The Arab Uprisings and the European Union: In Search of a Comprehensive Strategy

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Series Details Vol.32, No.1, 1 January 2013, p230–265
Publication Date 20/08/2013
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This article critically reviews the European Union’s (EU) response to the Arab uprisings, with a focus on EU policies toward Arab countries in transition (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria).

The article starts with a broad overview of the EU’s strategy vis-à-vis the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) over the past two decades and its strategy reformulation in the wake of the 2011 uprisings. Subsequently, the article examines the policy instruments which the EU currently has at its disposal to address the challenges posed by the Arab uprisings, in particular those with regard to security, economics, social issues, politics, and legislation.

The article also reviews the EU’s structural efforts to engage with MENA countries bilaterally, to cooperate with the United Nations (UN) and regional organizations, and to engage with non-state actors. A number of policy suggestions are made in order to enable the EU to address in a more comprehensive manner the rapid changes in the Arab world.

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