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Further European Reactions…

The Moroccan expert Abd al-Raḥīm al-Maṣlūḥī, proposes another essay (in the Arabic language with an English translation) in which he commences to ask if Europe, who is defined as a “lessons giver”, is still careless about the issue of political reform in the countries on the southern bank of the Mediterranean. Al-Maṣlūḥī delves into a series of questions about the European Union’s means; he wonders if they are able to achieve the projections of the post-authoritarian agenda in the Arabic world and if Europe will succeed to gain a role in the management of that agenda. 

Furthermore the author asks in a rhetorical way if the Paris Conference, on the 1st of September 2011, fully recognised the triumph of member states’ national sovereignty. He also questions if the choices made in Brussels, which were favourable to a military intervention in Libya, aren’t once again the proofs of its incapacity to come out of the dilemma; they are seen as the inevitable and insurmountable horizon of the European defensive position. According to the author, the decisions made by the main EU members about the Arab Spring aren’t without paradox.

On one side these ideas aroused a renewed confidence in Europe’s capacity to personify a multilateral model for the management of his neighbours’ crisis; on the other side they brought to light his incapacity to create independent security mechanisms. In other words European diplomatic successes, above all about Libya, cost a reaffirmation of his dependence from NATO about their common safety.

According to the author, NATO military actions in Libya, the mobilization of the ONU Security Council against the Syrian regime, the success of Paris Conference, the diplomatic support and the unfreezing of Libyan funds in favour of the National Transition Council have probably contributed to improving Europe’s position. In some way it wants to redress its false steps that, at the beginning of the Arab Spring, brought it to underestimate the Arabs and social movements’ capacities.#

Concerning this, al-Maṣlūḥī exposes the clumsy reaction of the French diplomacy to the outbreak of the Tunisian uprising and the hesitations shown by Brussels’ authorities to popular revolts, particularly the one of the European Union High Officer for foreign affairs; he underlines that for the EU these uprisings have been a “strategic surprise”. The Moroccan expert explains in fact that in a geopolitical world characterized for a long time by the absence of big breakdowns in political regimes and in which civil societies’ organizations have a marginal influence on events, few observers would have forecasted transformations coming from the low and led by social movements, whose unique resource is the strength of his mobilization around only one aim: auto-democratization.

The prefix “auto” is revealing: the active minorities have stopped believing in the regime and in the Brussels authorities’ democratic rhetoric, so they decided to take charge of their own democratic destinies. Afterwards the author enumerates the factors that can trigger a revolution or a transformation in a regime: foreign intervention, economical trend and popular uprising. According to al-Maṣlūḥī it is clear that foreign intervention can’t be taken into consideration to explain the wave of popular uprisings that disrupted several Arab countries from January 2011.