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European Neighbourhood Policy

Il file contiene il testo "THE EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY AND THE SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN", curato da Michele Comelli, Atila Eralp e Cigdem Ustun, contenente i contributi di Roberto Aliboni, Roderick Pace, Maria Cristina Paciello, Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim, Amel Boubekeurm,... Vedi di più

Esame di Azione esterna dell’Unione europea: cooperazione e sicurezza docente Prof. L. Moccia

Anteprima

ESTRATTO DOCUMENTO

The Southern Dimension

Governance Indictors (2007) in the Mediterranean Partners,

Turkey and New EU Member States

2007 Voice & Political Gov Regulatory Rule of Control of

Account. Stability Effectiveness Quality Law Corruption

Governance score -2.5 to +2.5

-1.01 -1.18 -0.52 -0.66 -0.72 -0.47

Algeria -1.24 -0.77 -0.44 -0.31 -0.13 -0.58

Egypt 0.78 -1.2 1.18 1.04 0.76 0.79

Israel -0.64 -0.29 0.27 0.35 0.51 0.32

Jordan -0.45 -2.09 -0.61 -0.21 -0.66 -0.65

Lebanon -1.94 0.47 -1.07 -0.98 -0.62 -0.83

Libya -0.62 -0.52 -0.07 -0.11 -0.15 -0.24

Morocco -1.77 -0.61 -0.88 -1.22 -0.55 -0.88

Syria -1.22 0.1 0.46 0.15 0.32 0.08

Tunisia 1.18 1.31 1.3 1.29 1.55 1.2

Malta 1.08 0.49 1.37 1.3 0.96 0.78

Cyprus -0.19 -0.78 0.24 0.23 0 0.04

Turkey 0.65 0.42 0.1 0.61 -0.14 -0.22

Bulgaria 0.98 0.83 0.99 0.96 0.77 0.26

Czech Rep 1.05 0.68 1.19 1.5 1 0.94

Estonia 1.1 0.65 0.7 1.15 0.74 0.44

Hungary 0.86 0.72 0.55 1.06 0.57 0.31

Latvia 0.93 0.81 0.78 1.12 0.49 0.17

Lithuania 0.81 0.58 0.38 0.71 0.28 0.14

Poland 0.47 0.19 -0.09 0.48 -0.17 -0.19

Romania 0.98 0.94 0.76 0.99 0.35 0.28

Slovakia 1.08 1.01 1.08 0.81 0.84 0.9

Slovenia

Source: World Bank Governance Data 2008, http://info.worldbank.org

/governance/wgi/sc_country.asp

On the economic front one other indicator of the magnitude of the task

confronting the EU’s Mediterranean partners is the regulatory quality for

doing business which is also one of the main determinants of investment.

A casual glance at the world rankings out of a total of 178 economies, of

the EU member states, the Mediterranean Partners and Turkey indicates

once again the gap that still separates the EU group from the Mediterra-

nean ones in terms of regulatory quality. Only two Mediterranean coun-

tries, namely Israel and Turkey, significantly outperform their Mediter-

ranean Partners as well as at least two EU states in the case of Turkey

and thirteen in the case of Israel. The rankings are based on ten stages of

regulations affecting a business’s life, namely: starting a business, deal-

48

Roderick Pace

ing with licenses, employing workers, registering property, getting

credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforc-

In this case it is amply clear that as

ing contracts and closing a business. 89

a group the Mediterranean partner countries need to accelerate their

reform processes if they wish to enhance their global competitiveness.

