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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Political Agenda for Region-building? The EMP and Democracy Promotion in North Africa


Richard Gillespie concentrates on the promotion of democracy as one of the instruments of Euro-Mediterranean region building in the framework of the EMP. In particular, this paper assesses the record of the EU’s democracy promotion in North Africa. Gillespie emphasizes the obstacles, and the causes for hesitation within the EU to an effective promotion of democracy. He further examines the set-backs in light of post-Barcelona international events, such as the breakdown of the Middle East peace process, 9/11, the Iraq war, and the eastern enlargement of the EU. Gillespie argues that, in spite of constraints, the EMP could still prove to be a valuable framework for the promotion of democracy in the long run. This is especially the case if the EU will act as democracy promoter in a more energetic manner than hitherto, and if local developments in North Africa actually help place democracy more firmly on the political agenda.

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