September 15, 2011

Where have all the flowers gone? Europe's strategic puzzle in the Mediterranean

15 September 2011

In this commentary on the ‘Arab Spring’ Josef Janning says that as they hone their strategies to push forward transformation in the countries of North Africa, the EU and its members must take a case-by case approach to each country. He describes the different forms the call for democracy has taken in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya and says that European assistance policy should focus on building governments based on existing values and traditions and legal norms and systems. Given the turmoil these countries have experienced over the last six months the immediate need is to support economic recovery, even if progress towards democracy remains weak. As a general rule European assistance strategies should focus on social and economic matters, with additional ‘democracy funds’, linked to progress in this area.

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