Publications > EuroMeSCo Briefs > Brief 40 and 41: Civil Society, its potential role in the new Mediterranean: which EU policies?
Brief 40 and 41: Civil Society, its potential role in the new Mediterranean: which EU policies?
Written by Annette Jünemann and Mohamed Elagati   

  • Brief 40: a view from the North

'Civil Society, its role and potential in the new Mediterranean: which EU policies?' written 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.

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  • Brief 41: a view from the South

'Civil society in Egypt and the revolution of 25th January: what role for the EU?' written by Mohamed Elagati

 

Mohamed Elagati analyses the role of civil society in the Egyptian Revolution of 25th January and after. Civil society initiatives in Egypt are thematically-based organisations which in practice have held the role of political opposition. Having decisively contributed to the success of the revolution, they still need to adapt to the new dynamics of democratisation. Euro-Mediterranean relations should foster the influence of civil society organisations in transforming the Egyptian political system and assist to revamp their traditional working practices.

 

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