Algeria forms part of the broader MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) and is one of the European Union’s immediate neighbours. Since the start of the Arab Spring, the region has been characterised by huge political instability and terror threats. It is of strategic importance for the European Union and therefore also for Flanders that the MENA region, with its young population, has the ability to develop itself economically and that a democratic state based on the rule of law takes root. Flanders is active in the region in the areas of trade, ports and human rights.