The EU, Resilience and the MENA Region

Resilience is one of the key concepts introduced in the European Union’s foreign and security lexicon, especially following its inclusion as the main leitmotif of the EU Global Strategy (EUGS). Unveiled by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP) Federica Mogherini in late June 2016, the EUGS sets out a roadmap to redefine the EU’s international role and vision. Aimed at demonstrating a practical yet ambitious policy pathway to make EU decision-making more coherent and therefore more efficient in fostering reforms, resilience has been subject to a plethora of analyses and critiques since its appearance in a variety of EU documents. It is therefore necessary to clarify what the concept denotes and what it does not, as well as what it aims to do and not do. Following a concise delineation of the various strands of thought around this concept and its use in the EUGS, this introductory chapter will take an in-depth look at how the concept is to be operationalized when moving from the theoretical to the practical level. This will be accomplished by framing it in the context of the EU’s policy goals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, a key terrain to test the concept’s practical value.

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