Opinions on the Mediterranean
hensive Free rade Agreements (DCFAs), Agreementson Conormity Assessment and Acceptance (ACAAs),and EU-promoted investor dialogues. It is precisely orthis reason, alongside the complex demands made by theEU to third countries in terms o acquis approximation,which makes it unlikely that many (i any) Arab Mediter-ranean countries will actually conclude DCFAs. Likewise,mobility partnerships, while a welcome step away romortress Europe’s approach to the South, provide meagerincentives in terms o legal immigration and do not estab-lish a sound link between migration and development.
Te EU’s rethink has essentially centered on the ENP.When it comes to other policy instruments, not much canbe recorded. As or the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the Union’s response was characteristically disap-pointing, marred by the typical divisions between memberstates. On Libya, bitter intra-EU division between Franceand the United Kingdom on one hand and Germany onthe other meant that all the EU could muster was EUFOR-Libya, a Common Security and Deence Policy missionto support humanitarian eorts that would be activatedonly i requested by the UN-Oce or the Coordination o Humanitarian Aairs, a condition that was most unlikely tomaterialize.Inaction has also characterized the multilateral level.Whereas the bulk o the EU’s transormative agenda canand should be tackled through the EU’s bilateral relationswith individual countries, there remain a number o key policy questions, ranging rom inrastructure to non-proli-eration, combating organized crime, and maritime secu-rity, that continue to warrant multilateral solutions. Also,democracy-related questions can be useully tackled multi-laterally, in orums such as those established in the EasternPartnership that contribute to setting regional norms andstandards.At the international multilateral level, the Union has setup a ask Force or the Southern Mediterranean, bringingtogether EU institutions, the EU Special Representativeor the Southern Mediterranean, as well as internationalnancial institutions (IFIs). Within the region, it has inten-sied dialogue with regional groupings such as the ArabLeague, the Arab Maghreb Union, and the Organizationo the Islamic Conerence. But these dialogues remain adhoc and do not envision a clear policy agenda. As or theUnion or the Mediterranean (UM), EU institutions haveattempted to salvage that cumbersome initiative by takingon the co-presidency rom France and launching the rstproject at a desalination acility or the Gaza Strip. Tis ismore than what the UM can record in its previous ouryears o existence. But it does not make the UM any less o an anachronistic relic o a long-gone Euro-Mediterraneanpast. Nor does it cure the UM o its obstinate neglect o allthings political. Rather than insisting on articial region-building, it is only i the EU nimbly institutionalizes itsmultilateral dialogues with existing regional, sub-regional,and, where relevant, extra regional (e.g., urkey, the UnitedStates, China) actors, assigning to each orum the policy questions or which it is, or can be, competent, that itsmultilateral eorts are likely to bear ruit. A pragmatic andprobably more sub-regional approach, building on existingsub-regional groupings, would seem the appropriate avenueto deal with regional problems in a post-Arab Spring Medi-terranean.
Finally, the EU has reinstated conditionality as a guidingmethod o its democracy support activities. In some cases,results are clear, as evident in EU policies toward the reormrontrunner, unisia, including the almost doubling inaid, the establishment o an EU-unisia ask Force, andthe open negotiations over a mobility partnership and aDCFA. Yet beyond unisia, Morocco and Jordan also areequally well, despite their ar less impressive steps orward,with both countries on course or negotiating DCFAs,mobility partnerships, and in the case o Morocco, an agree-ment on agriculture liberalization that was concluded inFebruary 2012. As aptly argued by Behr,
the EU’s privilegedrelations with its southern partners have remained largely the same since the outbreak o the Arab Spring.Beyond the partial implementation o conditionality,a deeper problem exists regarding the appropriatenesso conditionality as a method o action. In a post-ArabSpring context, the EU is aced with a dilemma. In essence,conditionality can only be applied to those countries thathave either experienced regime change or appear to be
After the Revolution: The EU and the Arab Transition
, Policy Paper 54, NotreEurope, Paris, 2012, available at: http://www.notre-europe.eu/en/axes/europe-and-world-governance/works/publication/after-the-revolution-the-eu-and-the-arab-transition/