EASE OF DOING BUSINESS IN 2008

EU Member States Mediterranean Partners and Turkey

Country World Ranking Country World Ranking

Denmark 5 Israel 29

UK 6 Turkey 57

Ireland 8 Jordan 80

Finland 13 Lebanon 85

Sweden 14 Tunisia 88

Estonia 17 West Bank 117

Belgium 19 Algeria 125

Germany 20 Egypt 126

Netherlands 21 Morocco 129

Latvia 22 Syria 137

Austria 25 Libya Na

Lithuania 26

France 31

Slovakia 32

Portugal 37

Spain 38

Luxembourg 42

Hungary 45

Bulgaria 46

Romania 48

Italy 53

Slovenia 55

Czech Rep 56

Poland 74

Greece 100

Cyprus na

Malta na

Source: Doing Business in 2008, World Bank 2008

Doing Business 2008, a copublication of the World Bank and the International Fi-

89

nance Corporation, Washington, 2007. 49

The Southern Dimension

Conclusion

The analysis in this chapter leads to a number of conclusions. The most

obvious one is that southern dimension of the ENP is not yielding opti-

mal results. This is in part due to the bad policy design of the ENP itself

and its Action Plans and most of all to the reticence of most of the south-

ern governments to reform. Nevertheless modest advances on the back

of the EMP association agreements in the economic field contrast sharply

with the lack of meaningful progress in the political domain as character-

ised by the uneven and slow pace of democratic reform, governance is-

sues and the reform of the business environment as well as the inability

for the ENP to influence the peaceful resolution of the region’s ‘frozen

conflicts’. This evidence seems to show that the EU’s ability to influence

90

events in the region is very weak. The EU continues to be an important

economic power in the Mediterranean region, one with which it is in the

southern partners’ interest to cooperate, not only in trade and economic

matters but also in other domains such as environmental protection,

energy security, illegal immigration and combating terrorism. The EU

can also help its partners improve their education systems and improve

human resources making the countries more globally competitive. Hence

there is no doubt that the EU possesses a plethora of policy instruments

with which it can enhance constructive relations in the region notwith-

standing the drawbacks of the ENP. However, improvements in the im-

plementation of the ENP will certainly enhance the Union’s effective-

ness.

It is also very problematic that the ENP, a central plank in the EU’s

“Civilian Power” approach–or should we say its chosen vocation–is not

performing optimally. This is serious for many reasons but primarily be-

cause it undermines the EU’s effectiveness in the region and injects seri-

ous doubt into the efficacy of civilian means. A failure of the ENP should

strengthen the hand of those who wish the EU to build up its military

power and weakens the EU’s ability to act as a restraining force on pow-

ers in its vicinity such as Russia and USA. The EU has always insisted,

though not all its member states agree, that soft power, diplomacy, dia-

logue and multilateralism are more effective than the use of force in re-

solving conflicts. Hence if its chosen policy instruments are seen by other

powers to be ineffective, it would be more difficult for the EU to per-

suade such powers to follow its example. Of course, as the situations in

It is not the conflicts themselves that are frozen but the efforts to resolve them

90

because they have reached stalemate. 50

Roderick Pace

Iraq and Afghanistan have shown, the use of force also has its limita-

tions.

The failure of the ENP has long term negative effects in the bid to en-

hance the Mediterranean region’s overall stability. Hence by defining an

“ENP+” the EU would be encouraging partners to accelerate reforms

while increasing the cost of non-compliance. Regionalising the ENP also

enhances the EU’s ability to deal with sub-groups of similar countries.

Last but not least there is a strong need to improve policy effectiveness

by enhancing member states’ coherence and cooperation in their policies

towards the region and in upholding EU initiatives.

The Action Plans, the focus of this chapter, need to be tightened further

by first of all ensuring that their various objectives are organically linked

and that progress in one domain cannot be jeopardised by lack of pro-

gress on the most salient objectives for the EU such as political reforms.

The economic effectiveness of EU measures can be magnified by a better

co-ordination with other aid donors such as the EU member states them-

selves, the USA, the World Bank and the IMF to avoid duplication. The

design, negotiation and assessment of the Action Plans should be chan-

ged. Benchmarks have become necessary to establish goals and assess

performance. The European Parliament and other bodies such as the

Committee of the Regions, many of whose members are forging links

with southern shore regions, ought to be more involved in the negotia-

tion of the Action Plans and their assessment. There is also an urgent

need to increase the Commission’s capacity to assess the implementation

of the Action Plans to ensure that implementation on the ground is taking

place as agreed. Implementation can also be enhanced by building stron

ger ties with civil society. In the EU member states, inadequate imple-

mentation of EU Directives is often exposed by organizations of civil

society. The EU Commission and the European Parliament possess no

counterpart in the southern states similar to civil society in the EU mem-

ber states to help them uncover ‘façade’ implementation.

Differentiated and tailor-made, negotiated Action Plans which are co-

herent with national development plans are important to ensure that

partners cultivate a stronger sense of ownership of these plans. It avoids

the pitfalls of ‘one size fits all’ and could generate better outcomes. There

is no need for all the Action Plans to be of the same intensity and there is

some sense in the idea of an “ENP Light” as distinguished from an

“ENP+” for recalcitrant partners. The regional aspect must not however

be overlooked, and regional action plans apart from the bilateral Action

51

The Southern Dimension

Plans on specific issues can be negotiated between the EU and all the

partners in a regional multilateral setting.

