Transitions in Europe’s Southern Neighborhoods: Among High Hopes and Rising Worries

  • Abstract:

    When the first protesters went out to the streets of Tunis in December 2010 no one in Europe expected that they would set ablaze much of the MENA region. Two years on, the European southern neighborhood has set out a completely new political and social landscape presenting significant geopolitical implications for Maghreb and Machreq. Among increasing hopes and rising worries, the EU embarked on the difficult task of influencing institutional transformation as well as the development of civil society in region. The present paper analyses the European response the transitions in Maghreb and Machreq, the tools used and undertaken policies, as well as the challenges put forward by the transition process in post-revolution Arab countries, with special regard to the significance of civil society as a tool in the process of democratization.