VoxBox Session on the Mena Region and its Economic Relations With Europe:
How to Navigate Between Human Rights, Security and Economic Interests

By SME Europe

On Thursday, November 17th, 2022, SME Europe organized a VoxBox Session on the Mena Region and its Economic Relations With Europe to discuss “How to Navigate Between Human Rights, Security and Economic Interests” in the European Parliament, moderated by Tudor Petru Fabian, Advisor International Trade and Security, SME Europe of the EPP.

Opening the debate, Ivan Stefanec MEP, Member of the IMCO, ITRE, AIDA Committees and  President of SME Europe of the EPP, remarked the important of remaining true to Europe’s values and principles, but at the same time the importance of retaining global competitiveness.

Sketching the current political climate of the MENA region, Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, mentioned the Abraham accords as a precedent to “bring people and religions together” against radicalization.

Dr Helmut Pisecky, CEO of Mar Adentro and Former Security Analystat the Austrian MoD / Consultant for international affairs and security issues, stressed how economics, security and morality are strongly interlinked. A strong example of this is the current protests in Iran.

Saïda Keller-Messahli, Human Rights Activist, continued the conversation warning against the instrumentalization of religion, a big issue in the region. She also encouraged support to the liberal forces in Iran who are fighting for freedom and democracy, which are our very own European values.