Le printemps arabe, révélateur des enjeux de l'objet Méditerranée pour la rive nord
The Mediterranean is often considered as a whole, a single concept that unites both the southern and northern shores without expressing the profound differences between the two areas and their countries. Rivalries among the different nations composing the whole, have always cast considerable doubts on the vision of collaboration inherent in the “Euro-Mediterranean partnership”. The sea is often presented as a link between countries, yet it’s also a strong element of division. National views diverge: France’s Mediterranean policy is based on integration, whereas other European countries, like Italy, think in terms of projection toward the southern shore. The Arab Spring has underlined the heterogenous nature of the southern shore’s regimes making it impossible to consider them as a whole in transition. We should therefore be more wary when using the expression “Mediterranean”, avoiding taking it as a given and becoming more conscious of the different cultural and identity issues that go with the name. With such illusions out of the way, we can view the Mediterranean as a useful concept. In this context, what Europe has to offer politically becomes a key element without any a priori exclusion of the possibility of integration.