large population of close to 100 million. In a possible leak in 2015, Abbas Kamel, President Sisi’s Chief of Staff, appeared to be intent on limiting conditionality from the Gulf states, while President Sisi is alleged to have said that the Gulf states have “money like rice” (Daragahi 2015). In November 2016 Egypt turned to the IMF for a $12 billion loan which led to a program of austerity being implemented and reviewed finally in July 2019 (IMF 2019). Egypt has also been active in courting other states for inward investment such as China which will become more important to help manage the impact economic shocks brought about by events such as Covid-19. Egypt (mainly diplomatically) and the UAE (mainly militarily) remain important external supporters of the Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Haftar, in contrast to the growing security ties established between the governments of Qatar, Turkey and Libya (Government of National Accord). Qatar was relatively immune from the contagious uprisings sweeping the Arab world due to its small population and high GDP per capita built on hydrocarbon income. This gave it a rare opportunity to carve out and capitalize on foreign policy opportunities elsewhere in the region. Saudi Arabia had to be much more cautious in addressing domestic discontent, securing the vulnerable leadership in Bahrain along with the UAE, and operating within the parameters set by King Abdullah. That changed in 2015 when King Salman assumed the throne, and quickly his son, Mohammed bin Salman, became a dominant political force. He moved quickly to consolidate his political position and launched a military intervention in Yemen against the Houthi rebels. The ideological and geostrategic divisions in the GCC culminated in a diplomatic crisis in 2014 when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt withdrew their ambassadors from Doha. This was followed by the “Qatar Crisis” in 2017 in which the same states began a trade and diplomatic embargo against Qatar, issuing a list of 13 sweeping demands to Doha for change (Wintour 2017). The crisis has been exacerbated by Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatari cooperation with Iran, contentious Al Jazeera broadcasts across the Middle East, and the political rivalry between the UAE and Qatar (Mason 2020). In 2018, a Saudi hit squad assassinated Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi national and vocal critic of the Saudi leadership, in its consulate in Istanbul. Calls for liberalization and reform, including allowing women to drive have been met with a combination of acceptance but also the imprisonment of the same individuals who have been most vocal in such calls.

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Arab Gulf state and Iranian zero-sum calculations have continued to create further instability and a lack of resolution in conflicts such as Syria and Libya. In Syria, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia all sought regime change in 2011 and devoted significant resources to achieving it. But as the USA took a step back from regional engagement following the 2008 financial crisis, legacy of war in Iraq and lower dependence on oil and regional instability, Turkey and Qatar sought to expand their influence in Syria. Qatar, like Turkey, relied on personal contacts with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. Saudi Arabia took the opposite view that any group was better than the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (Phillips 2017: 39). All the states involved, apart from Russia, have had little leverage in the conflict and remained reliant on US intervention to shape the security landscape. In Lebanon, Iran’s strategic depth established through deep rooted and ideologically compatible relations with the Assad regime in Syria and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, has created a multifarious challenge to the delicate sectarian balance. First, Hezbollah, a member of which has been officially found complicit in the assassination of prime minister Rafic Hariri in 2005, remains embedded in the governance of the country. It’s importance was highlighted by President Macron’s September 2020 meeting with Hezbollah officials. Second, members of its governance structures appear unable or unwilling to manage the socioeconomic capital of the country, ranging from port operations which resulted in the August 2020 explosion which killed more than 180 people and wounded scores of others, to the economy. The EU, and notably France as the former colonial power, remains limited in the leverage it has to effect positive and lasting change. Absent an IMF deal, establishing the basis for enhanced EU cooperation and investment could be vital in engineering Lebanon’s recovery and stability. On Israel and Palestine, the Trump administration has leveraged its working relationship and transactional diplomacy with states such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain in attempts to support its economic and political solutions on the conflict. There has also been a growing tacit alliance between Qatar, the UAE, and even Saudi Arabia with Israel in addressing the Iranian threat as a major national security issue (Black 2019). While Jared Kushner’s economic plan for Mideast peace was broadly rejected by most Arab states, Adel Jubeir, then Saudi foreign minister said that anything which improves the Palestinians’ situation is”extremely important” (Kalin et al. 2019). Bahrain hosted the “Peace

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to Prosperity“ conference for reasons related to its historic commitment to the Palestinian cause, its status as signatory to the 2002 Arab initiative which includes Arab recognition of Israel for peace, and rolling back Iranian influence across the region which is an area of important policy convergence with Saudi Arabia and the USA. Still it wasn’t enough to include participation from Israel (which would have been contentious) and avoid a boycott and immediate rejection from the Palestinian Authority. Closer UAE-Israel relations, originally premised on the notion of halting Israel annexation in the West Bank when a peace deal was announced on August 14, 2020, could yet draw other Arab Gulf States closer to Israel over time. Bahrain was quick to allow flights from Israel to the UAE to cross its airspace for example. A further thawing of relations, particularly between Saudi Arabia and Israel is likely to require more time given its association with the Arab peace initiative, but given the pace of change in the Kingdom, further changes which could not be contemplated just a few years ago are now possible to envisage under a different King. Whilst geo-sectarian tensions have effectively brought Israel into alignment with Saudi Arabia against Iran, they have also fueled instability in Bahrain, heightened tensions in Iraq, and conflict in Yemen. Escalations can easily occur in this environment which could spillover into other southern Mediterranean states. Already, refugees from the Syria conflict have proved to be a divisive issue in neighboring Lebanon and Jordan, and have fed through to securitized responses from the EU itself in the wider context of refugees attempting to enter the EU. Worsening tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, supported by the US “maximum pressure” policy, could lead to further instabilities in the Mediterranean. In this case, Iranian forces and/or proxies in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Gaza become all the more significant in the Eastern Mediterranean. By addressing the twin issues of political Islam and a common security architecture in the Gulf, these active and ambitious states could begin to address some of the root causes of conflict which has come to dominate the entire region.

Economic Actors Economic actors such as the World Bank and IMF, in a coalition with the then G8 countries, launched the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition in 2011. This was a pre-packaged economic

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reform-orientated offer made to Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Jordan. The IMF in particular remains important to the recovery and future trajectory of the economic and political transitions taking place in the Southern Neighborhood. In 2019, unemployment in Tunisia was 15%, but among youth (younger than 35 years old), it is a staggering 85% which is attributed to labor supply pressures, weakness in demand for skilled labor and inefficient and rigid regulations of institutions that govern the functioning of the labor market (Boughzala 2019). Like many states in transition, the Tunisian economy remains fragile. In 2010 pubic debt was 41% of GDP, but by 2018 it was 71% (Chandoul 2018). In July 2019, the IMF approved the last installment of the $12 billion agreed with Egypt in 2016 (Magdy 2019). It has been successful in allowing Egypt to overcome the economic crisis but the future economic outlooks remain unclear as Egypt tackles a number of themes, including continued austerity and lower tourism visits due to Covid-19. Since it is not realistic for Libya or Syria to be able to implement a standard IMF program in a conflict situation, the IMF is largely absent from these states. But an argument is made by Manuel (2017) that fragile states should receive some IMF funding that “…would allow the authorities to identify a set of macroeconomic and financial management targets that the country wants to make progress on.” Benchmarking would be against countries that they wish to emulate (ibid.). Again, in the economic downturn from Covid-19 it is hard to see how funds under pressure would be made available to support such a high risk, albeit, potentially high impact venture. Just because it is not operative, doesn’t mean the IMF doesn’t have a strategy. The short-term objectives in Libya include: restoring security, bringing hydrocarbon production fully online, the exercise of fiscal discipline, resuscitating the banking system, and maintaining macroeconomic stability (IMF 2012). The challenge in Syria is more stark where the country’s economic development has been set back decades, and where reconstruction of the physical and human infrastructure will be a monumental task. While the banking sector is strong in Morocco, unemployment was high at 10% in 2019, rising to 25% for youth (Eljechtimi 2019). Lower international oil prices were expected to strengthen the economy’s resilience (ibid.). In 2018, the IMF approved a $2.97 billion Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) to ensure against risks and promote more inclusive growth (IMF 2018d). Algeria requested an

