The Middle East after Coronavirus
NDCF-EGIC Joint Webinar – April 21, 2020, Zoom Platform



  • Lina Aburous, Managing Director, Strategy, Euraffex
  • Ahmed Elbaz, Director, Early Warning Centre, UAE
  • Oded Eran, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for National Security Studies
  • Umberto Profazio, Maghreb Analyst, NATO Defense College Foundation

Moderator: Mitchell Belfer, President, Euro-Gulf Information Centre (EGIC)



Main points


  • The pandemic could lead to a de-globalised world. This was a debated issue because tendencies to have national solutions are evident, but links between supply chains are very strong. In the end it appears that globalisation in commerce and economy will continue, but the imposition of the Washington consensus will be increasingly challenged in the region. It could be watershed for global North and South in uniting against virus and neoliberalism.
  • EU has been weakened in its role by two problems: 1) the absence of political leadership; 2) the lack of consistency between values declared in the conditionalities attached to regional assistance and the values applied in the migrant issue (e.g. Libyan detention centres) and among EU Member States during the sanitary pandemic emergency.
  • The crisis could be a springboard for more collaboration among different sub-regions of the ME, but only under strong political impulsion. It will also favour violent non-state actors and militias, weakening states.
  • The crisis will have serious economic consequences: I) revenues drop in energy, tourism, migrants’ remittances, etc.; II) less FDI; III) improbable foreign acquisitions of local assets; IV) lower support from Gulf countries to Lebanon and Jordan; V) additional negative effects on Iran’s economy (reason why borders are open between South Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran, despite virus containment measures).
  • Concerning internal stability the evaluations were divided. In the Gulf area and Egypt it seems that there will be no further mass protests, not so in North Africa, especially regarding Algeria. All countries blocked public religious functions and this in time could cause unrest, if a normalisation comes too late. Despite the crisis being relatively easy (all essential infrastructures and food supply chains function), the consequences of it, in conjunction with the Arab Revolutions’ effects, will linger on the region.
  • The Libyan conflict continues unabated while China, Turkey and Russia are continuing to make inroads due to the US retreat and the EU paralysis.
  • The military experience and cooperation between Egypt, Jordan and Israel has been positive and could be a model to extend to other sectors.



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
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