MENARA Project

The MENARA Project – The Middle East and North Africa Regional Architecture: Mapping geopolitical shifts, regional order and domestic transformations – has come to an end after three years of work.

The project has analysed geopolitical shifts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), polarisation at the domestic level, fragmentation and conflict at the regional level and embeddedness in global trends.

MENARA provides a bottom-up assessment of these dynamics and their projection into the future. Our findings are based on numerous fact-finding missions (including in countries such as Syria, Libya and Iraq), almost 300 face-to-face interviews, a Delphi survey with 71 experts, 3 focus groups (Brussels, Rabat and Beirut) and 2 stakeholders meetings (Istanbul and Rome).
Watch the Menara Project Results Video


The Middle East and the EU: New Realities, New Policies

On March 6th, MENARA and MEDRESET, both H2020 collaborative research projects, unveiled their findings during a public conference entitled “The Middle East and the EU: New Realities, New Policies”. The conference took place at Egmont Palace, in Brussels, and has included a key-note speech by Federica Mogherini , High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission.The conference aimed at fostering a debate among the Brussels-based experts and policy community on the present and the future of the Middle East and North Africa and in particular on the EU’s role towards this region.
Watch Federica Mogherini’s Key-Note Speech.


MENARA Infographics

MENARA has produced more than 20 maps and infographics on militarization, migration, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Qatar’s blockade, and Political Islam.Click here to watch the MENARA Infographics


R. Del Sarto, H. Malmvig, E. Soler i Lecha

The MENA region has entered a period in which the existing order is increasingly challenged while an alternative one is still to be framed. This report contends that the Middle East regional order since 2011 has changed in several ways. This is evidenced by the decline in US power and Russia’s comeback, the rise of sectarianism, the growing influence of non-state actors, the return of Arab state permeability, intensified rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the emergence of regional players such as Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the fluidity of alliances and shifting centres of gravity.


By E. Göll, S. Colombo, E. Soler i Lecha

Scenarios are imagined futures that can demonstrate how current actions may lead to dramatically different outcomes. As such they are useful tools to help guide strategy and shape the future. This report lays out scenarios for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with two time horizons: short term (2025) and long term (2050).


By S. Colombo, M. Otte, E. Soler i Lecha, N. Tocci

This report provides policy recommendations to European Union policy makers with regard to the EU’s engagement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It draws on the inputs and insights gathered during three years of research conducted by the MENARA Project. It argues that designing a new flexible roadmap to advance mutual engagement and cooperation between the EU and the MENA is a key priority and an opportunity that should not be missed.


By Katerina Dalacoura

This report offers a “map” of the diverse situations of women in the post-2011 MENA region. It shows that there have been tremendous achievements and improvements in the lives of women in health and education but less progress in employment; and that legal inequalities remain widespread, as do limitations on women’s participation in politics and civil society.


MENARA Booklets

The MENARA Booklets are a series of publications, created under the MENARA Project framework, which provide insights on the Middle East and North Africa regional order. These Booklets translate solid scholarly research into helpful insights for practitioners, including humanitarian agencies; development agencies and NGOs; the private sector; and academia. In each of the four Booklets you will find a compendium of articles and extracts covering the most pressing issues for your field of expertise.
Read the MENARA Booklets



By László Csicsmann

Following the United States’ decision to withdraw from the JCPOA in May 2018, the Iran dossier has come back at the forefront of contemporary world politics. New rounds of sanctions imposed on Iran are likely to have a significant impact on the political and economic sustainability of the Islamic Republic, which has recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.



During the past three years, the project has produced 23 MENARA Voices that are a series of interviews and comments on specific issues with outstanding experts and stakeholders.