The Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries was set up in the wake of the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979. Between 1994 and 2004, the Delegation was also responsible for relations with the Gulf States. Since the 2004 elections, the Delegation’s remit has been limited to the four countries in the Mashreq region:
Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria
The so-called Arab-spring developments and the following political transition processes in the region countries since the beginning of 2011 have been the main focus areas of the Mashreq Delegation. In this period, Delegation has especially concentrated on the following topics with the representatives from the countries in the region and relevant experts on the region: Effects of the Arab revolutionary movements in the region countries, the war in Syria and the efforts of international community to solve the problem, the destabilising effect of the Syria war in the region, particularly in Lebanon; humanitarian crisis of the internally displaced people and religious minorities in Syria and refugees in the neighbouring countries, problems posed by the huge refugee influx in the neighbouring countries; the tumultuous political transition process and harsh crack down on political opposition in Egypt; the political reform process in Jordan; the EU's response to the developments in the region and the assessment of the new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) renewed in the light of the developments in the region.