29 Jul 2011

The Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy: How to Make it Work for the Arab Mediterranean?

Rym Ayadi / Salim Gadi


The uprisings in the Arab Mediterranean have urged the international community and chiefly the EU to revise its policies towards the region. While the EU has proven to be a committed and reliable donor, its cooperation policies have done little in enhancing socioeconomic development prospects in the Southern Mediterranean. The new policies put forward by the European Commission in May 2011 as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy review aim at addressing the changing situation in the Arab Mediterranean. While many of the initiatives brought forward in the European Commission's Communication A New Response to a Changing Neighbourhood can potentially bring benefits for Southern Neighbours, most of them remain too shy, short-term and lack a strategic vision of the EU's future role in the region. After describing the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy review, this paper reviews the Commission's proposals to support free trade and democratisation outlined in its May 2011 Communication and provides recommendations to dynamise the EU's actions in these areas.

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