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IMF assessment for 2020. Algeria faced a fall in the oil price in 2014, and undertook some fiscal consolidation in 2017 but fiscal and current account deficits remain large (IMF 2018b). Unemployment remains around 10%, again affecting women and youth more. Inflation is slowing but its strategy appears geared to import restrictions and belt-tightening rather than increasing borrowing and boosting trade to enhance mediumterm growth (El-Tablawy 2018). In 2020, Jordan agreed a $1.3 billion IMF deal over a four-year period to lower $42 billion in public debt due mainly to the spillover effects of conflict (Reuters 2020). Lebanon, which is going through a political and economic crisis, is yet to reach a deal with the IMF, which is seen as the only possible solution to the current situation. The former economy minister and ex-vice central bank governor Nasser Saidi estimates that the requirement will be $30 billion for the economy and $25 to recapitalize the banking system (Nakhoul and Perry 2020). It is unlikely to receive anything like this sum. The IMF has been warning of an impending economic crisis in the Palestinian economy since September 2018 due to surging violence in Gaza, the Israeli blockade against Gaza, Palestinian mistrust of Israel and the USA, large aid cuts and revenues losses such as tax revenues blocked in a dispute with Israel (IMF 2018c). This was repeated by Christine Lagarde, then Managing Director of the IMF in mid-2019 (France24 2019b). Although the “Peace to Prosperity” plan calls for $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian territories within a decade, little if any of it looks to be forthcoming. In contrast to the Palestinian GDP of $14 billion, Israel’s GDP of $350 billion economy looks set to grow, with unemployment below 4% (IMF 2018a). The 2010 e110 billion Greek bailout by the troika (the European Commission, European Central Bank and the IMF) although exceptionally large, illustrates that sovereign debt crises and social exclusion are not preserved of the Southern Neighborhood. The way states deal with the tax burden, including VAT increases and consumption taxes, tax fraud and employment will be key over the coming years. Whether there will be further assistance due to a slow down following the Covid-19 virus will also be a concern. Further protests cannot be discounted. Certainly economic reform will not progress without pain in the short term, especially as liquidity dries up in the international bond markets. Whether the combination of social, economic, political, and security challenges will be manageable for the states of the Southern Neighborhood remains to be

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seen. It could be a case of when, not if, there will be more socioeconomic and political upheaval.

Non-state Actors Since the Arab uprisings, non-state actors operating in the Southern Neighborhood have represented some of the more pluralistic aspirations of Arab societies. Yet weak states which have been unable or unwilling to provide a social security net and a general lack of governance have been undermined by a reversion back to traditional forms of local governance as well as violent non-state actors (VNSAs). These latter groups are direct threats, and indirectly hand states further justification for repression of political and social grassroots movements, are putting nations under pressure, compromising their long-term prosperity and security. Non-state actors, along with the Mediterranean refugee crisis, represents another node of insecurity which NATO, and by extension the EU, are less suited to dealing with at the institutional and doctrinal level. Terrorists and refugees do not abide by a traditional deterrence rationale. Terrorists and some state adversaries can represent the kind of threat, through tactics such as cyberattacks, which can create to the same kind of damage previously reserved for arms used by states (Valasek 2019). Furthermore, they use asymmetrical methods of warfare which challenge alliance unity such as disinformation and hybrid campaigns, financing extremist parties and propaganda through constant campaigns which require vigilance between a state of war and peace (ibid.). In areas where state governance has come under question, including in Lebanon, Syria, Libya, and the Sahel, non-state groups have been viewed as both a threat (VNSAs) but also potential opportunity to contribute to the reduction of social and economic disparity through sustainable local development (nonviolent groups). In Syria, non-state actors such as ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra were for a time strengthened by sectarian tones. In Libya, tribes have become more dominant at the societal and political levels due to their ability to provide social security nets to local populations. The same is true for Hamas in Gaza, especially until Hamas and Fatah sign a unity agreement, and for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Tribes are particularly entrenched due to their established traditions and legal processes which deliver some form of social justice. Ethnic and kinship orientated networks are also far harder for authoritarian states to suppress or dismantle than other types of civil society, such as foreign-funded

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NGOs. In Libya in particular, there is a growing awareness that tribes and decentralized governance will form the backbone in any future political system that emerges from the fall of the Gaddafi regime. Libya has remained central to European and US counterterrorism policymaking, including: the persistent violent Islamist groups with divergent political and economic interests, Libya continuing to be a security vacuum, the divisiveness of Haftar’s rhetoric in mobilizing jihadi fighters, and the lack of a unified state with limited institutional functionality (Sizer 2017). In 2019, the picture was also complicated by militants opposed to Chad’s President Idriss Deby which were pushed out of southern Libya by the LNA. Deby is a key ally of France’s anti-Islamist Operation Barkhane in the Sahel region (France24 2019a). This incident illustrates how connected Libya and the rest of the Sahel region are in terms of European counterterrorism policy and interests. As already identified in this volume, ISIS and Al Qaeda continue to be major threats to human security in the Sahel. Indeed, land migration in Africa is deemed to be twice as deadly as that across the Mediterranean due to reasons such as accidents, dehydration, starvation and illness, besides state and non-state violence. Matisek et al. (2019) show how VNSAs and climate change interact in the Sahel and inform us about how civil defense forces might be created to address the twin issues across the region. Non-state actors continue to play an increasing role in the governance and security of the Southern Neighborhood and wider MENA region. They are active in humanitarian crises, including the work of the White Helmets, Syrian Expatriate Medical Association and Syrian NGO Alliance in Syria. Due to cleavages and corruption in governance, they can also be effective at the local levels in service delivery and shadow governance structures. How to limit VSNAs and enhance the operability and integration of local governance structures with national frameworks will be the question for many donor states into the twenty-first century.

The African Union (AU) Egypt had been expelled by the AU in 2013 but President Sisi has been intent on reengaging with Africa for a variety of reasons, including economic and geostrategic (especially issues with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam). President Sisi was able to mark the return of Egypt to Africa in 2019 when he took over a one-year rotating presidency of the AU. During this time he oversaw the completion of the African

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Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in 2019 which includes Egypt and could enhance what has been relatively low-level trade between Egypt and other African states. The AU has been less effective on the issue of Libya and has been plagued by systemic issues which continue to compromises its notion of “African solutions to African problems.” These include a lack of single voice that the AU speaks with, half-hearted measures taken at the beginning of the Libyan crisis, and a growing awareness that the AU lacks the hard power to make a difference before being superseded by western powers through the UN Security Council (Kasaija 2013). In March 2020, the President of the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy released a new EU strategy with Africa. The progress towards the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), a pan-African trade deal (ratified by 30 AU countries in February 2020), and how the EU might support it, will be important issues in the discussions leading to the EU-AU Summit due to be held in autumn 2020.

Conclusion This chapter highlights the nature of interregional politics, trends, and impacts which necessitates that the EU takes a much broader view of the Southern Neighborhood and the complexities, interrelationships, and multiplier effects of policymaking across MENA region and also subSahara Africa. Focusing on a more holistic approach, especially concentrating EU–Southern Neighborhood policy within NATO, could lead to more successful outcomes by attempting to work more closely and coherently with the USA, Turkey, Greece, and the Gulf states, in aligning energy policies in the Eastern Mediterranean, resolving Cypriot status, and supporting conflict resolution in Syria and Libya in a more joined up narrative. This has been shown to be especially important for NATO in the context of growing competition from Russia in Baltic and Middle East (including Turkey) and from Chinese investments and political impact in Greece. There is likely to be further concern as China extends its infrastructure projects into sensitive industries as has already been shown in Israel concerning ports and the UK concerning Huawei. A series of conflicts in the region continue to undermine confidence in the US Mideast policy and have exacerbated tensions with Iran. For this reason, and due to intense energy interests highlighted by the Asian cases, any consideration of emerging power engagement in the states

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of the southern Mediterranean cannot be isolated from deeper interests in the Gulf. The Gulf states have also become major players, particularly in conflict zones for multiple reasons including aid, foreign policy assertiveness and VNSA proxy group engagement. While many Arab Gulf states have played an important and constructive role in conflicts such as the Israel–Palestine conflict, the EU should work in closer partnership with these in order to advance common interests. Economic actors such as the IMF will continue to play a key role in vulnerable economies, including Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. While these economies look set to suffer further due to instability and conflict spillover the international community should do more to bolster the sustainability and governance structures will longer-term approaches that focus on self-sufficiency and resilience. Further chaos in Europe and the USA from the Covid-19 virus could bolster supranational regulatory bodies in a similar vein to the effect that the Great Depression and Second World War had on setting them up in the first place. Indeed, the e750 billion Covid-19 response concluded in July 2020 is precisely the affirmative action which keeps the EU unified and maintains it as a normative power. On the other hand, a prolonged period of political uncertainty and economic recession could continue to undermine the concepts of sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law following the Arab uprisings, Mediterranean refugee crisis, austerity and Brexit. Given the mixed successes of EU policy in the southern Mediterranean so far and in the face of other past and current crises such as rising tensions between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and a growing economic and political crisis in Lebanon, the EU should adapt its policy planning to focus on trends which are most detrimental to human and regional security. Shifts in the assertiveness of other actors in the Southern Neighborhood also requires a recalibrated response which better defines and protects such interests over the longer term.

