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The EU and the Arab uprisings: lessons learnt and new challenges ahead

The EU and the Arab uprisings: lessons learnt and new challenges ahead

The Arab Spring was the culmination of decades of societal insecurity and lack of adequate governance for many in the region. The uprisings took the state elites in the region, as well as powerful international such as the US and EU, by surprise.

Stability is often a priority for outside actors when dealing with the Middle East, and therefore the reactions to the uprisings were both hesitant and cautious. 

In this webinar we aim to explore how the EU reacted to the chaotic and quickly changing situations in these countries. How well did European capitals and Brussels grasp who the actors on the ground were and what they intended to upend and build instead? 

The Arab spring was in most cases followed by a dark winter, but now, ten years later, people in the region are protesting again. What lessons have the EU learnt from the previous experience? What are the overall assumptions about the region and have they changed through these experiences?

To help us understand the EU’s approach and understanding of these developments that affect all the countries in the region in varying degrees, we have invited the following distinguished experts and practitioners:

Charlotta Sparre: Swedish Diplomat and Director of the Swedish Dialogue Institute for the Middle East and North Africa

Joost Hiltermann: Program Director, Middle East & North Africa, International Crisis Group 

Alar Olljum: Senior Adviser, Strategic Planning Division (SG.1) European External Action Service (EEAS)

Moderator: Rouzbeh Parsi, Head of UI's Middle East and North Africa Programme.

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