The ENP has reached a crucial juncture where it is time to take stock of

its strengths and weaknesses, a process already started in 2007, to enable

it and its Mediterranean Partners to construct a more effective policy –

and make the EU a more credible “Civilian Power”.

52

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

The ENP’s potential for reform in the

Southern Mediterranean:

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

91

Introduction

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the political, economic

and social costs and benefits for the Southern neighbouring countries,

and specifically for Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, in adapting their policies

in the areas suggested by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)

Action Plans. The paper also aims to highlight the main constraints and

factors favourable to pursuit of ENP objectives in such societies. First of

all, Southern Neighbours should be divided into those that have agreed

to an Action Plan (AP) with the European Union (Morocco, Tunisia,

Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Lebanon) and those

that have not, either because they are not interested in it (Algeria) or

because they are not eligible to do so–not yet part of the Barcelona pro-

cess (Libya) or not yet signatories of an Euro-Mediterranean Association

Agreement (Syria). The paper focuses on Morocco, Jordan and Egypt in

order to take account of both Maghreb and Mashreq countries. The first

two countries signed an AP in 2005, while the third finalised an AP in

2007. The cases of the Palestinian Authority and Israel will not be dis-

This paper is a revised and updated version of M. Comelli and M.C. Paciello, “A

91

Cost/Benefit Analysis of the ENP for the EU’s Southern Neighbours” in G. Avery

and Y. Nasshoven, The European Neighbourhood Policy: Challenges and Prospects”, Trans

European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), Brussels, 2008, 59-78, based on a study

conducted by the authors for the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the European

Parliament in October 2007. 53

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

cussed here because they are special cases: they have a political system

and relationship with the European Union (EU) that are not comparable

to relationships of the Arab countries within the ENP. In addition, they

face different domestic reform challenges, as well as being involved in a

conflict with each other. A similar reasoning applies to Lebanon, which

experienced a conflict in 2006, just after negotiations on an ENP Action

Plan were concluded, the effects of which are still felt. Tunisia was not

chosen because it presents too many similarities with Morocco.

Political Costs and Benefits

In its founding documents as well as in the APs, the ENP places explicit

emphasis on democracy and human rights. The bilateral ‘joint owner-

ship’ - approach could contribute to legitimate political reforms in so far

as this kind of political change may be perceived as not being imposed

from the outside; in these countries all political and social actors, albeit to

different extents, tend to reject any external demands for democratisa-

tion as an intrusion into their internal affairs. 92

Over the last years, the governments of Morocco and Jordan have

adopted a number of reforms that are in line with the priority actions

listed in their respective APs. In Morocco, for example, King Moham-

93

med VI took further steps in 2005 to bring the country’s laws in line with

international conventions, by amending the penal code to abolish tor-

ture. An anti-corruption law and a new legislative framework on politi-

cal parties were also approved, and the UN Convention Against Corrup-

tion entered into force in May 2007. In 2008, a national anti-corruption

authority was created with the aim to investigate corruption claims and

coordinate anti-corruption policies. Some reservations against interna-

94

tional conventions have been lifted, in particular the conventions on ra-

cial discrimination, children's rights and torture. In December 2008,

Prime Minister Abbas al-Fasi launched a new national plan for the im-

S. Şenyücel, S. Güner, and S. Faath, and H. Mattes, Factors and Perceptions Influenc-

92

ing the Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in Selected Southern Mediter-

ranean Partner Countries, EuroMeSCo research project, 2006, www.euromesco.net/-

images/tesev_giga%20final%20eng.pdf, consulted on Septem-ber 2007.

See Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report–Morocco,

93

Brussels, 2006, http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm consulted on Sep

tember 2007; Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report Jordan,

Brussels, 2006.

http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm, consul ted on September 2007.

Carnegie Endowment, Arab Reform Bulletin, September 2008.

94 54

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

plementation of human rights and national democracy, called the “Plan

d’Action en matière de Démocratie et des Droits de l’Homme au Maroc”.

The Plan was drafted by a commission including representatives from

the government, private sector, civil society and the media, in partner-

In Jordan, the rapid adoption of the

ship with the European Union.

