Since the beginning of the Arab revolts, Europe’s use of development funding specifically to advance democratic reform has been closely scrutinized.
Spain should be at the forefront of comprehensive European policies backing reform in North Africa.
The West must not lose sight of the fact that many regimes are stirring up sectarianism while neglecting other cleavages, such as regional agendas, a lack of respect for human rights, corruption and poor economic conditions.
Political parties proved largely irrelevant to the popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Now, parties must regain people’s trust and translate revolutionary demands into concrete political agendas.
In case Assad does fall suddenly, the international community must stand prepared to deal with the consequences of the ensuing political vacuum.
The EU needs to think about what kind of longer-term pattern it seeks for its relations with the Middle East. This policy brief explores five future scenarios.