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CHAPTER 11

Rethinking the EU Approach Robert Mason

Introduction This volume shows that the historic interconnectivity between the shores of the Mediterranean endures and yet there are shifting sands as to where and how interactions occur. At the macro level and due to changes in the international order, the EU and the states of the Southern Neighborhood are part of a more complex multipolar system. The Southern Neighborhood is receiving more attention from a number of local, regional and international actors due to political contentions (including conflict), energy issues, and partnership opportunities. Concurrently, non-rentier MENA states remain relatively dependent on external partners for aid, trade, investment and labor remittances. Beck’s chapter shows that the Gulf and Levant in particular are linked. However, there is also evidence that the Gulf and North Africa are linked too for reasons mostly related to the political influence of some Gulf states (Ayesh 2020). Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE could be viewed as employing their own Truman-style doctrines to contain the regional influence of Qatar and Turkey. Egypt plays a vital role as a local allied state in this endeavor.

R. Mason (B) Middle East Studies Center, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7_11

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The chapter by Yahia and Lounnas shows the interconnectivities between North Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. Further regionalism might be fostered by state alliance building on major policy issues such as the issue of Western Sahara on the Moroccan side, and for example, Israeli attempts to garner more Arab state recognition (Jacobs 2020). However, since Algeria remains weakened by internal protest, and considering resistance in Morocco toward any normalization of relations with Israel, combined with popular Moroccan support for the Palestinians, transformed relations with Israel will remain unlikely until there is a common and fair peace proposal on offer similar to that which existed in the 1990s. Nevertheless, regionalism should be reconsidered and especially in the context of the complex interregionalism taking place which recognizes the cross winds of influences, the relative autonomy of these states, and the reality on the ground in the Southern Neighborhood and beyond. While it is preferable for the EU, a regional organization, to engage multilaterally with the Southern Neighborhood, in practice this is still not a viable option. The Arab League members have failed to create a collective security community which could provide a sound basis for enhanced interaction, negotiation and cooperation. Indeed, partners in the south have different forms of policy engagement with the EU and generally prefer to deal with the EU and member states bilaterally rather than as a coherent group. This complicates any regional approach that the EU can take. Therefore, a regional dialogue is urgently required to set up a format, approach and priorities that work. Centuries on, history, identity, and nationalism resonate through orientalist and occidentalist visions of the “other” on either side of the Mediterranean whether through divisive populist policies, Islamophobia or racism. But it is the disconnect in systems of governance that truly undermines personal connections, shared goals and more formal cooperation. This book finds that some MENA states are too big to fail, which affects ENP calculations regarding engagement and reform orientated policies. The book finds that the political economy of many states, even those with relatively high GDP growth, have significant employment challenges, show signs of growing poverty rates, and that IMF packages and domestic growth strategies remain compromised by patrimonial networks, lack of governance, and an array of structural constraints. Counterterrorism cooperation is proven to be most effective in Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan, and Iraq, although there is more work that needs to be done in all cases. Even where cooperation is deemed necessary and possible,

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our research suggests it might compromise the EU on values and so it is always worth a full assessment as to whether counterterrorism cooperation will deliver results. Fundamentally, the conditions for radicalization and terrorism remain ever present across the region and little is being done to address many of its socioeconomic drivers. Some states are using migration as a form of leverage over the EU. Security-oriented measures have come to dominate humanitarian considerations and although a Common European Asylum System aiming at substantial harmonization among Member States is found to considerably contribute to legal certainty and clear/unitary rights, it is deemed unlikely given the persistent hesitance of Member States to make real sovereignty transfers in this area. On energy, EU participation in the EastMed pipeline could support better relations with regional states and contribute toward regional stability. LNG and the oftentimes contentious issue of Exclusive Economic Zones/continental shelf is found to have raised tensions between Turkey and Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon, and Turkey and Greece. Furthermore, energy cooperation is expected to be one of the first victims if relations deteriorate further. The EuroMed pipeline is useful for littoral states around Mediterranean but it is not a game changer, especially as the EU aims to decarbonize its economy by 2050 and as demand and prices tend to be higher in Asia. Russian reengagement in the MENA region is found to be an ongoing mission for regional and global relevance and influence. President Putin’s motivations are related to domestic counterterrorism concerns and the Russian economy. The actual strategy is unknown and the authors question whether, similar to the EU and US Middle East policy, a definable strategy exists at all. Certainly, there are tactical relations between Russia and its counterparts in the region which tend to focus on Russia offering hard power assistance such as missile defense, arms, and mercenaries. Whether the foothold in Syria translates into broader influence, especially in the Gulf, is yet to be determined. The trajectory of Russian policy is found to be closely linked to the role President Putin continues to play in Russian politics and how the USA might impinge on Russian interests, as well as other threats and opportunities presented by MENA state and non-state actors. The situation continues to evolve. For Turkey, the Eastern Mediterranean has been conceived as part of its identity from the Ottoman period to its current national security, especially in dealing with threats from south. Turkey wants to be part of EastMed group for a range of economic reasons, from reducing its

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energy import burden to the benefits and prestige of being an energy hub. Through its exclusion from EastMed, Turkey has formed closer relations with Libya and Tunisia and taken unilateral measures which have created tensions with European states such as France, as well as within the vicinity, including Israel, Greece, and the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus. Ankara’s energy tensions with Cairo have created a new layer of complexity in their relations beyond political problems with Egypt which have existed since 2013. But, instead of forming relations with a small community of states that condone political Islam, Turkish policy could enhance the prospects for broader relations with allies that contribute to the prospect of a new subregional grouping in a sensitive regional environment. The EU has been found to have securitized the North Africa (and the Sahel) region more than promoting genuine economic development. Its major policy concerns revolve around terrorism, migration, and transnational trafficking (drugs, weapons, etc.) and have generally overlooked the nature of the incumbent regimes. The chapter on the Maghreb argues that the fight against terrorism and migration will not cease as long as the socioeconomic problems in the region have not been addressed because these problems play directly into the hands of terrorists, smugglers, and narco-traffickers. In effect, the EU is found to have often sacrificed its norms and values to engage with authoritarian regimes in order to protect the external border. It is neither a leading promoter of democracy or human rights. The blame for this cannot be entirely leveled at Brussels. As long as authoritarian states fail to make good governance and socioeconomic development their top priority, the threat from terrorism will persist. It is up to the EU not to fall into the trap of unconditionally supporting regimes which continue to use security and terrorism as sole components of political legitimacy, justification for draconian security measures, and cause for the removal or indefinite extension of presidential term limits.

Addressing the Autocratic---Democratic Divide on Conflict and Development Since states such as Egypt increasingly focus on nonintervention in the Arab World (El Tawil 2019) and self-reliance in the AU (Egyptian State Information Service 2019), and given the current socioeconomic context,

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it is vital to get the EU to engage in most effective way possible. The way forward could include the following: Building a Foundation for a Partnership The EU might be able to do more to build on common areas of interest within the existing Association Agreements through the leverage of soft power resources. When we compare the EU Association Agreement with Morocco and with Egypt versus the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and Morocco and China and Egypt, the following is evident: EU–Morocco Association Agreement • • • •

Framework for political dialogue covering issues of common interest Conditions for trade liberalization (EUR LEX 2000) Bilateral trade reached $37.4 billion in 2017 In 2018, the Western Sahara was incorporated into the EU– Morocco trade protocol, but Sweden announced that it was not happy with the consultation process and specifically the requirement for consent as defined by a judgement of the European Court of Justice in 2016 (Western Sahara Resource Watch 2018)—the agreement went ahead in 2019 to ‘help the Western Sahara develop’ (European Parliament 2019).

