175 EU External Relations Following the Arab Spring: Change and Continuity

Wednesday, June 26, 2013: 4:00 PM-5:45 PM
C0.23 (Oudemanhuispoort)
The Arab Spring is often seen as the first test for the post-Lisbon EU, but there seems to be few reasons to celebrate. True, a Partnership for shared democracy and prosperity was jointly proposed by Ashton and Barroso to the Southern neighbours, a European Endowment for Democracy is being discussed and a strong concern for responding to migration influxes and a strengthening of EU conditionality were at the heart of other key EU initiatives.  This pragmatic and migration-centred approach was coupled with an intervention of the UK and France under the NATO umbrella in Libya. Yet negotiations on the European Neighbourhood Action Plan with Algeria have come to a stall and the EU sanctions on Syria have proved inefficient.

This panel aims to give a more complete and nuanced evaluation of the EU’s performance following the Arab Spring by exploring change and continuity in its external action and representation.

Jamal Shahin (University of Amsterdam) will investigate the forms that EU external governance and EU diplomatic activities in the Levant and the Gulf take. The paper will address how diplomatic activity is constructed and communicated to external partners in three cases: the Middle East Peace Process, the Arab Spring and trade-based relations with GCC partners.

Elisabeth Johansson-Nogués (IBEI) will explore whether there is a revival of the Euro-Arab Dialogue or a new departure in Euro-Arab relations post-Arab Spring. She will investigate the prospects for a formal institutionalized collaboration between the two regional entities.

Using the concept of ‘structural diplomacy’, Patrick Holden (Universiy of Portsmouth), investigates the role of the EU in North Africa. It reviews and critique EU proposals so far, while suggesting how can the EU can combine its economic and political instruments more constructively, and how it should deal with the new regional dynamic in particular.

Comparing the cases of EU Sanctions in Egypt, Libya and Syria following the Arab Spring, Clara Portela (Singapore Management University) and Edith Drieskens (Leuven University) will explain the configuration of EU sanctions in response to the Arab revolt through the concept of path-dependency.

Sarah Wolff (Queen Mary, University of London) will investigate EU security practices in the Mediterranean pre and post Arab Revolts. The paper concludes that path-dependency and self-reinforcing patterns characterize EU security practices post-Arab spring. Signs of reactive sequencing are nonetheless identifiable in the EU strategy for security and development.

Edith Drieskens and Sarah Wolff
Sarah Wolff
A renewed Euro-Arab Dialogue? EU and Arab League in a changing international security environment
Elisabeth Johansson-Nogues, Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals
The Challenge of Change in North Africa: the litmus test for EU Structural Diplomacy.
Patrick Holden, School of Management, Portsmouth University
Spring is a new beginning? EU sanctions following the Arab Spring
Clara Portela, Singapore Management University; Edith Drieskens, Leuven University
EU security practices in the Mediterranean region, Redux?
Sarah Wolff, Queen Mary, University of London
See more of: Session Proposals