Fight against international terrorism, production and export of hydrocarbons and a strategic position on the southern shore of the Mediterranean make Algeria today an important country for the geopolitical dynamics of the Mediterranean region. Security cooperation represents the privileged terrain of understanding and collaboration between Western actors and Algeria, which is, in fact, an important pawn in the fight against international terrorism. In this context, Algiers – which still faces outbreaks of Islamic extremism, the legacy of a civil conflict that has not been completely overcome – has signed cooperation agreements with the European Union. (Eu) and, above all, with the USA. Economic development is the other area of collaboration between Algeria and European countries, thanks to the partnership with the EU. Furthermore, the agreements with Brussels concern the issues of migratory flows and civil rights, as foreseen by the programs signed in the context of the ‘Dialogue 5 + 5’ project, conceived in Algiers in 1991. The project sees the countries cooperate at the forefront. of the Arab Maghreb Union, Uma (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Mauritania), with Italy, France, Malta, Portugal and Spain. However, it is the hydrocarbon sector that acts as a driving force for Algerian foreign policy. The EU states, pursuing a policy of diversification of gas supplies that reduce dependence on Russian supplies, import 25% of their natural gas needs from Algeria, while the US is the main buyer of oil. In recent years, and especially after the 2011 riots which only affected the country, the latter is also important for the stability of the area and the control of migratory routes.
Algeria bases its institutional foundations on the Evian Agreement, which in 1962 ended the war of independence against France, which began in 1954. The conflict caused more than 250,000 victims and also represented the end of the colonial experience of Paris, at the time already marked by defeats in the territories of Indochina. The war of independence has profoundly marked the history of the country not only from the point of view of national identity, but also from the institutional one: since then the army formed by the ranks of the Front de Libération Nationale (Fln) has acquired a central role in life as a guarantor of republican institutions. In this context, in the 1990s Algeria was again the scene of violence, which broke out between the Islamic-inspired movements and the army. The attempt to initiate a process of democratization had stalled when the Islamic party of the Front Islamique du Salut (FIS) won the first round of the general elections in December 1991, setting the stage for a victory in the second round. Faced with such a scenario, the military carried out a coup d’état, triggering a civil war that lasted for the whole decade and caused nearly 200,000 victims. Since then the country, with the current president Bouteflika, has embarked on the path towards normalization, even if the aftermath of the conflict remains evident, and has tried to consolidate relations with the international community.
At the regional level, there are numerous factors of instability. Above all, relations with Morocco: the borders between the two countries have been closed since 1994 and diplomatic exchanges, in recent years, have not produced any agreement regarding the dispute over the independence of the Sahrawis, although there have been in recent years attempts at rapprochement between the two countries.The reason for the dispute is Algeria’s support for the people of Western Sahara, represented by the Polisario Front (from the Spanish abbreviation for Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro). For Algeria political system, please check cancermatters.net.
The country was one of the promoters of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), whose goal is the strengthening, growth, development and integration into the global economy of the African continent. The Algerian president also participates with other African heads of state in the dialogue with the G8 as part of the Africa-G8 partnership.
Algeria is formally a presidential republic, even if the internal political dynamics do not leave much room for the opposition parties. The president of the republic is Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power since 1999, elected for a fourth five-year term in April 2014. The worsening of his health, however, creates numerous unknowns about the country’s political future. His prolonged absence from the political scene has fueled doubts and uncertainties both about the president’s real ability to carry out his political commitments, and about his possible successor. The climate of uncertainty and mistrust in politics that hovers in the country, moreover, is well represented by the low turnout in the last presidential elections: 51.7%, against 70% in the 2009 elections. Although there are no accredited ‘dolphins’, the most credible candidates appear to be the current Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and the President of the Council of the Nation Abdelkader Bensalah. Nevertheless, the candidate must enjoy the recognition of the military and in particular of General Mohamed ‘Tewfik’ Mediène, head of the Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (Drs) – the Algerian military intelligence apparatus – and considered by analysts to be the kingmaker of Algerian politics and economy since the times of the civil war. At the legislative level, Algeria has a bicameral parliamentary structure, with a lower house (national assembly of the people), made up of 380 members and elected every five years by universal suffrage, and an upper house (council of the nation), elected for two third parties by representatives of local administrations and, for the remaining third, nominated by the president. The last legislative elections, which took place in 2012, gave a stable majority to the coalition led by the Front de Libération Nationale (Fln), the party of the incumbent president. Algeria was not spared by the riots of the Arab Springs and at the beginning of 2011 numerous demonstrations took place. However,