China–Morocco Strategic Partnership • China and Morocco signed a partnership agreement in 2016 • After France and Spain, China is Morocco’s third-largest trade partner with bilateral trade worth $3.8 billion in 2017 (Nyongesa 2018) • Morocco offers gateway into Europe • Morocco is becoming an aerospace contracting hub and aims to develop the auto sector • Alternative energy will also be important—the $3.9 billion Noor 1 project is the largest solar farm in Africa • Tourism is also important and will be one of China’s top 20 destinations by 2020 (ibid.). EU–Egypt Association Agreement

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• Provides a framework for political dialogue to help foster economic and social relations • Encourages regional cooperation and promotes common areas of mutual interest • In force since 2004, it creates a free trade area between the EU and Egypt especially fuel and mining products, chemicals, textiles and clothing imports from Egypt, and machinery, transport products, chemicals, fuels, mining products and agricultural imports from the EU • Services are also becoming a more important part of the export mix on both sides • In 2004, Egypt along with Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia also signed the Agadir Agreement which removes trade barriers between them and harmonizes rules on standards and customs • Trade has more than doubled trade to reach e27.9 billion in 2017 (European Commission). The China–Egypt Comprehensive Strategic Partnership entails: • • • •

China supporting Egypt’s national development path Support for their respective core interests Strengthened exchanges at all levels Aligned BRI with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and Suez Canal Corridor Development Project • Counterterrorism and security cooperation (MFA China 2018) • Bilateral trade reached $13 billion in 2018 (Egypt Today 2019). By comparing these agreements, the following observations can be made: (a) the EU agreements can be further extended to support diplomacy on contentious issues; (b) there is room for a political dialogue in the Association Agreement versus an expectation of political support on all core interests in China’s (Comprehensive) Strategic Partnerships; (c) there is room for internal dissent and legal challenge in the multilateral (EU) versus the bilateral (China) framework; (d) the EU remains an important trade partner, but there is potential for China to rapidly expand lower-level trade relations by focusing on new or existing industries and initiatives such as tourism and mega-projects according to local development objectives. Although there is some bandwidth for further economic

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cooperation with the EU, rapid growth in trade and investment relations will require a considered mix of aid, trade and investment, coupled with sensitivity and initiative in how to avoid state-led development opportunities which may not deliver for the whole population. The following points could be useful in building relations: addressing xenophobia and Islamophobia in Europe which obstruct social ties, ramping up jobs training and exchange opportunities for youth, diversifying the Algerian economy, building on Morocco’s desire to differentiate itself from other North African states through a raft of impactful security and economic initiatives, and stabilizing Libya. While some policies may be more successful than others over varying timescales, the EU should primarily be more ambitious in its attempts to manage conflicts in order to re-establish regional stability. Against a backdrop of conflict, Middle East tensions and lack of political will in many quarters, regional integration efforts through the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) also looks to be in trouble. At the time of writing, Syrian membership was suspended and Libya was an observer (European Union External Action Service 2016). Although UfM provides an important forum in which states such as Israel and Palestine and Turkey and Cyprus can engage and potentially cooperate, it in no way addresses or resolves existential issues such as conflict which bar regional cooperation. From Conditionality to Dialogue Conditionality in particular has not been received well in the Southern Neighborhood, nor indeed have any policies which appear to exhibit neocolonial superiority and unequal partnerships. The dilemma for EU policymakers is how best to “…encourage political and economic reform in each individual country in due respect for its specific features and regional cooperation among the countries of the region themselves and with the EU” (European Union External Action Service). In 2014, the then Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, announced that Greece and Cyprus would use their EU membership to promote European–Egyptian relations in the new Sisi era (Shama 2019: 99). The diplomatic support was vital to Egypt which was temporarily isolated for some of the tactics employed during the 2013 military coup, and has cemented relations including denouncing Turkish incursions into the Cypriot EEZ (Hellenic MFA 2014). The Nicosia Declaration (Hellenic MFA 2015) covers

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aspects such as counterterrorism cooperation, concern over regional conflicts, migration and other challenges, as well as joint cooperation on tourism. Egypt and Greece are important to each other as trade partners, with Greece seeing itself as a gateway for Egyptian products into Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans (Shama 2019: 100). Through this sub-regional grouping it appears that interests and incentives are likely to drive relations more fruitfully than with the EU as a whole. As Egypt invests in maritime capabilities and builds up relations with some Eastern Mediterranean states as well as closer relations with Eritrea, with the possibility of an Egyptian military base on Nora island giving it more influence in the Red Sea (The Arab Weekly 2020), the EU would be wise to reengage Egypt as fully as possible. The EU does appear to have taken that approach with Egypt and other regional strongmen, arguing it’s easier to influence through an engaged relationship, including on human rights (Peel 2019). The EU–Arab League Summit held in Cairo in February 2019 is one such example. But there is scant evidence that a more engaged relationship will have any effect on human rights and could simply embolden autocrats. Tensions will inevitably remain. What we do know from other research is that sanctions don’t work. The USA embargoed Cuba and cut diplomatic relations for 50 years without any change to Cuba’s policy. Sanctions on Iran have not worked in terms of changing its revolutionary foreign policy (Mason 2014). Sanctions didn’t bring down a regime, help people, or moderate a state’s foreign policy, whereas engagement enables regimes to see the limits of their own system and at least avoids conflict (Walt 2020). So the question remains how to shift from conditionality to dialogue. A good place to start might be in encouraging leaders to reconceptualize governance beyond the narrow remit of regime and national security. By utilizing a pragmatic approach to appeal to a regime’s narrow security agenda and its developmental needs, it may be possible to help mitigate against some of the least desirable aspects of conflicts and authoritarian upgrading measures, whilst enhancing human security and prospects for future generations. Enhancing Human Security in Conflict Zones The UN defines human security as “… widespread and cross-cutting challenges to the survival, livelihood and dignity of their people.” It

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calls for “people-centred, comprehensive, context-specific and preventionorientated responses that strengthen the protection and empowerment of all people” (United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security). The emphasis is therefore on social emancipation and a growth of civil society initiatives. While most EU supported projects and efforts do not necessarily compromise national security in the Southern Neighborhood, they are nonetheless often curtailed or constrained by authoritarian regimes on the basis of such a rationale and discourse. The most recent incarnation of the EU foreign policy is EU Global Strategy (EUGS)—the updated doctrine of the European Union to improve the effectiveness of the defense and security of the EU (European Union External Action Service 2019). Within this update, security of the member states, building resilience in the east and south, integrating approaches to conflicts (including multilateralism), building a global order based on international law, and cooperation, all put forward as key features (ibid.). Building resilience in the MENA region has been a key part of EU engagement in the Southern Neighborhood since the ENP update in 2015. Yet, it remains vague, built on a narrow and shortterm sense of self-interest, and unable to adapt to the geopolitical realities in many situations in which it is supposed to be active. Where MENA states fail to substantially engage, the EU could take a more direct approach to mitigate the possibility of more failed states and humanitarian disasters. It should do this by concentrating on health, education, and poverty reduction. The latter is especially important since many of these populations are “moving targets” incorporating population growth, unemployment, and environmental degradation (Mason and Hendy). In conflict situations such as Syria, policy emphasis should be on ending the conflict, enhancing and securing human rights (including stemming and stopping the number of forced disappearances, arbitrary detention and torture) and reversing the massive internal and external displacement that has occurred. The EU needs to be more creative, less risk averse and explore more political and diplomatic options beyond UN diplomacy (ECFR 2020). The EU could also take measures to make the Astana track irrelevant, by engaging Iran, working more closely with the Small Group on Syria (Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UK, and USA) and providing more robust support for NGOs which make a difference on the ground in Syria (ibid.). In light of Covid-19 and temporarily closed EU borders at the time of writing in March 2020,

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the EU could develop a new set of workable options for Syrian refugees. These should focus on beefing up medical and humanitarian work and enhancing the number of safe, secure, and hygienic (in light of Covid19) facilities in neighboring states, while establishing a workable timeline for repatriation back to safe spaces in Syria. We know this can be done since the Excel Centre in London was transformed into a field hospital in nine days through a combination of public–private enterprise including the army, NHS staff and contractors (BBC News 2020). The EU should also look again at sanctions against the Assad regime which sometimes don’t work and can make the humanitarian situation worse, for example, by affecting fuel prices for domestic heating and cooking. Socioeconomic Conditions, Terrorism, and Revolution Youth bulges and socioeconomic conditions are not directly correlated to episodes of internal political violence or terrorism. Indeed, Krueger and Maleckova (2003) find little evidence to support a causal link between socioeconomic conditions and terror group recruitment or support, at least in Israel and Palestine. But more recent publications do show that relative deprivation and labor market conditions, if not causal, can at least be a factor for individuals being mobilized under the banner of violent Islamism across the MENA region (Gambetta and Hertog 2016: 55). There is also some evidence to suggest in Jack Goldstone’s revolution theory that population cycles can lead to political rebellion and revolution (Hamanaka 2016: 74). The revolts of 2011 have been theorized as a rupture in this social contract, a natural conclusion to what happens when the provision of basic social services are neglected by the commanding regimes (Kamrava 2014). Therefore, the EU might be able to mitigate against some of these effects by implementing a deeper policy in states of particular vulnerability and concern. Far better, one might argue, to enhance futures within local contexts under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the EU is attempting to do than experience mass migration which rates high on most EU member state political agendas. But the e96.8 billion for EU external cooperation assistance 2014–2020 focused on Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe (European Commission 2015: 8) as the source of most migration into Europe and appears to have omitted the Middle East and North Africa. The deal with Turkey pales in comparison. Yet in places

