Conflict, Institutional Change, and Development in the Era of Globalization
Edited by Joachim Ahrens, Rolf Caspers and Janina Weingarth
Chapter 5: The EU and the Middle East Conflict: Promoting Peace and Reform?
5. The ED and the Middle East Conflict: Promoting Peace and Reform? Isa bel Schafer 1. INTRODUCTION The relations between Europe and the Middle East are characterized by strong and interrelated ties. Europe has a particular historical responsibility in this region of the world because of its colonial past, in part because of the two World Wars, and especially because of the Holocaust and the creation of the state of Israel, which have shaped this region tremendously and its regional power balances until today. The Cold War was partly fought out in the region and invoked political and economical consequences, too. I Europe has a political responsibility in this region of the world, in the sense that Europe defmes itself as an international actor defending the respect of international law and of human rights in the world. Europe also has a growing minority of citizens and migrants coming from North African and Middle Eastern countries; about 20 million Muslims live in the EU today. Europe has an economical responsibility towards the lesser developed economies of the South, because the EU is the strongest economical actor in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean region, North Africa and the Middle East are strategically and militarily important for the EU. Security and stability in the neighboring countries are supposed to guarantee the security of the EU. The policy of the EU towards the Middle East conflict has to be seen in a close and interlinked relationship to the European integration process. The more the European...
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