Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

NATO’s Southern Neighbourhood: The Alliance Needs a Strategy for the Regions to its South

Allies in the Mediterranean region rightly expect NATO to take threats and challenges from the south as seriously as they do those from the east. NATO needs to work out and to implement a comprehensive strategy and plans for the south that include concrete aims, joint actions, and resources. Alliance cohesion and solidarity depends to a substantial extent on the ability of the Allies to do this. The north-eastern flank Allies are ready to play their part, but it is the Mediterranean Allies who have the understanding and expertise necessary to define the content of a strategy for the regions they border.

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Soldiers of Peace

Estonian, Finnish and Irish troops serve under a combined battalion in the UNIFIL mission in south Lebanon. The size of the contribution these three states make to UN peacekeeping is perhaps not well known – they are respectively the fourth, second and first largest European contributors, per capita, to UN missions. For each of them, UNIFIL is their single largest contribution to peace support operations.

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The European Union Global Strategy: How Best to Adapt to New Challenges?

The writing of the new European Union Global Strategy comes at a difficult time. The world has become more and more volatile and there are crises on Europe’s eastern, southeastern and southern flanks. Although the conflicts in the south and the east are very different in nature, they both highlight the need for the EU to strengthen its foreign and security policy to better respond to a hybrid blend of challenges, which involve military and non-military, conventional and unconventional methods and tactics. The Global Strategy has the difficult task of setting the EU’s interests and objectives in respect of global security as well as the means to achieve them in the medium and long term.

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