As European leaders grapple with a wide array of domestic, regional, and international challenges, it may seem easier to revert to the pre-2011 mode of EU-North Africa relations, when they embraced and supported autocrats. To do so would be a grave mistake. Clearly, there is an urgent need to recalibrate EU-North Africa relations, where cooperation on economic and security issues does not come at the expense of support for democratization and the rule of law. While such a recalibration will not solve all of Europe and North Africa’s problems, it will help create the conditions for a healthy, sustainable, and mutually beneficial relationship.
Adel Abdel Ghaffar, Visiting Fellow,Brooking Doha Center