The End of the (Southern) Neighbourhood

April 2013


After decades of relative stagnation, the Mediterranean basin is in flux. A plethora of trends and developments in the Middle East and North Africa has triggered or accelerated geopolitical shifts, which are likely to affect Europe’s relations with the region in the years to come.

The EU and its member states have gone to great lengths to tailor an adequate “response” to the 2011 uprisings. Yet, having failed to view the uprisings as part of a larger power shift, so far EU policy has not incorporated the strategic foresight that will be needed to anchor Europe’s position in future relations with the region. Similarly, reviewed EU policies do not offer insight on how to deal with countries that show little appetite for comprehensive institutional EU integration, which forms the backbone of EU policies in its neighbourhood.

Brussels’ policies towards the region are based on the implicit assumption that a continued dominant European position in relations with Southern Mediterranean partner countries can be taken for granted. This paper by Kristina Kausch aims to challenge this view and offers a valuable set of policy recommendations for the reformulation of EU policies towards the Southern Mediterranean.

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