Turmoil in the Eu's Southern Neighbourhood - Complex Nexuses, Global Strategy and Limited Capacities

Thursday, April 14, 2016
Assembly G (DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City)
Thomas E. Henökl , Political Science and Management, University of Agder, Kristiansand (NORWAY)
The paper provides an update and critical assessment of EU action in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA), a region frequently referred as to the European Southern Neighborhood. It examines the different instruments and approaches, which are put at work by a variety of institutional actors, notably the EU Commission, Directorate-Generals (DG) International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), Neighbourhood and Enlargement (NEAR), and the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO); as well as the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the member states, which in their combination are shaping the EU’s MENA policy. The particular focus is on the politico-organizational interplay between the EU’s institutional architecture, and the effects of EU policies on the political order in Middle-East and Arab world. The questions are: What can we reasonably expect from EU external action in Middle-East and North Africa? Does EU foreign policy-making at all affect power and governance structures in the MENA region? To what extent, and under what conditions is the EU likely to contribute to promoting democracy and stability?

Looking at the cases of Egypt, Iraq, Libya and Syria, the paper analyses the design and implementation of EU policies in the areas of security, crisis management, migration, international cooperation and development, and studies the effects thereof in these four key-countries within the region. Based on document review, interviews with policy makers and direct observation, taking into account the local context in recipient or partner countries, the paper finds an overstrained Europe, ill-prepared to turbulence and violent transformation in its immediate neighourhood.