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The Impact of the Changes in the Arab World on the Southern Dimension of the ENP


Starting from an analysis of the main features of the EU’s existing Mediterranean policies and specifically of the European Neighborhood Policy and the problems concerning its implementation, this article analyses the proposals for the revision of the ENP and the launch of a Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean countries. It argues that while it is too early to judge whether the EU and its member states will be able to help the Southern Mediterranean countries change their political and economic systems and consolidate their democracies, two outcomes of the new approach already seem well defined: first, the unequal balance between the Eastern and the Southern dimension of the ENP seems to be have been redressed. Second, the pendulum of the EU’s Mediterranean policy has again swung towards bilateralism at the expense of multilateralism, and this approach is likely to continue if one considers the increasing heterogeneity of the countries in the region and the difficulty of conceiving of the Southern Mediterranean as an integrated space.