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21 Jan 2017 description

By Hayder al-Khoei & Ellie Geranmayeh & Mattia Toaldo


  • ISIS has suffered significant setbacks in both Iraq and Libya with the battles for Mosul and Sirte representing potential turning-points.

  • Without a clear political strategy to guide post-ISIS efforts, these military gains could quickly be lost. Both countries could again become breeding grounds for conflict and extremism, exacerbating European security and migration challenges. This risk is especially high for Iraq given the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

24 Dec 2016 description

By Adam Baron


After years of conflict Yemen is on the verge of absolute collapse. Institutions across the country are falling apart, while a plethora of armed groups have taken advantage of the power vacuum to claim leadership over key territories, leading to even greater fragmentation of the country.

31 Oct 2016 description


  • The adoption and streamlining of differentiation measures represents a unique and effective European contribution towards Israeli-Palestinian peace at a time in which the Middle East Peace Process in its current configuration has failed.

04 Jul 2016 description

By Julien Barnes-Dacey

Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have so far been surprisingly resilient to the spillover from Syria’s civil war, in terms of refugees, terror, and domestic divisions. But now the region’s fragile stability is hanging by a thread – with Turkey the most precarious of all.

“The war next door: Syria and the erosion of stability in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey”, argues that European states should act fast to bolster stability in these three key states, or risk greater refugee flows and a heightened terror threat from the region.

10 May 2016 description

By Angela Stanzel

Afghans are the second biggest group claiming asylum in Europe, and their numbers are set to keep rising. To stem the influx of Afghan refugees, Europe needs to turn to Asian partners, working not only with Kabul but with its neighbours – particularly China, Pakistan, India, and Iran – argues “Eternally displaced: Afghanistan’s refugee crisis and what it means for Europe”.

28 Apr 2016 description

By Susi Dennison & Josef Janning

“Bear any burden: How EU governments can manage the refugee crisis” by Susi Dennison and Josef Janning, explores the limitations of Europe’s collective response to the refugee crisis and finds that high-profile political divisions between Europe’s member states have provided cover for governments to shirk implementation of efforts to manage the refugee flow.

28 Apr 2016 description

By Sebastian Dullien

“Paying the price: The cost of Europe's refugee crisis” by Sebastian Dullien explores the economics behind the refugee crisis and makes the case for a more formal European Refugee Union to coordinate the EU’s response, including the burden-sharing by task as proposed by Dennison and Janning above.

15 Dec 2014 description

Richard Gowan and Nick Witney

Europe should expect ever-increasing pressure from refugees on its southern borders unless it is prepared to bear the cost and risk of military operations to control conflict in Europe’s southern neighbourhood, according to this policy paper. It says while the growing refugee problem generated by conflicts in the Middle East and Africa calls for a more interventionist response from the EU, Europeans have preferred to leave the job to others, notably the UN.

06 Nov 2014 description

By Adam Baron

For years now, Dr. Mohammed Abdulmalek al-Mutawakil, the secretary-general of Yemen’s opposition Union of Popular Forces party, has epitomised for many Yemenis the values of the modern civil state of which they dream. It was not simply that he crafted in his image a generation of Yemenis – both his students and his children – and thereby fathered a new generation of Yemeni scholars. Rather, it was his consistent position as a champion of reason and moderation, a rare voice of sense in a storm of chaos and corruption.

19 May 2014 description

Europe could do more to protect its interests in Libya. Three years after the revolution, the transition is lagging behind with deadlines for key steps including elections, a new constitution and national dialogue looming and unlikely to be met.

07 Apr 2014 description

Jihad Yazigi


Three years into a conflict that is estimated to have killed at least 140,000 people from both sides, much of the Syrian economy lies in ruins.

17 Jan 2014 description


It was bound to happen, this uprising within an uprising against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a transnational ultraconservative Islamist group that ostensibly fights alongside Syria’s disparate rebel groups but more often intimidates, antagonises, or opposes most of them, including other conservative Islamists.

17 Jan 2014 description


28 Aug 2013 description


29 Jul 2013 description

Two years after the beginning of an uprising against President Bashar-al-Assad, Syria is gripped by an ever deepening civil war that is having a significant impact on the entire region. Regional states have emerged as driving forces in the conflict, while they are also battling to contain the impact of tensions rapidly spilling out across the wider region.

20 Jun 2013 description

By Hassan Hassan

This essay forms part of ECFR's "Syria: Views from the Region" project, exploring the regional responses and ramifications of the Syrian uprising and civil war. The project will include eight essays documenting the dynamics driving the key regional states and actors most affected by the conflict.

20 Jun 2013 description

*Julien Barnes-Dacey and Daniel Levy *


After more than two years of devastating destruction, a rare moment of opportunity has emerged in Syria following the US-Russian agreement to launch Geneva II.

10 Sep 2012 description

Julien Barnes-Dacey


After more than a year of conflict in Syria, Lebanon is now also vulnerable. The Syrian civil war is amplifying Lebanese political divisions, fuelling militancy and pushing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stir up regional instability.