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such as Tunisia, 31% of Tunisian youth considered illegal migration in 2016 (Observertoire Maghrebin des Migrations 2017: 5). Beyond population and socioeconomic circumstance, the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder across the region is high, no doubt highly correlated to the frequency of political violence, repression and conflict. It ranges from 24% among young people in Lebanon to 69% in Gaza (Afifi et al. 2012: 178–187). In the MENA region, preventable diseases also form a major challenge. Environmental pollution, including air pollution, cost an estimated 125,000 lives in the Middle East in 2013 and an estimated $9 billion (The World Bank 2016). The EU could help address this partly by carrying out more stringent checks on vehicles being exported to the Southern Neighborhood from Europe but which would fail most European emissions tests and partly through targeting aid in areas such as urban and industrial planning, waste disposal, clean energy and the green economy. Water and energy demand in the MENA region is rapidly increasing which, when coupled with poor city and resource management, has resulted in widespread soil, land and marine degradation. A waste crisis began in Lebanon in 2015 when residents near the Naameh landfill site forced the government to shut it down, more than a decade after it was scheduled to close. The protest was due to trash being left in the street from July 2015 to August 2016. It subsequently became a cause around which a mass mobilizations developed, and spurred the Lebanese government to open a new landfill at Bourj Hammoud on the outskirts of Beirut (Broom 2018). In Egypt, Only 30–60% of waste is collected with much of the rest scattered in the environment without being treated (ibid.). While the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is requesting proposals to develop a Hazardous Waste Management Programme— Phase 1—it is still in the early stages of addressing this fundamental health-related issue. In PWC projections out to 2050, North Africa will need to create more than 68 million new jobs, with 20 million in Egypt alone. The certainty surrounding the response to such pressures looks less than assured. The EU might work more closely with partners, especially from Asia where there is a precedent of rapid economic growth within authoritarian but market-orientated contexts. A combination of education objectives, strategic investments, industrial, tax and export policy advice, joint ventures and entrepreneurial support, might help address the immense challenge. The only incentive for the EU to take such a

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coordinated approach is if the challenge is reconceptualized not only in development terms but also in security terms as well, especially related to European security.

Reviewing Efficacy of Decision-Making and Policy Implementation The 2003 invasion of Iraq, including the destruction of state institutions and widespread insecurity, contributed to state and pan-regional turmoil over the following decade. Although the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran provided a basis for headway on other regional issues, the lack of engagement with Iran on containing ISIS has been unfortunate. Democratization, as part of the G. W. Bush’s rolling justification for the intervention, has made the term a dirty word and synonymous with destruction, enduring political violence, sectarian or tribal responses and a lack of national reconciliation. The number of civilian deaths in Iraq is estimated to be around 183,967 to 206,642 since the 2003 invasion (Iraq Body Count). It has enabled and emboldened Iran which has become a dominant preoccupation for many Arab states across the Middle East, encouraged by US support for the creation of Arab NATO; the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA). The discourse of insecurity from Iraq, Syria, and Libya has played right into the hands of autocrats who define their national security and sweeping counterterrorism measures as sole justification for their continued, often extended or indefinite, rule. Iraq shows that the ENP has been misconceptualized, that the EU needs a common and joined up approach to deal with threats, opportunities and alliances that exist across the entire Middle East, taking into account drivers of economic or military intervention (such as Arab Gulf support for policies against the Muslim Brotherhood, e.g., in Egypt), transnational security threats, and often personal rather than highly institutional relations along the way. Recent revelations that Gaddafi may have made illicit payments to President Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign undermine the whole pretext of NATO intervention in Libya in 2011. President Obama pointed to Libya as his “worst mistake” in not planning to rebuild a society that lacked civic direction, allegedly privately calling the situation there a “s**t show” (Tierney 2016). The instability after the NATO intervention has led to estimates of between 2000 and 30,000 civilians having been killed in Libya in 2011 (BBC News 2011). However, there is difficulty in

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separating out general violence from deaths associated with the uprising and then broader conflict and clashes (Salama 2018). Clashes between warring parties, such as those recorded between April and July 2019, exceeded 1000 civilian causalities (Associated Press 2019). The Centre for European Reform (CER) has identified that a poorly implemented EU arms export policy is undermining European security, foreign policy and its defense industry (Besch and Oppenheim 2019). This was clearly illustrated by the divergent policies of Germany on the one hand which suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, versus France and the UK which did not. It took court action and a ruling decision that UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful before the government temporarily suspended them in June 2019. There is little consensus on issues of national interest or security threats to member states or the EU at large. Without the prerequisite trust between EU states, a common European defense industry is bound to remain small. A common approach to risk could help align arms sales and sanctions against common threats, control end use and “dual use” product destinations, and reach binding commitments which could affect all EU member states (ibid.). Policy u-turns, including association with US policy u-turns, a lack of unity and inconsistencies are one of the more damaging areas to EU foreign policy credibility. From the Arab uprisings in 2011, and especially following the Mediterranean refugee crisis in 2015, the EU has struggled to formulate a coherent response which reflects its diverse member state interests and those in the Southern Neighborhood. The beleaguered Turkish accession process to the EU, the Mediterranean refugee crisis and attempted military coup in Turkey in 2016, have all served to undermine EU reform efforts in Turkey and forced the EU to pursue a form of bilateral transactional diplomacy instead. The lack of willingness of the Cameron government in the UK to take decisive action against President Assad in Syria and sending the issue to a House of Commons vote which failed to pass, clearly led to the Obama administration to do the same by sending the issue to Congress, which also failed to pass in August 2013. The lack of movement gave Russia a chance for intervention and an opportunity to enhance its credentials in the Middle East, including in Libya. Although the USA, UK, and France did conduct military strikes against Syrian targets in April 2018 for Assad’s chemical weapons use, Germany did not due to the pacifist Social Democrats (SPD) being part of the ruling coalition in Berlin and

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polls suggesting such action would not be widely supported (Martin and Shalal 2018). Amid continued uncertainty in the region and a lack of surety about EU implementation measures, some scholars argue that the catch all and vague policy about resilience conceals a shift from a transformative regional agenda back to the status quo (Badarin and Schumacher 2020: 63–87). Rory Stewart, former Secretary of State at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), spoke about how not to fix failed states, including war torn states such as South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, at Yale University in 2018 (Rory Stewart 2018). Although none of these are in the Southern Neighborhood, half of the world’s population will be from sub-Sahara Africa by the end of the century, thereby affecting the security and development of all the states surrounding it, including those of North Africa. Stewart highlighted the sheer range of issues that affect aid and foreign policy choices globally, from health infrastructure to security, coupled with variables such as language capabilities of foreign military and officials, shifting policy priorities and interests of a bureaucracy, rapidly rotating tours of duty (including ministers), information and resource shortcomings that combine to undermine existing approaches (ibid.). All these should be considered by the EU going forward.

The EU as a Normative Power While an ENP for the Southern Neighborhood needs reforming, the EU and UK cannot afford to be complacent about its own record on key issues such as human rights, prisons, and the economy. Human rights issues abound in Europe. Journalist freedoms are curtailed, data privacy is at risk from state surveillance, and the threat from terrorism continues. In 12 months to March 2019, there were 317 deaths in UK prison custody (of which 87 were self-inflicted), up from 18 the previous year (UK Ministry of Justice 2019). The issue is becoming a major policy problem which has been obscured by Brexit. Economies across the Eurozone remain moribund in low level or negative economic growth under structural and cyclical conditions. Although Christine Lagarde will introduce more confidence when she takes over the ECB in 2019, some of the conditions in Europe and parts of the Southern Neighborhood appear to match what is called “stall speed growth” (El-Erian 2019). This is the condition whereby economic growth remains positive but not enough to accommodate national debt, increasing demand for social

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services, need for better infrastructure, and result in a deepening anger and marginalization (ibid.). Whether the EU could bring its normative power to bear as an ideational and idealist actor in the Southern Neighborhood versus the authoritarian upgrading of Southern Neighborhood states and the riyal politik of many EU member states remains to be seen. Should the idea of a new global council of democracies gain traction, the EU will be better placed to at least implement a more robust strategy to address failures in the neo-liberal economic system, global warming and inability to meet the Millennium Development Goals which underpin human security at the macro level. Since the term ‘normative power’ remains only part of the zeitgeist of contemporary international affairs, it is entirely possible that analysts will dispense of the term with reference to the EU as the regional and global environment changes or that it becomes redundant as the EU assumes a different role.

