Arab revolutions and the European Union

What policies should pursue the European Union after the Arab revolutions? What is the EU's policy in the Middle East? Answers to these and other questions, we tried to find a two-day conference on "The EU and the Arab World", held in the Italian city of Bologna. Along with the scientific leaders of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Lebanon, most of the participants — the American and European experts. At the end of the meeting the participants agreed on three issues.

 

 

First of all, still retains its relevance Henry Kissinger's remark: "Give me the phone number where I can know the position of Europe." In most cases, France, Britain, Germany, Italy can not come to an agreement and to develop a common foreign policy. This issue is the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, but at international platforms continues to struggle within the union, is under heavy economic burden. The absence of a unified military structure and decision-making mechanism clumsiness condemn the EU to live in the shadow of NATO.

The second issue on which there was consensus at the conference was related to the fact that because of the economic crisis for the effective implementation of the foreign policy of the EU is not a sufficient amount of time and financial resources. In anticipation of the economic crisis in 2007, the EU policy in the Mediterranean require major changes. Arab Revolution and the financial crisis at the same time the EU coincided in 2011. Immersed in its own problems, Europe has ceased to pay attention to its policy in the Mediterranean. On the other hand, continued to be a problem of fragmentation. For example, in Germany the Libyan issue and NATO could not reach an agreement. When France and Germany were unable to reach an agreement on the issue of Libya, the EU has again arisen disorder.

As you know, the front in Libya came not the EU and NATO. U.S. support has once again become the determining factor for France and the UK. And on the Syrian issue today, the EU remains silent. If you plan to adoption of any initiative, it will certainly be the case in the framework of NATO. When France alone was launched in Mali, it was again evident that the EU, in this sense does not perform any function.

The third question, which is uniquely evaluated Arab, European and American participants, regarding the lack of far-sighted policy of the EU towards Turkey. All participants have correctly pointed out that, by isolating Turkey, Europe would not be taken seriously in the Middle East. If we consider the matter from this point of view, Turkey — a key test for the EU's foreign policy. With respect to the foreign policy of the US accused the EU failure of strategic vision, however, in my opinion, the problem is not the point. The EU, with the support of such a force, such as Turkey, of course, will have greater power in the international platform. The problem for the union is the fragmentation of Europe on the outlook on Turkey. In fact, with the exception of Germany, France, Austria and Greek Cyprus almost all EU members have a positive attitude towards Turkey's accession to the union. However, France and Germany continue to be satisfied with serious cutting of the wings and the center of gravity of power in the EU. As always, Europe is becoming a victim of its own split on the question of Turkey's membership.

Thus, for Europe in Bologna was presented fairly pessimistic picture. If the EU will not be able to cope with their problems, it will continue to be a mere spectator of events in the Middle East.


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