General overview

NAMEPES Project’s goal is to contribute to the increase of the knowledge about the EU security and offer EU security-related strategies in relation to its neighbouring Middle Eastern and North African area (MENA).

Most of the MENA countries have spent a period of political instability in the last two decades. The region, most related to Europe for both historical reasons and geographical proximity, is one of the most complex and conflictual regions in the world.
Inter-state and civil wars, terrorism, political instability and poverty have had repercussions both within the MENA borders and in the neighbouring countries. In addition to hosting important European trade routes, endowment in vast energy resources and the global energy supply security dependence give this region a greater strategic relevance.

The project, initially scheduled for the years 2019-2022, has been postponed to 2020-2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been divided into 4 main activities and related outputs

1) two academic workshops / Summer Schools (4 days per each) that took place in 2021 and 2022 (see the dedicated sections on this website).  The Summer Schools involved reputable experts from MENA regions together with EU experts and scholars delivered their analytical findings about the relevant pressing topics. The workshops hosted more than 30 participants each, selected by the academic coordinator and the other key staff members, on the basis of their credentials and motivation letters.
The main target groups were BA and MA students together with PhD candidates;

Programma 2021

Programma 2022

2) one workshop / conference for local participants and administrators –held in Italian, and focused on the implications of Middle East politics on EU and EU MS policymaking. 
The main purpose of this workshop was to stimulate debates between various stakeholders, including policymakers, corporates, academics, and other relevant professionals.

Poster Conference 3.12.2021
3) A follow-up online webinar / Academic conversation between Giulia Daga (a PhD candidate of the University of Trento) and the participants of NAMEPES Summer School 2021 on “The role of the European Union in Yemen: between ‘smallness’ and normativity”. The objective was to engage the students in a reflection on the external action of the EU, strengthened by the knowledge acquired during the Summer School. The event was organized on zoom (due to COVID-19 restriction) on 15 July 2021

Poster 15.7.2021

4) a final international conference comprised of two panels. 
The international conference was held as a closing event on June 2022, and aimed at examining the role of the EU in the MENA area and its strategy for the next 30 years, focusing on security and geopolitics issues.

Poster Conference 24.6.2022

Project outputs:

1) 6 selected working papers written by the participating students discussing some of the issues presented during the workshops / Summer Schools and engaging in wider reflections beyond the class discussions. These papers have been published on NAMEPES website and shared on NAMEPES social media pages. 1 working paper written by a PhD student (David Sip), reflecting on NAMEPES Summer School 2022 as a whole, putting the discussed themes in perspective. 
The objective of the working papers was twofold: to stimulate the critical thinking of the students in a healthy competition; to share high-quality reflections with the wider public on current issues linked to the MENA region and the EU. 

Working papers 2021
Morreale, Laura. "Territorial control, recognition and external intervention in civil conflicts: is a new praxis emerging in International Law?", A critical review of the lecture “The Financing of Civil Wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen: An International Law Perspective” by Prof. Marco Pertile. Link
Flynn, Martin. "The Challenge of Building a Common Migration Policy and the 2016 EU-Turkey Agreement". Link
Chaya, Said. "Caught in the Saudi-Iranian rivalry: Lebanon in the early years of the Syrian War (2011-2015)". Link
De Siati, Elisa. "Putin's 'Make Russia Great Again' in the Middle East, Critical Review of the lecture: "The International Relations of the Middle East: The resilience of empire" by Prof. Fawaz Gerges. Link

Working papers 2022
Wirmer, Allegra. “The Middle East between stasis and evolution: the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran”. Link
Macellari, Lorenzo. “Dancing on the Heads of Snakes: Re-Thinking State Agency in the MENA Region”. Link
Sip, David. “NAMEPES in 2022”. Link 

2) a series of short videos titled NAMEPESLight. The series involved 5 international academics, each of whom discussed one the issues dealt with through the events of the project: UN Peacekeeping in the Middle East; the Arab spring; the EU migration policy in the Mediterranean; a changing balance of power in the Middle East; the Shia geopolitics. The objective of the series was to share some of the core issues covered in the other events of the project, together with additional insights, in order to overcome the movement restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic and reach a wider number of people. These videos have been published on NAMEPES YouTube and Facebook profiles, and shared also on its LinkedIn and Instagram pages. Link videos

3) a video involving some of the in-presence students of NAMEPES Summer School 2021, sharing their thoughts on the workshops and suggestions to prospect students.

4) A Facebook group called "NAMEPES Summer School Alumni" was created in July 2021 to include the former students of NAMEPES Summer Schools. The aim is to continue the conversation on the topics that were discussed during NAMEPES events, and provide the students with a networking platform, where to share experiences and information. 

These activities adopted an interdisciplinary approach, aspiring to create a focal point where academics of international standing get together each year to create and disseminate knowledge on issues relating to security, economics, law, history and international relations.
Furthermore, given the misperceptions that some EU citizens have about MENA countries and particularly their Islamic cultures, the project disseminating its findings among specialists and, more importantly, towards a broader level of public officials, academics and citizens.