At a time when momentous changes are taking place in the Middle East, this volume provides a timely and critical assessment of the European Union (EU) foreign policy towards the region. The book collects revised and updated versions of the papers presented at the third Academic Forum on European Security, which took place at the Institute for European Studies (IHEE) in Strasbourg on March 30-31, 2010. The subtitle «the hour of the EU» was chosen to emphasize the moment of opportunity for the EU to actively influence a peaceful resolution of the major crises affecting the Middle East. Accordingly, contributions to this volume show the potential and the limits of the EU’s normative and soft-power-based diplomatic toolbox in trasforming its neighbourhood, focusing on four macro-areas: the Arab-Israeli conflict, the rise of Iran as a regional (and perhaps nuclear) power, the EU’s engagement in democracy promotion and EU-Turkey relations. Overall, this book aims at providing the reader willing to learn more about EU foreign policy’s achievements and weaknesses with a close-up on those four critical areas.