A Note on Covid-19 The Coronavirus, Covid-19, which spread around the world in late December 2019 from Wuhan, China, has impacted the developed and developing world alike. While its long term impacts remain obscure, Covid-19 could complicate the environment in which the EU takes decisions and the ENP itself. The virus might make states in Europe and the Southern Neighborhood more isolationist since the benefits on offer from globalization will shrink. This could embolden China to capitalize on its growing soft, technological, and economic power and shift the international balance of power in its favor. This would have dramatic consequences for the EU and European policy. Still, there are also signs that states such as Germany are returning to business as usual. As states such as Italy face the biggest crisis they have faced since the Second World War, some Italian politicians have questioned Italy’s membership of the EU, and the EU generally as a going concern given its alleged lacklustre performance on Covid-19 (Johnson et al. 2020). Notwithstanding this rather stark assessment, Covid-19 will likely entrench populism and make policy convergence between northern and southern EU states more difficult to sustain, as well as between the EU and Southern Neighborhood states. National interests will almost certainly push concerns about the Southern Neighborhood down the

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foreign policy priority list and possibly give authoritarian states and violent non-state actors greater autonomy in the short term. The EU could do more to help Southern Neighborhood states to combat Covid-19 by boosting public health clinical capacity and responses, and particularly in dealing with major disease outbreaks. Even taking a security-centric perspective, health-related euros will help prevent infections back in the EU. There may also be some reciprocity in Southern Neighborhood through participation in antiviral platforms and in future germ games. Like other parts of the world, rates of infection are unlikely to be fully reported across the MENA region for reasons related to capacity and fear, since the information flow on what Covid-19 is and how to deal with it was limited at the time of writing. Middle East refugee camps are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. Healthcare systems have been adversely affected by conflict, particularly in Syria, and many refugee camps have few if any health services (Die Welt 2020). Some camps on the frontier of Europe, such as the Greek island of Lesbos, have already been affected by right-wing attacks (ibid.). It is imperative that once a possible immunization solution is found, probably in the USA, that it be transferred quickly and efficiency to the global market. However, the virus is just one threat among many in the Southern Neighborhood. Health outcomes in conflict zones depend as much on ceasefires and medical access as they do on medicines. EU diplomacy with key states such as Russia and Turkey is therefore as important in some cases such as Syria as any public health response. Since new strains of coronavirus could return in future, the EU could look to its policies in dealing with successive Ebola outbreaks in DRC in 2015–2018 and its preparedness responses in neighboring countries. Assessments so far show that although the EU had ample resources and opportunities for humanitarian and medical action, it did not coordinate a rapid and coordinated approach (Quaglio et al. 2015). This time, the UK missed the deadline to participate in an EU-wide ventilator scheme due to a communication problem, leaving itself open to accusations of putting Brexit before lives (Gallardo and Deutsch 2020). The supply of medical material such as face masks has also become a form of diplomacy as states such as China and Italy seek international providers quickly. China has already imported some 200 million from Egypt (Al-Masry Al-Youm 2020) and shipped at least 500,000 masks to Italy (Euractiv 2020). The economic impact of Covid-19 will be felt for years to come. It is already feared that the economic fallout will be worse than the Great

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Recession following the 2007/2008 financial crisis and possibly as bad as the Great Depression of the 1930s. In March 2020, economic growth forecasts for Asia Pacific and advanced economies were slashed by half to 1.5%, and even this looks to be optimistic (OECD 2020). While jobs and businesses are already a worry for many in the MENA region, Covid-19 will make matters worse. It has impacted on demand for oil, reaching record lows in April 2020. The knock-on effect for the Arab Gulf States will likely be more austerity and limits to “riyal politik” including generous support to central banks, discounted energy supplies and relatively large scale investments in allied states such as Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco. IMF debt forgiveness may help the situation, but the concern is that if Southern Neighborhood states are unable to deliver on economic promises or at least maintain some economic growth, it may increase the likelihood for further mass protests and authoritarian upgrading measures in response.

Conclusion While the imperatives of EU engagement with the states of the Southern Neighborhood remain clear to see, especially tackling migration, conflict and terrorism, none of these can be defeated on the basis of shortterm securitized approaches alone. The EU should learn lessons from NATO commitments to Afghanistan and Iraq and search for alternative security development hybrid solutions (smart power) which better fits the task. While the security imperative has hitherto been narrow, recent troop deployments by the UK and France to the Sahel illustrate how the War on Terror is playing out across the wider region. Reconceptualization of the challenge could put the EU and Southern Neighborhood states in a much stronger position to deal with both hard and soft security issues going forward. That appears to be beginning with new jobs efforts in Africa but more efforts and initiatives will be required on trade (keeping supply chains open), health and education, especially during and in the immediate aftermath of Covid-19. For the EU, this will accompany the need to reconceptualize the region and resources to support its existing, and possibly new, ENP priorities in turn. This volume also notes the other challenges that the Southern Neighborhood face, including from corruption, conflict, and poorly regulated industrialization. The emphasis is therefore on southern neighbors to reconceptualize

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their role in addressing public policy challenges and rethink the participation of legitimate non-state actors which have so often been marginalized in official decision-making processes.

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Index

A Abbas, Mahmud, 25 Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, 43 Achille Lauro (1985), 23 Afghanistan, 76, 149 African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), 231 African solutions to African problems, 231 African Union (AU), 95, 209, 230 Agricultural cooperation, 217 Ahmed Gaïd Salah (AGS), 184 Air strikes, 149 al-Assad, Bashar, 31, 47, 148, 153, 155, 190 Al Azhar, 45 al-Banna, Hassan, 45 Algeria, 43, 46, 63, 116, 118, 166, 173, 184, 218 Algerian Armed Forces (ANP), 184 Algerian civil strife, 185 Al-Nusra Front, 48 Al Qaeda, 46, 184, 189, 230

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), 185, 194, 195, 200 Ancient Silk Route, 215 Ankara’s energy tensions, with Cairo, 244 Anti-colonialism, 210 Antiterrorist Law, 191 Aphrodite, 124 Aphrodite field, 132 Arab Gas pipeline, 133 Arab League, 10, 24, 28, 64, 95, 242 Arab Spring, 25 Arab uprisings, 19, 42, 46, 51, 183, 223 Arafat, Yasser, 25 Arish-Ashqelon pipeline, 133 Armed Islamic Group (GIA), 68 Armed non-states actors, 186 Armed uprising, 48 Arms embargo, 198 Arms sales, 12 Ashdod, 131 Ashqelon, 131

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 R. Mason (ed.), Transnational Security Cooperation in the Mediterranean, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54444-7

265

266

INDEX

Association agreements, 23, 245 Astana process, 153 Asylum claims, 75 Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund’ (AMIF), 80 Asylum policy, 76, 78 Asylum seekers, 77, 84 Austerity, 49 Austria, 76 Authoritarian regimes, 11, 23 Autos and machinery exports, 222 Azerbaijan, 116 B Ba’ath Party, 47 Balkans, 2, 216 Baltic Sea, 128 Barcelona process, 4, 23 Bêkou Trust Fund for the Central African Republic, 98 Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), 2, 154, 213, 215, 219 Ben Ali, 31, 223 Better Migration Management Programme, 96 Black Sea, 211 Border, 78 controls, 77, 187 management, 96 threats, 48 Borderlands, 12 Brexit, 2, 232 Brussels, Jewish Museum, attack on, 62 Budapest processes, 95 Bulgarian model, 84 Bunker state, 42 Bush, George W., 33, 252 C Calypso, 130

Cameron, David, 148, 253 Camp conditions, 77 Camp David Summit, 5 Carter Doctrine, 24 Caspian gas resources, 117 Charlie Hebdo attacks, 64 China, 3, 63, 154, 209 engagement, 9 engagement in the Southern Mediterranean, 215 investments, 217 China Bank of Construction, 216 China-Egypt Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, 246 China-Morocco Strategic Partnership, 245 Chinese-Saudi trade, 218 Christian crusades, 9 Civil war, 76 Cold War, 22 Collective security community, 202, 242 Colonialism, 10 Colonial memory, 53 Common European Asylum System (CEAS), 75 Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDF), 6 Computerization, 66 Conflict, 19, 76, 210 in Yemen, 213 regional, 156 resolution, 231 Congress of Berlin, 10 Connectivity Strategy, 3 Constructivism/constructivist, 10, 21, 28 Contestation, 42 Cooperation on migration management and resettlement, 210 Corruption, 64, 66

INDEX

Côte d’Ivoire, 96 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA), 212 Counterinsurgencies, 48 Counter-terrorism, 3, 54 cooperation, 242 strategy, 71 Coup proofing, 44 Covid-19, 2, 54, 216, 232, 255 downturn from, 227 economic impact of, 256 Crimea, 211 Croatia, 78 CT partnerships, 59 Cyprus, 2, 47, 115, 125, 131, 136, 178, 243 Aphrodite field in, 122 Calypso field in, 123 exclusive economic zones (EEZ), 123 Glaucus 1, 123 hub, 130 Czech Republic, 82

