In an article published on the 9th of June 2011, in the Lebanese newspaper al-Safīr (The Ambassador), the journalist Ğamīl Maṭar denounced the European Union’s belated activism and the lack of a common policy in handling the Arab uprisings.
The author, after having confirmed that Europe has sustained local authoritarian regimes for decades, defines the European reaction to Arab uprisings as “weak”, “slow”, “shy” and even “paralysed”. That reaction, according to the author, was towards the most recent action which has lessened the worldwide reputation of Europe. His opinions were quickly spread from one language into several thanks to the work of a translation agency.
The author goes on to say that, if Arab uprisings had prematurely failed then we wouldn’t have watched a European failure in tweaking a unified foreign policy. He adds that if Arab revolutions went on the long difficult path of democracy, then the EU would be even more divided regarding the policy to pursue in facing these revolutions. According to Maṭar, the recent European inability to combat these revolutions will confirm to the people of the world that Europe is an international power who has indeed lost its influence and doesn’t deserve consideration anymore. The author claims that Europe hasn’t been able to perform an important role in the Middle East in a critical moment in which there were several prime opportunities to do so.
Finally, the author finishes his piece by accusing Europe of chauvinism, an authentic plague that has long characterized this continent.
Zīyād ʻAbd al-Ṣamad, manager of the Arab NGO network for development, participated in an interview where he affirmed European policy towards the countries on the southern bank of the Mediterranean Sea. He spoke of sustained dictatorial regimes that have failed to succeed in creating any dynamic development so far. The Lebanese expert blames the fact that the EU is obsessed by its own economic interests and always underestimates social and political opportunities. Surprised by the Arab uprisings, The EU’s answer to support people’s aspirations to achieve increased democracy and social equity arrived too late. Samad invites the European Union to adopt an economic policy which promotes social development and prosperity. The Arab world, he says, will never be stable until human rights are totally respected.
It is interesting to analyse an essay entitled “2011: le printemps arabe?” (2011: the Arab Spring?) which was written by the Egyptian economist Samīr Amīn. He is a well-known scholar of worldwide capitalism and world geopolitical dynamics. In his work he focuses on Egypt’s history and outlines the most important aspects of current revolutions in various Arab countries.
According to Amīn, the Arab Spring is characterised by social uprisings that are potential bearers of alternatives which in the long run may introduce themselves in a socialist perspective. For this reason, the capitalist system of worldwide monopolies can’t tolerate the development of these movements and will have recourse to every possible means of destabilization. The potential for this ranges from economic and financial pressures to military threat, also to support fake fascist alternatives or even military dictatorships. According to Amīn, the USA, the EU and Japan’s leaders have always provided only diplomatic answers; therefore their words should not be trusted.