The Arab Awakening One Year On: A European Perspective

Building a Smarter German-American Partnership

The Arab awakening that commenced late in 2010 has precipitated vast political changes in Arab nations. While the upheaval continues in many societies, nations such as Egypt and Tunisia continue to alter the structure of their societies in an effort to move away from totalitarian regimes.  Admittedly, the success of these revolutions remains mixed, and many societies continue to teeter on the verge of further unrest. With close proximity of the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region to Europe, political unrest poses substantial challenges to European societies.  The potential influx of refugees, possibility of evolving nations harboring terrorists, and the prospective of organized crime directed toward Europe engenders serious concern on the continent. Ms. Möller opines that uncertainty will dominate EU interactions with nations in the MENA region.  Furthermore, she voices in the importance of the EU strengthening its relations with, and thus, influence over MENA nations so that they may develop into “more open societies…[with] sustainable market economies.”   Do you believe that increased engagement with MENA regions will allow them to develop more Western institutions?  Will increased engagement hasten the process of stabilizing this region? Should the EU ease the process of accepting refugees of conflicts in the MENA region?