EU and Its Southern Neighbours: New Challenges for the European Neighbourhood Policy

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Series Details May 2011
Publication Date May 2011
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The violent, unprecedented socio-political changes in North Africa and the Middle East—the stepping down of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, the anti-Qaddafi insurgency in Libya and people rallying for change in the other Arab states—prompt a revision of the EU’s approach to its southern neighbours. The present situation offers significant opportunities in this regard, even if the Arab transformations give rise to justified concerns about their further development and regional consequences.

In the EU and its member states a debate is underway on the future of the EU’s policy towards the southern neighbours. The debate coincides with an across-the-board review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, the findings of which will be unveiled very soon by High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. This report is an attempt at an answer to the political and financial dilemmas of the EU’s policy towards the southern neighbours. It puts forward recommendations on ways to support states in the region in their process of democratic transition, drawing also on the transition experiences of some member states. It also points to actions to be taken by the EU and its member states to maintain a balance between the southern and eastern dimensions of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

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