EU-LISTO Polcy Papers 4 (2020)

Stability vs. Democracy in the post Arab-Spring: What choice for the EU?

Fecha de publicación:
01/2020
Autor:
Khalil Shikaki
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EU-LISTO Polcy Papers 4 (2020)

Confronted in its southern neighborhood with the choice between continued promotion of democratic transitions and the need for stability in the post Arab-Spring environment, the EU is tilting to the latter. Past EU efforts reflected the conviction that peace, stability, and prosperity were the outcomes of democracy. But threats of regional conflict, civil wars, waves of immigrants, and rise in terror is forcing a rethinking. While searching for stability is understandable, supporting a return of authoritarianism is counterproductive. Indeed, a return to tyranny in the Arab world has already created significant public discontent that has led to a second wave of Arab uprisings. The EU should seek to strengthen societal resilience by supporting democratic reforms, for example, by supporting local Arab civil society initiatives. Such support should be guided by local priorities, those that address the economic and well as the political, educational, and health needs of the Arab public. KEYWORDS: Arab Barometer, Arab Spring, Arab Democracy Index, Arab world, Civil society, Democracy promotion, Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, European Union, MENA region, Migration, Southern neighborhood