Nick Witney, ECFR Senior Policy Fellow and Ahmed Naguib, political activist and spokesperson for the Trustees Council of the Revolution, Egypt.
Dimitar Bechev, Head of ECFR Sofia
Two years on from the initial democratic wave that spread across North Africa, a new set of challenges are emerging. Europe’s response to that first wave was encouraging, but as 2012 draws to an end the deficiencies of this response are becoming clearer. There is a risk that EU loses a historic opportunity to redefine its relations with North Africa in a bolder strategic way.
With its hands bound by the current economic crisis, how best can the EU shore up its presence and relevance in the region? Given current Europe’s constraints, what role could the EU play to consolidate further democratic transition in North Arica and to strengthen its cooperation with the region in important areas such as security, energy and commerce? Last but not least, how best to guarantee a coherent response from Brussels, whilst at the same time ensuring coordination between bilateral initiatives from the individual EU capitals?