Taking advantage of U.S. and EU hesitation, geopolitical competitors have been filling political and security voids in the Middle East. Europeans need to become quicker in anticipating and acting on power vacuums to avoid being outpaced by global and regional disruptors such as China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Turkey.
Since the last Report sent to the President Council last November 2016, the situation in the Middle East and North Africa is not showing any signs of improvement. It continues to deteriorate and at the same time is in a permanent flux. The roots of this instability can be found first, in a broader participation of some
external actors to this region and second, to the decrease of activities from countries of the region, mainly due to the worsening of their economic situation as an outcome of lower oil prices added to the realisation that the rebel groups they are helping to fight in
Syria are leaning towards the Al Qaeda ideology and praxis.