The EU-Iraq Cooperation Council will meet today to discuss migration, economic reforms and regional security. The meeting will also track
The EU-Iraq Cooperation Council will meet today to discuss migration, economic reforms and regional security. The meeting will also track the political progress made since Iraq’s snap election last October 10.
Both parties will have to address the ongoing instability in Iraq. The country faces turmoil as Muqtaqa al-Sadr, the leader of parliament’s majority bloc, struggled to form a majority government following the election. A series of recent anonymous attacks on politicians is also foreshadowing greater violence if al-Sadr continues to push for abolishing the sectarian-based muhasasa system in favor of a Shia-Sunni-Kurdish cooperative majority government.
The EU has not historically prioritized Iraq in its foreign policy in the Middle East. An EU strategy for Iraq, calling for collaborative peacebuilding, only emerged in 2018 after the fall of ISIS. As Iraq faces a crossroads between democracy and possible civil war, the EU will have to decide the depth of its commitment to strengthening Iraqi institutions. Despite an impetus to ensure stability in the region to mitigate an additional outflux of refugees, it is not likely that Brussels will take the current opportunity to increase its commitment to Baghdad due to the more geographically significant tension in Ukraine with Russia.