A Europe united by its ethical
foundations, within its borders
and beyond

Sine Qua Non aspires to analyse the contemporary political reality in areas of concern for European
foreign policy and to scrutinize its actions with regards to the EU’s proclaimed principles. In doing so,
it aims to identify its shortcomings and discrepancies, and present alternative modes of action
Sine Qua Non’s research targets policy makers, decision makers in the public and in the private sector,
opinion leaders in media and civil society, as well as academic circles.
Sine Qua Non believes that a coherent European foreign policy, i.e. one that holds a test against
the EU’s ethical foundations both in form and effect, is a sine qua non condition for a viable European Union


Europe as a Rights Culture
A Coherent Foreign Policy as an Instrument for Internal Stability
The Justiciability of European Values in the EU’s External Action
The Multi-Layered Connection Between the MENA Region and Europe

Sine Qua Non aims to foster the notion of Europe as a highly developed rights culture. This culture emerges from the Union’s development around the core principle of a universal humanism respectful of diversity, which was translated into the gradual construction of its legal order. Thus, the process of European integration saw the Union’s recognition of universal human rights as essential in providing moral guidance for its structural deepening.

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The European Union is currently facing a political crisis that is threatening its internal stability. This is exemplified by increasing levels of Euroscepticism across its Member States. This crisis is inter alia a result of the lack of identification of European citizens with EU institutions, and thus an issue pertaining to the construction of the EU’s identity at large.

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The notion of “human rights culture” the Union is said to foster is to be explored through the analysis of the emergence, definition and enforcement of those Human Rights that are fundamental for the Union’s legal order. A special focus should be given to the question of effectiveness as applied to the protection and promotion of human rights objectives in foreign policy,particularly through the notions of justiciability and review.

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Recent political discourse in the majority of the EU member states has increasingly developed into a direction supposing a radical discontinuity between the European continent, and the MENA region. The development relies on an interplay of cultural, political, and historical assumptions that are in many ways essentialist in nature. But Europe and the MENA region support a multi-layered connection that should not be overlooked.
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of the facts on the ground



of European external action by:

Identifying incoherencies vis-à-vis
European principles

Assessing the effectiveness of European
policies on the ground



for reorientation of European external action


Respect for human dignity

Sine Qua Non rejects any form of discrimination and uphold the fundamental freedoms of the individual. SQN
champions tolerance without concession, condescension, or complacency.


Sine Qua Non is a completely independent think tank which defends transparency at all costs.

Freedom of conscience

Sine Qua Non upholds the right of everyone to express any opinion, in a spirit of constructive debate.

Freedom of information

Sine Qua Non is committed to disseminate accurate, verified and verifiable information away from any material, moral or intellectual corruption.

European rights culture

Sine Qua Non adheres and promotes the European rights culture developed around the core principle of a universal humanism respectful of diversity, which was translated into the gradual construction of the Union’s legal order.


SQN 1:

Rethinking EU Foreign Policy
in Israel and
Occupied Palestinian Territory

Recent shifts on the political trajectory and the facts on the ground also changed the political status quo in Israel and in the oPt. This alienated EU policies from the new reality on the ground, as they are based on a situational logic that is no longer prevalent. Sine Qua Non has decided to address the resulting incoherence in its first case study, SQN 1.

SQN 2:

EU Action in Jordan
and Challenging International

Jordan’s image oscillates between that of a rentier state dependent on international aid, and that of an “island of peace and stability” in the process of democratization in a region afflicted by several armed conflicts. This research project goes beyond both assumptions, analyzing the functioning of the Jordanian state by focusing on the local actions of one of its main partners, the European Union (EU).


Advocating for a coherent
European foreign policy in
the MENA region

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