Future Notes

Bouteflika’s Uncertain Fifth Term

In April 2019, Algerian voters will go to the polls to elect their next president. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the incumbent president, is the ruling FLN designated candidate for the elections. Bouteflika, who was first elected in 1999 and is the longest-serving Algerian head of state, has yet to announce his candidacy. However, for the moment the [...]

Morocco and Its Quest to Become a Regional Driver for Sustainable Energy

This Future Note analyses how Morocco is driving growth in renewable energy in the Middle East and North Africa region. After giving an overview of the electricity sector’s role in de-carbonizing Morocco’s energy system, the paper sheds light on the enabling environment, in terms of the regulatory, policy and institutional framework as well as financing [...]

The Crisis of the GCC and the Role of the European Union

The dispute that erupted in 2017 between the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been the gravest crisis in the history of the institution. In the last fifteen months, the rupture between the GCC states was consolidated and became a lasting reality to which each regional and global power must accommodate its strategy [...]

The EU and the Iran Nuclear Deal: How to Proceed?

Trump steered the USA away from the diplomatic framework of the nuclear deal in yet another blow to the transatlantic alliance. Indeed the JCPOA represents a landmark achievement for the European Union, a sign of its ability to affect the global stage as a complementary as well as autonomous voice vis-à-vis the US. So far, [...]

Morocco’s African Foreign Policy

Morocco’s African foreign policy is not new, although it features some new characteristics, such as an emphasis on the economy, its reach far beyond traditional francophone African circles, as well as unprecedented number of royal visits across Africa. There are also two non-material aspects to Morocco’s new approach: it comes with a South-South twist and [...]

Libya: Moving Beyond the Transitional Mood

The Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) signed in December 2015 resulted in some relative stabilization and improvement of the security situation of the country, especially in Tripoli. Yet, it has not brought the political and institutional divisions to an end. The diplomatic focus put on revising the LPA during 2017 has shed light on the vested [...]

The Transmutation of Jihadi Organizations in the Sahel and the Regional Security Architecture

Since 2017, the jihadi scene in the Sahel has witnessed major changes with the merger of all the groups that were affiliated with Al-Qaeda, leading to the creation of a new and powerful one: the Group in Support of Islam and Muslims (GSIM), under the leadership of Iyad Ag Ghali. In parallel, and since 2015, [...]

Iraqi Kurdistan and Beyond: The EU’s Stakes’

In 2017, Iraq saw events that dramatically changed its political and societal reality. Not only the territorial defeat of the so-called Islamic State but also the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum and the retaking of the disputed areas by Iraqi forces loyal to Baghdad had important implications for the Middle East as a whole and also affected [...]

The Riddle of the Sphinx: Why President Sisi Fears the Election

The riddle posed by President Sisi’s words and behaviour is if his regime is performing as well as he claims, why is he so politically insecure? Although threats of terrorism and widespread anti-regime violence appear to be receding, the political crackdown, including upon potential candidates for the upcoming presidential election, has intensified. This reflects Sisi’s [...]

Future Challenges of Climate Change in the MENA Region

The MENA region will be one of those most severely affected by ongoing climate changes. These will be caused by increased average temperatures, less and more erratic precipitation, changing patterns of rainfall, continuing sea-level rise and changes in water supply. All this will happen in a region which already suffers from aridity, recurrent drought and [...]