Rethinking the EU’s approach Towards its Southern Neighbours

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Publication Date 10/07/2020
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The EU’s stated objective is to promote prosperity, stability and security in neighbouring countries in the Middle East and North Africa. But in practice, it has had little success on all three counts. The EU’s southern neighbours remain stuck in a middle-income trap, and many are more unstable than they were ten years ago. The EU should make the countries in its southern neighbourhood a more ambitious offer: deeper market access, more opportunities for their citizens to work in Europe and more financial and technical assistance. The EU should also develop an associate membership model for democratic countries in the region that would be eligible for membership were it not for their geographic location. At the same time, the Union should target its financial assistance more strategically, pushing countries to respect human rights and align with its foreign policy goals, and reducing support if they refuse.

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Bruegel Policy Contribution, No.22/2018: Assessing the European Union’s North Africa trade agreements
Bruegel Policy Report, Feb. 2019: Towards EU-MENA shared prosperity

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