Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it: Europe’s role in post-COVID MENA

Event Type
Online Debate

Online, 13.10.2020


Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

The Covid-19 Pandemic has increased socio-economic vulnerability, with the potential to undermine social justice and peace across the MENA. Whether this results in increased pressure on Europe’s border security, asylum and health systems is unclear, but the demand for Europe to act in support of vulnerable communities in MENA countries is in any case likely to grow. The EU’s long-standing interest in regional stability in its ‘southern neighbourhood’ has traditionally been a powerful driver of its support for economic and political reform in the region. The perception that unrest in the region poses a threat to Europe’s security has, however, reduced Europe’s appetite for taking risks in support of change, and European policies have helped entrench the socio-economic and political status quo. Does the Covid-19 pandemic require a re-think of EU cooperation in the region? Have windows of opportunity opened, for different approaches? How might the EU best contribute to socio-economic justice and peace in a ‘post-Covid’ MENA?





  • Ibrahim Saif, CEO, Jordan Strategy Forum / Former Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan
  • Dania Koleilat Khatib, Director, Research Center for Reconciliation and Peacebuilding, Lebanon
  • Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, EU Ambassador to the Palestinian Territories


The event was part of a series of online debates on “Until debt tear us apart? International cooperation and socio-economic justice in a post-Covid19 MENA region.”

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Event information

Date / h
13.10.2020 / 15:00 - 16:30




Photo: Mark Furness, Senior Researcher, Research programme: Inter- and Transnational Cooperation

Mark Furness


Phone +49 (0)228 94927-258