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euro-med lecture series

The Euro-Med public lecture series, supported by the EU, took place between 2018 and 2019 at the AUC Tahrir Square campus. It included the following presentations from notable think tank and academic experts:

1. Eduard Soler, Senior Researcher and scientific coordinator of the MENARA Project, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs
The first of the new Euro-Med lecture series, generously supported by the European Union, took place at the AUC Tahrir Square campus on Wednesday, February 28. The lecture entitled "What Does the EU Global Strategy Mean for the MENA Region?" was given by Dr. Eduard Soler, a researcher at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs. Presenting to a well-attended event, Dr. Soler spoke about the context in which the Global Strategy was developed, its chief points (especially with regard to principled pragmatism), and further issues within the EU and in its relations with the 'southern neighborhood'. The question and answer extended for a long period illustrating the interest and engagement of all of those who attended.

2. Marco Giuli, Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre, Brussels
The second Euro-Med lecture titled “The EU and Energy Security” was given by Marco Giuli from the European Policy Center in Brussels on Tuesday, April 10. His wide-ranging lecture encompassed an overview of the EU energy mix and supplies, threats and policy responses, as well as emerging global gas market trends and developments in the eastern Mediterranean. His comments illustrated the complexity of political decision making when taking into account factors such as variable pricing and contracts, new markets and gluts, fixed infrastructure, geopolitical considerations and risks, fracking in the United States and climate change objectives.

3. James Moran, Associate Senior Research Fellow, The Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels
    Steven Blockmans, Senior Research Fellow, The Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels

Ambassador James Moran, former Principal Advisor on the Middle East and North Africa to the EU's External Action Service in 2016/17 and Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt 2012 - 2016, along with Dr Steven Blockmans, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for European Policy Studies, talked about the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). They covered a range of internal and external issues including political economy, changes within the EU, cooperation and aid, and looked forward to the possibility that a Euro-Arab dialogue would take place soon.

4. Florence Gaub, Deputy Director, European Union Institute for Security Studies
On 24 April, Dr. Florence Gaub, Deputy Director of the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) and an expert on Libya, spoke about the EU and Libya. Her talk encompassed a background on bilateral relations as well as with EU member states such as Italy, Germany, France and the UK. She went on to discuss the NATO intervention and contemporary issues affecting the security and prosperity of Libya.

5. Martin Beck, Professor, Center for Contemporary Middle East Studies, The University of Southern Denmark in Odense
On Sunday 13 May, Professor Beck from the University of Southern Denmark gave a broad and detailed summary of EU involvement in addressing the Israel - Palestine conflict and issues therein. Speaking to a capacity crowd, he also outlined the various approaches that the EU could employ, from unilateral recognition similar to Sweden, to a greater emphasis on multilateralism. Although the EU was cited as being an important economic actor and one which has attempted to be an honest peace broker, its internal divisions, lack of leverage and autonomy in the international system were shown to be problematic.

6. Eckart Woertz, Senior Research Fellow, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB)
On September 18 Dr. Eckart Woertz from the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) gave a comprehensive presentation on issues related to food security in the Middle East. He cited food access (including supply chain management), economic and political decision making as being important aspects of food security. In the Q and A session, he underplayed the potential role of water in conflict saying that its very nature of being difficult to control made cooperation more likely. This was followed by a short presentation from the World Food Program in Egypt on its activities, emphasizing nutrition, particularly among very young children, as being a core component of its work.

7. Ian Black, Visiting Senior Fellow, Middle East Centre, The London School of Economics and Political Science
On October 23, 2018 Dr Ian Black, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Middle East Centre, London School of Economics, gave an insightful presentation on transatlantic tensions following President Trump's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Speaking to a mixed crowd of diplomats and students, he highlighted the timeline of events in getting to the JCPOA and the determination of the other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Iran to sustain and build on it as valuable diplomatic outcome.

8. Alexander Niedermeier, Visiting Professor, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University
On March 21, 2019, Dr Alexander Neidermeier, DAAD Visiting Professor at Cairo University gave a public lecture “Between Values and Security: Migration as Multi-Dimensional Challenge to the EU and MENA-States”. Dr Neidermeier highlighted the progression of EU capabilities and institutionaliation, EU member state contexts, relations, legal issues and impact in the MENA region. The event brought to a close a series of eight EU supported public lectures which MESC  has hosted at the AUC Tahrir Square campus.

Some comments from our public lecture series:

“Thank you for the comprehensive presentation on the [refugee] issue.”

“It’s an amazing lecture.”

“Thank you so much for this beautiful presentation. It’s really informative and it helped me a lot to know things that I didn’t know.”

“This was a really informative lecture.”