Europe and the Arab Revolutions: A New Vision for Democracy and Human Rights
Susi Dennison & Anthony Dworkin, ECFR | March 2012
The Arab revolutions present the EU with a distinct challenge: still embarrassed by their support for the stability offered by the former authoritarian leaders, it now aims at supporting the fledgling democracies and human rights in the region. This is especially complex as the protesters across the southern Mediterranean do not see Europe as a political model and democracy. Whilst they share some of the EU's values, popular representation in the region may conflict with traditional liberal values and is likely to produce some results which Europeans are not comfortable with.
Susi Dennison and Anthony Dworkin lay out the dilemmas presented by the Arab revolutions. They argue that Europe should concentrate on helping create the building blocks of accountable states while encouraging the background conditions of social, economic and cultural factors that create sustainable political openness.
In particular: In Libya, Tunisia and Egypt the EU must push for the political and institutional foundations of an accountable state. It must build relationships with all political groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic parties.
Where overt repression continues, as in Syria, the EU must make a stand while looking for ways to end the violence and move towards legitimate government, working with other neighbourhood states.
The EU's relations with recalcitrant regimes must be businesslike, for instance by voicing concerns over lack of reform when dealing with Algeria over energy.
Read the full paper at the European Council of Foreign Relations.