D Daesh, 61, 69 Damascus Declaration, 47 Damietta, 133 liquefaction terminal, 118 Danish Social Democratic Party, 33 Data protection, 71 Deauville Partnership, 226 Debt crises, 228 Debt-trap diplomacy, 217 Decision making, 258 Decisions enforcement treaty, 64 Democracy, 41 Democratic Peace Theory, 12 Democratic societies, 210 Democratic Union Party (PYD), 155

267

Democratic values, 69 Democratization, 5, 52, 62, 252 Digitization, 66 Distribution mechanism, 82 Doctrine, Truman, 210 Domestic consumption, 120 Dublin IV regulation, 85 Dublin plus regulation, 83 Dublin regulation, 75 Dublin system, 77, 81

E Eastern Mediterranean, 3, 8, 116, 123, 135, 164, 173, 243 gas, 122 pipeline, 131, 243 power struggle, 176 Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, 137 Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, 137 East Jerusalem, 30 Ebola, 256 Economic assistance, 178 Economic growth, 42, 51 Egypt, 10, 25, 27, 31, 41, 43, 60, 64, 66, 96, 115, 124, 132, 135, 138, 164, 171, 176, 221 academic and cultural projects in, 221 Egyptian, 136, 172 Egyptian hub, 132 Egyptian Sharouk, 123 suspended arms sales to, 213 Egyptian–Israeli peace treaty, 22 Electricity consumption, 119 Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM), 85 Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, 98 Employment challenges, 242 Energy, 243

268

INDEX

cooperation, 138 demand, 119 dependence, 217 importer, 176 partnerships, 115 policies, 231 -political matters, 165 politics, 178 relation, 129 security, 116 supplier, 198 trading contracts, 177 transfers, 176 Energy Diplomacy Action Plan, 116 Eni, 117, 122, 125, 169 Erdo˘gan, Recep Tayyip, 94, 154, 171, 175 ETA, 23 Ethiopia, 96 EU and League of Arab States summit, 53 EU-Arab League Summit, 248 EU arms export policy, 253 EU Asylum Agency, 86 EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, 215 EU Civil Protection Mechanism, 80 EUCO3030, 134 EU counter-terrorism measures, 61 EU–Egypt Association Agreement, 245 EU Global Strategy (EUGS), 59, 63, 249 EU–Japan free trade deal, 222 EU–Japan infrastructure deal, 222 EU–Lebanon Partnership, 32 EU–Morocco Association Agreement, 245 EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, 97 EU Resettlement Framework, 86 Euro–Arab Dialogue (EAD), 8

Euro crisis, 217 Eurojust, 79 Euro-Maghreb 5+5, 43 Euro-Mediterranean Agreement, 191 Euro-Mediterranean energy market, 120 Euro-Mediterranean energy relations, 121 European Border and Coast Guard Agency, 32 European Commission (EU), 64 European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), 201 European Defense Agency (EDA), 6 European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), 211 European energy security, 137 European expenditure, 211 European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), 99 European intervention initiative, 215 European Migrant Smuggling Centre, 87 European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), 192 European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 32, 42, 95, 116, 121, 125, 249, 252, 254 European Police College (CEPOL), 192 European refugee crisis, 75, 76 European security, 20, 34, 252, 253 “A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy”, 120 European Trust Fund for Africa, 187 European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 53 European Union (EU)

INDEX

Arab League summit in Sharm El Sheikh in 2019, 3 as normative power, 254 Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), 6 enlargement policy, 8 gas production in, 125 gas transmission grid, 127 infrastructure projects in, 219 internal security, 69 Juncker Plan, 216 law, right under, 84 leadership, 4 migration policy, 78 European Union Integrated Border Management Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya), 200 Europe, relations with Libya, 197 Europol, 65, 79 EU Trust Fund for Africa, 85 EU–Turkey Agreement, 32 EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan, 92 EU–Turkey Statement, 82, 84, 96 Exclusive economic zones (EEZs), 3, 123, 164, 170 External borders, 83 External development assistance, 210 Extradition treaty, 64

F Fatah, 50 Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, 44 First Barbary War, 210 Foreign fighters, 210 Foreign military and officials, language capabilities of, 254 Foreign policy, 158 “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, 51 France, 10, 21, 41, 68 Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), 222

269

Free Officers coup, 43 French, 9 French troops, 186 Frontex, 90, 198 Front Islamique de Salut (FLN), 46 G Gaddafi, Muammar, 35, 223, 252 Gambia, 96 Gantz, Benjamin, 44 Gas, 3, 115 hub, 177 relations, 116 Gateway to Europe, 184 Gazprom, 126, 128, 129, 134 Geneva peace talks, 154 German, 77 Germany, 41, 76, 128 Glaucus-1, 130 Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, 200 Global financial crisis, 2 Governance corruption in, 230 structures, 230 Government of National Accord (GNA), 119, 157, 169, 200 Grassroots organizations, 61 Greater Middle East policies, 211 Greece, 2, 80, 81, 125, 131, 164, 171, 243 Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus (GASC), 171 Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (GCASC), 165 Group for the Defense of Islam and the Muslims (GSIM), 185 Guinea, 96 Gulf, 7, 12, 26, 34, 135, 173, 209, 217, 241 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), 54 Gulf state economic and diplomatic interventionism, 223

270

INDEX

H Haftar, Khalifa, 157, 172, 186 Hamas, 27, 44, 50, 124 Health infrastructure, 254 Hezbollah, 25, 27, 31, 45 Historic interconnectivity, 241 Hobbes, Thomas, 3 Home-grown, 68 Horn of Africa, 96, 173 Human losses, 151 Human rights, 201, 248 Human security, 210, 248 Human traffickers, 100 Hungary, 78, 81, 82

I ibn Saud, 26 Idku, 133 IGI Poseidon pipeline project, 131 Illegal immigration, 194, 198 Illegal migration, 184, 187, 214 Illicit trafficking, 48 Imia Crisis, 210 Immigration, 188 Immunization, 256 India, 219 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), 216 Infrastructure, 1, 255 Infrastructure projects, 231 Institutionalism, 21 Institution-strengthening, 66 Integrated Border Management (IBM) strategy, 200 Internal–external nexus, 62 Internal security, 76 Internal Security Fund (ISF), 80 International aid, 210 International balance, 12 International Criminal Court (ICC), 201

International law, 166 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 49, 209, 217, 226, 232, 257 International Organization for Migration (IOM), 98 Intra-regional judicial and law enforcement cooperation, 67 Investments, 127 Iran, 41, 135, 153 escalating tensions with, 213 Iran—Iraq War, 26 Iraq, 60, 71, 77, 152 Iraq Oil Company, 26 Irish Republican Army, 23 ISIL-Libya, 200 ISIS, 48, 210, 212, 230, 252 Islamic conquests, 9 Islamic State in the Grand Sahara (ISGS), 185 Islamic State (IS), 19, 33, 149, 152, 157, 184, 189, 193–195 Islamist insurgencies, 48 Islamists, 49 Islamophobia, in Europe, 247 Israel, 4, 23, 28, 41, 43, 44, 52, 115, 122, 124, 132, 135, 138, 156, 164, 171, 176, 218, 243 hub, 130 Israeli, 30 New Delhi’s relations with, 220 Israeli closures policy, 50 Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), 44 Israeli–Egyptian peace treaty, 20 Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, 9 Italy, 10, 80, 81, 131, 165, 255

J Japan, 209, 221 Job creation, 221 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), 7, 12, 28, 213

INDEX

Jordan, 20, 47, 52, 61, 67, 71, 77, 124, 165, 232 Tafila wind farm in, 121 Judicial and law enforcement cooperation, 59 Judicial oversight, 62 June War of 1967, 22 Justice and Development Party (AKP), 47 K Kadyrov, Ramzan, 149 Kenya, 96 Khaled, Amr, 46 Khartoum, 95 King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB/”kad-bee”), 45 Kurds, 11, 154 L Latakia, 151 Law enforcement data, 65 League of Arab States (LAS), 64, 66 Lebanese, 136 Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), 44 Lebanese Civil War, 23 Lebanon, 20, 71, 77, 228, 232, 243 Lega Nord’s populist coalition government, 89 Levant, 12, 26, 34, 131, 241 Leviathan, 3, 124 Leviathan field, 122 Libya, 25, 44, 64, 70, 95, 99, 117, 119, 166, 168, 186, 225, 227, 229, 252 Europe’s relations with, 197 illegal migration from, 214 Libyan, 68 coast guard, 99, 201 peace process, 175

