Over two years have passed since the biggest refugee crisis hit Europe since World War II. Still today, it is important for all countries involved to continue exchanging best practices and to enhance their cooperation. Countries of the Middle East and North Africa, especially Jordan, Lebanon and Libya, are among the most experienced countries in the world regarding migration and refugees. Yet, they are facing major problems to implement integration and humanitarian policies. Libya for instance has become the most important transit country for refugees towards Europe since 2011.
15 February 2016, 12.00h-14.00h
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels
About the event:
Five years since the Arab Spring, the hope which has been associated with the democratic movement has been all but fulfilled. In most of the countries in question, previous autocratic regimes have re-emerged. Tunisia, however, has risen as the shining example among them: a new coalition government has been established, democratic institutions were set up and new voices are easier to be heard at both political and civil society organizations, representing the diversity of Tunisian society. The success of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet was even rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.
On the Southern shore of the Mediterranean, there is an abundance of solar power, but so far it is not efficiently exploited, on its Northern shore, most EU countries have been experimenting particularly in the past decade with various energy mixes to reduce their impact on climate change while securing the energy supply. A delegation of FNF partners from Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, all involved in the climate projects of the foundation in those countries, came to Brussels to study the European case and also learn from the mistakes that were made.
In principle, the EU pursues the goal of promoting democracy and prosperity with their policy towards North Africa. Three years ago the protests in the Arab World had a positive impact on the European public’s perception of the region. In the meantime a certain disillusionment has set in and by now analysts prescribe “strategic patience”.
The questions now rightfully being raised is how the developments in the three years since the “Arabellion” are to be assessed? What impact have the diverse European measures to stabilize the transition countries had? What are Europe’s future contributions to the promotion and consolidation of democratic reformation processes? What are the main obstacles to effective development towards a democratic future in the region?
Foto credit: Ramy Raoof