On November 8 and 9, the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and the Transatlantic Relations Program hosted a workshop to identify and examine the key components of an effective and cohesive US and European approach to the transitions taking place in the Arab World.

Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya face a number of challenges and obstacles as they embark on transitions towards democracy. The United States and Europe are in a position to take advantage of a unique opportunity to facilitate progress towards a sustainable, prosperous, and democratic future in each of these countries. To do so, however, requires a clear set of objectives that addresses the needs of each country and a plan to fulfill those objectives. As such, the workshop, which was co-organized with the European Commission’s Bureau of Policy Advisers and the Polish Institute for International Affairs, discussed key issues related to economic growth, political institution-building, civil society support, and security sector reform. From the workshop, specific recommendations will be developed as a US-EU plan of action, to be published in advance of the US-EU summit on November 28, 2011. The 35 participants included senior-level US and European diplomats – EU Special Representative Bernardino Leon, Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida, and Ambassador William B. Taylor among others – as well as leading writers and academics from Europe, the United States, Egypt, Syria, and Libya.

Select List of Participants
H.E. Srđjan Darmanović, Ambassador of Montenegro to the US
H.E. Jorge Dezcallar, Ambassador of Spain to the US
Adam Kulach, Plenipotentiary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for North Africa, Poland
Bernardino León, EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Region
The Hon. William B. Taylor, US Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions
H.E. João Vale de Almeida, Head of the EU Delegation to the US

Photo: Ambassador Bernardino Leon, EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Region with Ambassador William B. Taylor, Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions, US Department of State.