Publications

Why does the EU fear change in its neighbourhood?

27 January 2011
Rosa Balfour (Senior Adviser to EPC on Europe in the World)



Why does the EU dither to respond to events taking place amongst neighbouring countries, asks Rosa Balfour in this commentary? The Lisbon Treaty highlighted neighbours to the south and east as a priority, but when forces of change emerge in countries like Tunisia and Belarus the EU is lost. Is it because the member states have different views on the issues? If so, they need to confront one another more openly about whether the EU is serious about supporting democratic change and political rights or not. The Foreign Affairs’ Council on 31 January would be the place to begin.

Why does the EU fear change in its neighbourhood?