Sunday, March 22, 2009

The EU and the Middle East - LSE Events

On LSE Events the French Islam Scholar Jean-Pierre Filiu spoke on the question whether the EU cam make a difference in the Middle-East, particularly in the Israeli-Arab conflict.

A large part of the lecture is a rather tedious summary of what European nations (not necessarily the EU) have contributed and are contributing to the peace-process and and to all sorts of development programs in the region. It sounds like an apology for a large body (the EU) that hardly has any foreign policy, to make as much of what the eventually do. And it is almost unfair a scholar must go this road and not a diplomat or politician.

The fact is, as comes out by the end in the Q&A round: the Israelis distrust the Europeans and the Arabs view them as second rate Americans. And so, apart from the question whether the EU can make difference of its own accord, there is the issue whether the EU has enough credibility to be accepted as anything but a monetary power. Asking the question is giving the answer. The Filiu lecture is hardly worth listening to unless you really want to hear some details about what the EU is doing towards the region.

More LSE Events:
The British Mandate in Palestine,
Iran Today,
Science and Religion,
The crisis,
Desiring walls.

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