271

NATO intervention in, 148 UN arms embargo in, 170 Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), 123 Libyan National Army (LNA), 44, 119 Liquefied natural gas (LNG), 130, 133, 136, 138, 243 Lisbon Treaty, 60, 127 Locke, John, 3 M Macron, Emmanuel, 184 Madrid train station bombings, 189 Maghreb, 48 Mali, 96, 97 Malta summit, 95 Marathon Oil Libya, 117 “Mare Nostrum”, 77 Marginalization, 255 Marine field, 122 Marine Le Pen, 32 Marseille International Trade City (MITC), 216 May, Theresa, 32 Mediterranean security, 3, 13 Mediterranean security complex, 34 Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP), 121 “Memorandum of Understanding on Security and Military Cooperation”, 166, 171 “Memorandum of Understanding on the Delimitation of Maritime Jurisdiction Areas”, 166 MENA region, Russian reengagement in, 243 Mercenaries, 1 Middle East Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (MENWFZ), 30 Middle East Peace Process, 4 Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), 252

272

INDEX

Migrant rights, 96 Migration compacts, 95 Migration, counterterrorism and border controls, 12 Migration/migrants, 33, 97, 178, 197 Migration Partnership Framework, 95 Militia, 1 Mixed-motive-migration, 76 Mobility, 97 Mobility Partnership Facility, 85 Mohammed VI Institute for Training of Imams, 193 Monarchy, 190 Morchidates , 193 Morchidines , 193 Moroccan legislation, 189 Morocco, 10, 47, 52, 63, 166, 173, 188, 221, 227 Morsi, Mohammad, 167 Mossadegh, Muhammad, 26 Mubarak, Hosni, 43, 60, 223 Multi-polar system, 241 Munich Massacre (1972), 23 Muslim Brotherhood (MB), 42, 45, 46, 124, 167 Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA), 64

N Narco-traffickers, 201 National debt, 254 National Defense Strategy (2018), 212 National Liberation Front (FLN), 10 National security, 158, 177 Naturgy, 117 Neo-liberal economic model, 51 Neo-patrimonial networks, 52 Netanyahu, Benjamin, 30, 44 New business projects, 222 The Nicosia Declaration, 247 Niger, 96, 97

Nigeria, 96 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), 8 Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 52, 80, 213 Non-state actors, 209 Nord Stream pipeline, 128 Normative power, 201 Norms, 60 North Africa, 183, 184, 242 North Africa (and the Sahel) region, 201, 244 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 1, 6, 8, 19, 22, 25, 41, 129, 158, 211, 257 North Caucasus, 149, 152 Northern Lebanon, 70

O Obama administration, 148 Obama, Barack, 25, 33, 148 Offshore explorations, 122 “Open Door” policy, 215 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), 41 Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), 54 Organized crime networks, 200 Oslo Accords, 44 Oslo process, 30 Ottoman Empire, 163

P Palestine, 165, 232 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), 24, 29, 68 Palestinian Authority (PA), 44 Palestinian economy, 228 Paris attacks, 62 Patrimonial networks, 242

INDEX

Peace Support Operations in Africa, 97 Peace to prosperity, 214, 226 People’s Protection Units (YPG), 212 People to people connections, 222 Personal data, 67 Poland, 82, 134 Political instability, 123 Political participation, 42 Poorly-governed regions, 70 Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), 68 Population, 54 Populist parties, 32 Populist policies, 242 Poseidon, 87, 96 Poverty, 49, 76, 190, 242, 249 Preventable diseases, 251 Preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE), 61 Privileged partner, 188 Protests, 48 Proxy conflicts, 209 Public bureaucracy, 49 Public health clinical capacity and responses boosting, 256 Public opinion, 42 Public policy challenges, 258 Q Qatar, 46, 133, 135, 158, 223 Qatar Crisis, 157, 219 Qutb, Sayyid, 46 R Rabaa crackdown, 63 Rabat, 95 Rades-La Goulette Bridge, 221 Radicalization, 61, 62, 69, 70, 243 Rationalist, 21 Readmission, 96

273

Realism, 10, 21 Realist, 29 Real politik, 172 Reconquista, 9 Red Army Faction, 23, 68 Refugee crisis, 32, 35, 232 Refugees, 80, 229 Regional and international security, 48 Regional competition, 178 Regional conflict, 156 Regional Development and Protection Programmes, 95 Regionalism, 11, 242 Regional Operational Centre for the Khartoum Process, 96 Regional security, 4, 13 Remittances, 11 Renewable energy projects, 121 Rentier, 42 Repression, 42 Repsol, 118 “Restriction of Marine Jurisdictions” agreement, 171 Return Directive, 91 Rif, 191, 194 Riyadh Arab treaty in judicial cooperation, 64 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 26 Rosneft, 136 Rotating tours of duty, 254 Rule of law, 62 Russia, 25, 115, 128, 136, 209, 253 Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, 151 military campaign, 147 military operability, 148 Russian air force, 149 Rydrocarbon reserves, 165

S S-400 missile defense system, 212

274

INDEX

Saad al-Hariri, 26 Sadat, Anwar, 43 Sahel, 96, 186 Salafiya Jihadiya, 68 Sanctions, 48, 248, 250 Saudi Arabia, 25, 41, 61, 158, 223 Securitization, 20, 34, 100, 184 Security cooperation, 69 imperative, 257 issues, 257 sector, 196 threats, 183 Security of Supply Regulation, 128 Security sector reform (SSR), 11, 48 Self-Defense Force (SDF), 223 Senegal, 96 Serbia, 78 Service delivery, 230 Sisi, 27 Six-Day War, 45 Slovakia, 81 Smugglers/smuggling, 96, 100, 201 Social justice, 51 Social mobilization, 51 Social services, 96, 255 Socioeconomics, 11, 191, 250 Somalia, 96 Sonatrach, 117 Sophia, 87, 96 Sousse seaside resort, attack in, 195 Southern Neighborhood, 256 South Sudan, 96 Spain, 10 Spiritual security, 193 “Stall speed growth”, 254 State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), 216 Storage capacity, 127 Strait of Gibraltar, 195 Sub-Sahara Africa, 242 Sub-Saharan migrants, 196 Suez Crisis, 210

Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), 43 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 250 Sweden, 76 Syria, 28, 31, 47, 60, 76, 152, 225, 227, 249 Russian military campaign in, 147 Small Group on, 249 Syrian civil war, 25, 35 Syrian crisis, 164 Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), 155, 212 Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, 225 Syrian opposition, 124 Syrians, 84

T Tafila wind farm, 121 Tartus, 151 Tax collection, 49 Territorial waters, legal disputes over, 123 Terror attack, 189, 210 Terrorism, 33, 35, 53, 61, 68, 76, 183, 188, 243 Terrorist attacks, 62, 68 Terrorists, 201, 229 Themis (Triton), 87, 96 Three Seas Port Cooperation, 216 Thucydidies’s trap, 213 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), 221 TOTAL, 169 Trade partner, 246 Trafficking, 48, 96, 187 Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), 132 Transmed pipeline, 117 Tribes, 229 Trilateral forum, 222

INDEX

275

Triton, 77 Troika alliance, 154 Trump administration, 211 Trump, Donald, 27 Tuareg, 11 Tunisia, 48, 51, 61, 64, 70, 71, 166, 175 unemployment in, 227 Tunisia–EU partnership, 197 Turkey, 20, 41, 43, 44, 46, 47, 50, 51, 77, 116, 124, 129, 138, 153, 154, 211, 220, 243 Turkey–Libya maritime deal, 169 Turkish hub, 131 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), 124, 165 Turkmenistan, 116 TurkStream, 129

United States (US), 21, 41, 137, 170, 200, 209, 210 hegemony, 24 ‘maximum pressure’ policy, 226 “Suez moment”, 216 UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), 214 UN Security Council Resolutions 748 and 883, 198 US forces in Central Europe, 211 US National Security Strategy (2017), 212 US Sixth Fleet, 210, 218

U UfM Gas Platform, 120 UfM Regional Electricity Platform, 120 UfM Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Platform, 120 Ukraine, 128 UN arms embargo, 170 UN Conference on Population and Development, 45 Unemployment, 227 UNICEF, 99 Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), 5, 43, 116, 120, 247 United Arab Emirates (UAE), 25, 158, 223 United Kingdom (UK), 21, 41 United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 123, 131 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 85, 95, 97, 98

W Wagner Group, 149 Water and energy demand in the MENA region, 251 West Africa, 96 West Bank, 30 Western Balkans, 97 Western Balkans Leaders’ meeting (October 2015), 95 Western European Union (WEU), 6 Western Sahara, 48 World Bank, 209, 217, 226

V Valletta Summit on migration, 96 Violent Islamist groups, 48, 209

Y Yemen, conflict in, 213 Youth bulges, 250 Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 46

Z Zero problems with neighbors policy, 172

276

INDEX

Zohr, 3, 132 Zohr field, 122, 124, 125 Zohr offshore gas field, 117

Zone of influence, 147 “Zou Chu Qu” (“Going Out”), 215