The European Union and Yemen

Authored by: Vincent Durac

Routledge Handbook of EU–Middle East Relations

Print publication date:  December  2021
Online publication date:  December  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367330767
eBook ISBN: 9780429317873
Adobe ISBN:


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Yemen is one of the most volatile countries in the Middle East not least as the site of a conflict which has claimed thousands of lives and caused humanitarian catastrophe. Despite this, the country has always occupied a marginal place in the foreign policy of the European Union (EU). This chapter will provide an overview of EU–Yemeni relations since the formation of the modern Republic of Yemen in 1990 with a focus on policies of the Union in the areas of development and political reform as set out in the Country Strategy Paper. It will then examine the role played by the EU in response to the 2011 uprising and in the transitional period that followed, in particular in relation to the National Dialogue Conference. Finally, the chapter will examine the response of the EU to the conflict that has devastated the country since 2015 and, especially, European efforts to mediate between the warring parties. The chapter will examine the extent to which the efforts of the EU have been undermined by the sometimes divergent interests of individual Member States in the region more broadly. It will conclude with a reflection on the possible future course of EU–Yemeni relations.

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