Home / Articles / Europe Vis-À-Vis the Changing Regional Order in the MENA
Europe’s relations with the states of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are facing a critical juncture. When looking at a regional security architecture, Europe’s overarching interest is stability as it prevents conflict and state vacuums from menacing trade and energy supply routes, creating safe havens for terrorist organizations or hostile powers and fueling refugee flows toward Europe. However, compared to the past, European actors are confronted with a sharply new scenario in MENA that challenges these interests, given a progressive retrenchment of the United States, the rise of China, and MENA actors playing a more assertive role in regional politics and conflicts. The February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine is further accelerating these trends. Against this shifting background, MENA countries have intensified efforts to diversify their partnerships with rising global and regional players. European actors still struggle to come to grip with the multipolar scenario in the making—and to design an appropriate strategy to respond.