Beyond reconstruction: European cooperation with conflict-affected countries in the Middle East and North Africa

Public Panel Debate

Berlin, 16.09.2019


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

In the wake of the Arabellion and the ‘Arab winter’, a new, peaceful order in Europe's neighbouring region is not yet apparent. With the exception of Tunisia, the social, economic and political conflicts that erupted in 2011 have either been suppressed or partially addressed through superficial reforms to bring about ‘stability’ and to ‘combat the root causes of migration’.

Authoritarian Arab regimes and Russia have stepped into the power vacuum left behind by the United States’ withdrawal from the region. They both support and undermine local actors, and they have projected their geo-strategic interests into the internal conflict situations of fragile societies, such as Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq.

Within these geopolitical parameters, Europe has acted more in response to the region’s challenges, rather than actively supporting and shaping the peacebuilding and reconstruction processes. Europe has long used conventional forms of cooperation to support political ‘stabilization’ and, to an extent, (re)building infrastructure, as well as providing humanitarian aid.

More, however, is required of Europe. A real paradigm shift and change of perspective is needed, both in terms of addressing challenges beyond destroyed material and social infrastructure, and in terms of possible coordination of roles with global and regional hegemonic powers.

This panel debate highlighted how Germany and the EU institutions are dealing with these potentially conflicting goals, and debates practical approaches to supporting local and regional peacebuilding and reconstruction processes in the MENA.




  • Dr Jörg Wojahn, Head, European Commission Representation in Berlin



  • Colin Scicluna, Director/Deputy Managing Director MENA, European External Action Service
  • Klaus Krämer, Head of Division, Cooperation with MENA, German Federal Ministry for
    Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Dania Koleilat Khatib, Affiliated Scholar, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at American University of Beirut
  • Bernhard Trautner, Senior Researcher, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
  • Fleur Just-Auzimour, Executive Director, Peaceful Change Initiative



  • Mark Furness, Senior Researcher, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)


Participants were invited to continue discussions over light refreshments following the round table debate.

Hinweis / Please note

Während unserer Veranstaltungen werden z.T. Foto- und/oder Filmaufnahmen gemacht, die für Zwecke der Veranstaltungsberichterstattung und allgemeinen Öffentlichkeitsarbeit in verschiedenen Medien veröffentlicht werden. Sie haben jederzeit das Recht, die Foto- oder Videograf*innen darauf hinzuweisen, dass Sie nicht aufgenommen werden möchten.

During our events photos and/or videos may be taken which may be published in various media for the purposes of documentation and PR activities. You have the right at any time to point out to the photographer or videographer that you do not want to be photographed or filmed.


Datum / Uhr
16.09.2019 / 17:30 - 19:30


European Commission Representation
Unter den Linden

-- Prior registration is necessary and participants will need to show identification to enter the European Commission Representation. Please allow time for the security check on arrival. --


Please register by email at by 9 September 2019. Registration confirmations will be sent out after this deadline.