95

ENP’s AP in January 2005 certainly underlines the willingness of the

King and government to cooperate with the EU. In 2005, among other

things in line with the AP, Jordan published its National Agenda, a long-

term social and political programme that, according to the EU progress

report, “gives high priority to political and administrative reform”. 96

Legislation aimed at fighting corruption such as the law on financial

disclosure and the law on the establishment of the anti-corruption com-

mission was adopted in December 2006. Good progress has also been

97

made to increase women’s participation in public life. Jordanian women

now can obtain their passport without the authorization of their hus-

bands and legal age of marriage for women was increased to 18. A new

Municipalities Law provides a 20% quota for women in municipal coun-

cil seats. 98

However, as shown by all cases below, although the governments have

implemented a number of reforms in line with the APs, they have at the

same time reduced liberties and rights. This suggests that the govern-

ments’ support for the measures listed in the APs has not been matched

by real action to further political reform. Moreover, the political and le-

gal measures implemented so far in Morocco, Jordan and Egypt, con-

tinue neither to benefit the majority of citizens nor to trigger a genuine

substantive political transformation. In particular, the balance of power

within the society has remained unchanged; elections for the parliament

or presidential positions continue to be formal exercises rather than open

political competitions; and human rights violations seem to have in cre-

ased in recent years. In the APs, support for real political reform is still

tenuous since the measures aimed at promoting democracy are limited

to rather technical governance issues, such as strengthening domestic

Carnegie Endowment, “Human Rights Plan Drafted”, Arab Reform Bulletin, De-

95

cember 2008.

Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report-Jordan, Brussels,

96

2006, 3, http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm consulted on Septem-

ber 2007.

Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report-Jordan, Brussels,

97

2008.

Ibid.

98 55

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

and international dialogues on democratization, and legislative reform.

In other words, the APs do not tackle the three major obstacles to politi-

cal liberalization in Southern Mediterranean (SM) countries, which are

the lack of a separation of powers, the oppression of civil society and

political parties, and flaws in electoral procedures.

99

The above-mentioned positive developments are coupled with a num-

ber of more disappointing setbacks for Morocco. For example, the politi-

cal and human rights situation, particularly freedoms of association and

expression, has strongly deteriorated since the terrorist attacks on Sep-

tember 11, 2001 and, even more significantly after the Casablanca bomb-

ings of May 2003. Most importantly, in spite of the range of measures

100

implemented so far, the distribution of power within the Moroccan soci-

ety remains unchanged, with all the power centralised in the King’s

hands. The King has actually been the main driver of the reform proc-

101

ess, so all new measures have actually been introduced from the top.

Thus, even though the first EU progress report argues that “the changes

made to the legislative framework in the area of freedom of association

and assembly have led to the emergence of a more active and dynamic

civil society” it is noteworthy that civil society organizations have been

102

successful in bringing about change only when they have worked to-

ward goals supported by the palace, as indicated, for example, by the

approval of a more progressive version of the family code in 2004.

103

Moreover, although the adoption of an anti-corruption law and the crea-

tion of an anti-corruption body are positive steps, the fight against cor-

ruption is unlikely to go far because real progress would inevitably im-

plicate people who are part of the ruling elite. In addition, while the

104

new legislative framework for political parties adopted in 2005 has led to

E. Baracani, “From the EMP to the ENP: A new European Pressure for Democrati-

99

zation? The Case of Morocco”, The Centre for the Study of European Politics and

Society, 2005,

http://hsf.bgu.ac.il/europe/uploadDocs/csepspeb.pdf, consulted on September 20-

07. For details, see Freedom House, Morocco’s Country Report, 2007,

100

http://www.freed-omhouse.org/template.cfm?page=363&year=2007&country=7235

,consulted on Sep-tember 2007.

E. Baracani, op. cit.

101 Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report - Morocco, 2006, 4.

102 M. Ottaway and M. Riley, “Morocco: From Top-down Reform to Democratic Tran-

103

sition?”, Carnegie Papers, Washington, No. 71, September 2006, www.CarnegieEn

dowment.org, consulted on September 2007.

Ibid.

104 56

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

some improvements, several provisions have actually tightened controls

on party registration in an attempt to limit the activity of opposition par-

The weakness and lack of independence of the judiciary–which is

ties. 105

not recognised as an independent power by the constitution–impede the

effective enforcement of existing democratic laws. The AP, unfortuna-

tely, does not push for substantive political reform. For example, regard-

ing the issue of political parties, the only priority is “the exchange of

experiences and expertises in the framework of the evolution of the regu-

lation on the political parties”. With regard to justice, the priority ac-

106

tion includes “efforts to facilitate access to justice and the law”, which do

not guarantee judicial independence.

107

Jordan continues to oscillate between cautious political reform and

repression. The general perception is that the current political measures,

including the call for the above-mentioned National Agenda, are purely

cosmetic initiatives, involving little substantive change and aimed solely

at maintaining a positive international image. Also, none of the im-

108

plemented reforms actually target the distribution of political power: the

monarchy retains its monopoly on power in the country and major deci-

sions are still made by institutions not accountable to the electorate.

