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The EU in the Middle East and North Africa: helpless bystander rather than effective democracy promoter or stabilizing force


Asseburg, Muriel

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Corporate Editor Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik -SWP- Deutsches Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit
Abstract In 2011, European politicians, diplomats, media, and publics enthusiastically embraced the so-called Arab Spring. The EU pledged to generously support trans-formation processes initiated in the region with a “3 M” approach, which would combine monetary support, market access, and increased mobility, as well as through a reinvigorated European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). Yet, Europeans have not lived up to these promises. Against the backdrop of the Middle East and North Africa descending into ever greater levels of chaos and violence, the EU and its member states have been largely reduced to being bystanders, dealing with the symptoms of crises rather than impacting – let alone shaping – the path of developments. Yet, in view of an increasingly reluctant US government to provide regional stability, Europe has no choice but to address instability in its southern neighborhood. To be more effective actors, Europeans should revisit their priorities, underlying assumptions, policy frameworks, and instruments. (Autorenreferat)
Keywords EU; Middle East; North Africa; transformation; neughborhood policy; EU policy; foreign policy; Arab countries; political reform; domestic policy; political conflict; political stability
Classification European Politics; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
City Berlin
Page/Pages 4 p.
Series SWP Comments, 50/2014
ISSN 1861-1761
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications