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Workshop “The Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective”. 19th December, Barcelona

The researchers from EuroMeSCo´s members institutes and Strategic Studies Network (SSN) met in Barcelona to discuss the research outputs of the Working Group "The Arab Spring in Comparative Perspective". The final results of the research will be presented at the 2015 Strategic Studies Network Annual Summit, to be held in March in Istanbul, Turkey.

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The EuroMeSCo network analyses the increasing diversity and complexity in the Southern Mediterranean region

The external powers no longer have a decisive influence in the region. Regional dynamics have become more significant than the influence that the traditional powers can have. For that purpose, the European Union should rethink its definition of the neighbourhood and extend it beyond the current borders.

 

These were one of the main conclusions of the last EuroMeSCo Annual Conference, held on the 2nd and 3rd October in Tarragona, Spain.


 

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'Civil Society, its role and potential in the new Mediterranean: which EU policies?' by Annette Jünemann

Arab autocracies were thought to be extremely stable and Muslim countries seemed to have no significant civil society. However, the Arab Spring proved that these assumptions were wrong and put the EU in an extremely difficult situation regarding its legitimacy. It revealed the credibility gap between the EU rhetoric on democracy promotion and the policies made on the ground. According to Annette Jünemann, the reaction of the EU was “too little too late”.

The previous neglect of civil society and political Islam makes it difficult for the EU to establish new channels of communication with new Southern political actors.” (Read the brief)

 
Bernabé López García analyses Morocco's experience of the Arab spring

Young people have been at the heart of the Arab Spring and of the 20th February movement of Morocco. Their demands have been   more democracy, social justice, transparency and accountability. This paper argues that although the social unrest is taking place in countries with very different structures, the history and context of these movements have one thing in common: young overqualified people in a precarious situation and who have become mobilized through the power of social networks. (See the full text in pdf)

 
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