Arab Geopolitics 2020 – Working Meeting
Rome, November 12, 2020


 

Organised by the NATO Defense College Foundation, in co-operation with the NATO Political Affairs and Security Policy Division and the Euro-Gulf Information Centre.


 

TOPICS OF DISCUSSION

 

The working meeting is essentially a discussion mechanism that aims at examining, on the backdrop of a political and strategic situation further detailed, four relevant subjects among practitioners at the international level:

  1. The present role and potential improvements of NATO partnerships in the area (MD and ICI);
  2. Security interests in the area spanning from Mauritania to the Gulf;
  3. The possible role of major Allies\ EU members in shaping adapted security policies in the Southern Region, also vis-à-vis the renewed Russian presence in the Mediterranean;
  4. Possible short-medium term future scenarios requiring a NATO and EU response.

Over the last months, the MENA region has been shaken by major events that pose a challenge to the entire area and have the potential to redefine the geopolitical order.

At the beginning of this year, the Coronavirus pandemic further exacerbated social, economic and political conditions in the area. Civil protests, ongoing in Algeria, Iraq and Lebanon, asking for the renovation of the political élite and sustainable economic changes, were forced to an end.

Gulf countries accumulated unquantifiable debts and were obliged to cut their public spending due to the lack of revenue from low oil demand and low prices. It represents another risk for the destabilisation of the region but, at the same time, an opportunity to reflect on the diversification of energy resources, involving the entire Euro-Mediterranean area, as a key element towards the achievement of regional reconstruction and sustainable development.

This persistent uncertainty has been increased by the vacuum left by the United States that encouraged other major external actors to influence the region prioritising perceived national interests rather than international stability. Recently, the Abraham Accords, expected to normalise diplomatic relations between Israel and some of the Gulf country, still have to be measured against concrete development, leaving open some questions on the emerging geopolitical developments vis-à-vis an isolated Iran.

The evolving role of the Alliance as well as the European Union has to be rethought and analysed in this volatile and fragmented context.


 

MODERATOR: 

  • Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, President, NATO Defense College Foundation, Rome

PANELLISTS:

  • Francesca Astorri, Policy and media advisor, Embassy of the State of Qatar, Rome
  • Chloe Berger, Faculty Adviser and Researcher, NATO Defense College, Rome
  • Vincenzo Camporini, Scientific Advisor, International Affairs Institute, Rome
  • Marco Carnelos, President, MC Geopolicy srl, Rome
  • Andrea Cellino, Head, North Africa Desk, Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of the Armed Forces, Geneva (Virtual)
  • Alessandra Ermellino, Member, Chamber of Deputies, Rome
  • Fabio Nicolucci, Press Public Information Officer, MFA expert for the European External Action Service, EuCAP Mali Mission, Bamako
  • Gaja Pellegrini Bettoli, Independent journalist, Rome
  • Alessandro Politi, Director, NATO Defense College Foundation, Rome
  • Umberto Profazio, Maghreb Analyst, NATO Defense College Foundation, Rome (Virtual)
  • Leone Radiconcini, Independent Analyst, Middle East, Rome
  • Matthew Robinson, Managing Director, Euro-Gulf Information Centre, Rome
  • Giovanni Romani, Head, Middle East and North Africa Section, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, NATO HQ, Brussels (Virtual)
  • Marcello Scalisi, Director, Mediterranean Universities Union, Rome
  • Stefano Silvestri, Vice President, NATO Defense College Foundation, Rome
  • Elisabetta Trenta, former Italian Ministry of Defense

 


 

POLICY BACKGROUND PAPER


 

FINAL REPORT


 

PAST ACTIVITIES

 

Balkan Perspectives 2020.
The Fight for a Timely Inclusion
Rome – September 28, 2020

Arab Geopolitics 2020.
The Middle East: What kind of future?

Rome – July 27, 2020

Geopolitcs, Peace & COVID-19 (Joint Webinar)
Zoom – June 18, 2020

Mediterraneo Orientale: un bacino di crisi
(Webinar congiunto – ITA)

Zoom – 17 Giugno, 2020 

Space Strategies 2020. The critical dimension of space: new threats, new technologies
(Joint Webinar)
Zoom – 5 June, 2020

Talk About Crude. Fluctuating Oil and COVID-19 (Joint Webinar)
Zoom – 3 June, 2020

The Middle East after Coronavirus
(Joint Webinar)

Zoom  – 21 April, 2020

Confronting Criminal/Terrorist Threats. The reshaping of non-state actors
Rome – 9 December, 2019

Arab Geopolitics after the Caliphate.
How to exit the fragmentation trap

Rome – 9 October, 2019

Book Presentation “Shaping Security Horizons. Strategic Trends (2012-2019)”
Rome – 15 July, 2019

NATO at 70: Refocusing for Change?
Washington D.C. – 27 June, 2019

Balkan Perspectives – Adapting the partnership and integration paths
Rome – 16 May, 2019

Targeting the de-materialised “Caliphate”. Extremism, radicalisation and illegal trafficking
Rome – 6 December, 2018

Book presentation “I Balcani occidentali al bivio. La NATO, KFOR e il ruolo dell’Italia”
Rome – 17 October, 2018

Afghanistan and Central Asia: Looming priorities and regional un-balances
Rome – 4 October 2018

NATO versus the new global threats
Rome – 15 June 2018

Africa in Action: Tailoring security to real needs and threats
Rome – 8-9 May 2018

Book presentation “PEACEMAKERS. American Leadership and the End of Genocide in the Balkans”
Rome – 12 March 2018

The Western Balkans at a Crossroads 
Rome – 6-7 December 2017

Arab Geopolitics from Turmoil – Balances, Stability and Regional Order
Rome – 5-6 October 2017

Is NATO indispensable?
The Brussels Summit
Rome – 18 May 2017

Balkan Networks and Stability
Rome – 6-7 April 2017

Book Presentation
EMERGENZA LIBIA
Rome – 7 December 2016

Deep Maghreb: (in)security and stability – North Africa and its Sahel dimension
Rome – 30 November 2016

CBRN Risks in Maritime and Land Containers Transport
Rome – 25-27 May 2016

NATO in a world of disorder
Rome – 25 May 2016

Arab Geopolitics in Turmoil
Rome – 25-26 February 2016

Eurasia and armed radicalism
Berlin – 27 January 2016

NATO Summit 2016 Advisory Panel meeting
Rome – 25 September 2015

The shaping of Eastern Europe
Rome – 18-19 May 2015

The futures of integration
Rome – 7-8 October 2014

Game changers
Rome – 13-14 February 2014

Afghanistan to 2014 and beyond
Rome – 7-8 February 2013

NATO and the Arab Spring
Rome – 17-18 November 2011