Europe in the World

An Arab Springboard for EU foreign policy?

31 January 2012
Rosa Balfour (Senior Adviser to EPC on Europe in the World) and Yves Pascouau (Senior Adviser to EPC on migration and mobility policies)

Egmont, EPC and CEPS publish an assessment of the EU’s reaction

The EU has not been perceived as reacting very rapidly or effectively to the so-called Arab Spring. Events do validate the underpinning idea of the European Security Strategy and the European Neighbourhood 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 neighbourhood 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 pursue its 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?

This Egmont Paper covers the key dimensions of the EU’s relations with its southern neighbourhood. Following a general assessment of the state of regimes in the region today, the paper addresses: political relations; a prospective Euro-Mediterranean economic area; natural resources; migration; the role of the military in the region; EU crisis management and the role of NATO; and, finally, the impact of the Arab Spring on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

An Arab Springboard for EU foreign policy? V2

In this programme


Programme Team

Head of Europe in the World programme and Senior Fellow

Giovanni Grevi

Researcher in EU energy and climate policy, Institute of European Studies, Free University of Brussels

Marco Giuli

Senior Policy Analysts

Paul Ivan
Amanda Paul

Junior Policy Analyst

Ivano di Carlo

Programme Assistant

Marco Zeiss