An Arab Springboard for EU Foreign Policy?
Egmont Working Paper No. 54
97 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2012
Date Written: January 31, 2012
The EU has not been perceived as reacting very rapidly or effectively to the so-called Arab Spring. Events do appear to validate the idea underpinning the European Security Strategy (ESS) and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP): only where governments guarantee to their citizens security, prosperity, freedom and equality, can peace and stability last – otherwise, people will revolt. But in practice, in its southern neighborhood the EU has acted in precisely the opposite manner, so the Arab Spring is occurring in spite of rather than thanks to EU policy. The ENP stands at a crossroads therefore: Can a new start be made? Which instruments and, in times of austerity, which means can the EU apply to consolidate democratization? And, finally, can the EU continue to wage an ENP without addressing the hard security dimension, especially as the US seem to be withdrawing from crisis management in the region – or shall it continue to leave that to others?
Keywords: Arab Spring, EU, EU foreign policy, European Neighbourhood Policy, ENP, European Security Strategy, ESS, security, crisis management, democratization
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