reputation in the neighborhood is ar rom stellar, wouldbe less subject o criticism. urkey, instead, could ocus itsdiplomatic interventions on more specic political topics,particularly those on which its own experience coners toit greater legitimacy. A notable example is Prime MinisterRecep ayyip Erdoğan’s praise or secularism during his visit to Cairo in the all o 2011. While subject to criticism,the Egyptian reaction would have been ar more virulenthad an EU ofcial uttered the same words. Te act that aleader broadly viewed as Islamist at home was calling outor secularism conerred to Erdoğan a degree o legitimacy EU ofcials would be hard pressed to obtain. Following thesame line o reasoning, one could imagine retired urkishmilitary ofcials advocating the democratic oversight o the armed orces in the neighborhood, or urkish businesspersons calling or export promotion policies. A variety o urkish actors could thus send diplomatic messages toneighboring countries which, while coordinated with theEU, would somewhat dier rom those o EU actors andmay be better received because o the “incompleteness” o urkey’s ongoing democratization process.Second, we could imagine joint EU-urkey action on tech-nical assistance. In this respect, the relevance o EU aiexand winning programs comes to mind, whereby the EUengages in exchanges and training to support the buildingo capacity in the neighborhood. urkey could be broughtinto these programs, bringing to bear its own experience ina number o areas where it has undertaken reorm. One isthe banking sector, where pre-2001 urkey, unlike the EUand like the neighborhood, was bedevilled by problems o clientelism, and has since then engaged in a radical overhaulo the sector by establishing eective regulatory mecha-nisms. Another example is that o urban planning andhousing, critical areas in Egypt, unisia, and Algeria. Unlikethe EU, urkey, having experienced a similar urbanizationprocess and youth bulge to the southern Mediterraneancountries and having overcome related housing problemsthrough the work o the Mass Housing Authority, couldshare its expertise. A nal example is that o small andmedium enterprise promotion, necessary in the Middle Eastand North Arica region where undoing state capture o theeconomy and promoting an independent private sector arearduous tasks ahead. Here, the experience o the urkishchamber o commerce — OBB — could be useully inte-grated in EU programs. OBB, in act, was instrumental inestablishing the Levant Business Forum, which representsbusiness organizations rom urkey, Syria, Lebanon, andJordan. Moreover, by bringing in non-EU member urkey,EU winning and aiex programs could downplay theirocus on the export o the acquis communautaire. Aquispromotion is one o the EU’s main proessional biases.While reasonable in the eastern neighborhood, where theaspiration o EU membership exists, approximation withthe acquis is highly problematic in the southern Mediterra-nean. By including urkey into its programs, the EU’s may be nudged to move away rom merely exporting the acquisand towards responding more eectively to the governanceneeds o its neighbors.Finally, urkey and the EU could together develop an eec-tive multilateral response to the neighborhood. Tere are anumber o key policy questions, ranging rom inrastruc-ture and communications to non-prolieration, combatingorganized crime, and maritime security, which continue towarrant multilateral solutions. However, existing EU multi-lateral initiatives are badly wanting. Te increased degreeo heterogeneity o the region suggests that a workingmultilateral ramework should probably not be as rigid andinstitutionalized as the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership,and, more so, the Union or the Mediterranean. Rigidity and institutionalization have been a recipe or deadlock in Mediterranean multilateralism and are likely to be evenmore so in uture. A pragmatic, ad hoc, and probably moresub-regional approach (e.g., building on existing sub-regional groupings such as the 5 + 5, the Western Mediter-ranean and the Arab League) would seem more appropriatewhen dealing with regional problems in a post-Arab SpringMediterranean. Notwithstanding the need or a new multi-lateral initiative, the impulse is not coming rom the EU’susual suspects — France, Italy, and Spain. urkey, or its
Rigidity and institutionalizationhave been a recipe for deadlockin Mediterranean multilateralismand are likely to be even more soin future.