109

With regard to the law to fight corruption approved in 2006, for exam-

ple, parliament endorsed a last-minute amendment to allow the Prime

Minister to appoint the six-member commission tasked with investigat-

ing corruption. Moreover, as the last EU Progress Report published in

April 2008 states, the Anti-Corruption Commission is not yet operational

and lacks the resources to become functional. In addition, although

110

advances have been made in the realm of political party legislation with

a new political party law adopted in March 2007, this is unlikely to

strengthen the parties unless the electoral law is also changed. The

111

Ibid.

105 EU/Morocco Action Plan, 4, http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm,

106

consulted on September 2007.

Ibid, 5.

107 C. Ryan, “Reform Retreats Amid Jordan’s Political Storms”, Middle East Report On

108

line, June, 2005,

http://www.merip.org/mero/mero061005.html, consulted on September 2007.

J. Choucair, “Illusive Reform: Jordan’s Stubborn Stability”, Carnegie Papers, Wash-

109

ington No. 76, December 2006, www.CarnegieEndowment.org, consulted on Septem-

ber 2007.

Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report-Jordan, Brussels,

110

2008.

Ibid.

111 57

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

used in parliamentary elections since 1993 puts politi-

“one vote” law 112

cal parties at a disadvantage and favours tribal and family ties. At the

parliamentary elections held in November 2007, because of the electoral

law, the majority of the parliament’s seats went to pro-government can-

and the seats were unevenly allocated in relation to popula-

didates, 113

tion among electoral districts. Significant electoral irregularities in-

114

cluding vote buying, breaching the secrecy of voting and the use of im-

proper identification by voters were also reported, while no international

electoral observation was accepted. Although Jordan is the only coun-

115

try whose AP envisages reform of the electoral law, chances for real re-

form are hampered by the fact that the content of the reform is unclear,

reflecting the deep divergences among different political actors. With

regard to freedom of expression, although in March 2007 the parliament

amended the press and publications law abolishing imprisonment as a

penalty for press offenses, reporters still face fines of up to $40,000.

116

And in August of 2006 the Parliament approved new anti-terrorism leg-

islation that curtails political and civil liberties.

In recent years, Egypt’s approach to political reform has been even

more cautious than Morocco’s and Jordan’s. This is also reflected in the

fact that negotiations on the AP went on for more than 15 months and

were only finalised in 2007. It is noteworthy that the AP was actually

adopted in a context of serious political deterioration. In 2006, the re-

117

gime postponed local elections, extended the state of emergency for two

years, cracked down on popular protests and launched a severe repres-

sion against the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2007, Egypt’s ruling National

Democratic Party used its majority in the parliament to adopt a series of

The system allows each voter one vote regardless of how many parliamentary

112

seats represent the voter's district. It puts political parties at a disadvantage, as they

effectively cannot run slates or lists of candidates in each district because voters only

get one choice.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Jordan: Parliamentary Election

113

Results; New Cabinet”, Arab Reform Bulletin, December 2007, . 5-10.

Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report-Jordan, Brussels,

114

2008.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, op.cit. 2007.

115 Freedom House, Jordan’s Country Report, 2008,

116

www.freedomhouse.org/template.-cfm?page=22&year=2008, consulted on April 20-

09. For details, see M. Dunne, A. Hamzawy and N. Brown,, “Egypt – Don’t Give up

117

on Democracy Promotion”, Policy Brief, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,

No. 52, June 2007, www.CarnegieEndowment.org, consulted on September 2007.

58

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

constitutional amendments that diminished judicial supervision of elec-

tions, banned political activity based on religion and gave the executive

authority, specifically the president and the security forces, unprece-

dented powers. It is striking that, in a country where a series of laws

pose obstacles to the emergence of any significant political force, the AP

mentions only the need to “strengthen participation in political life, in-

cluding the promotion of public awareness and participation in elec-

tions” or “to exchange experience in the field of elections and jointly

develop cooperation in areas of shared interest including through pro-

omit-

viding assistance on registering electors and capacity building”, 118

ting any mention of changing such authoritarian laws. The elections for

the Shura Council, the upper chamber of the Egyptian Parliament, held

in June 2007 did not improve the country’s political context: while the

ruling National Democratic Party emerged victorious, there were report-

edly widespread irregularities, acts of violence and a wave of arrests of

political opposition activists. An EU Presidency statement called on

Egypt to investigate allegations of irregularities and acts of violence, but

there is no indication that such an investigation has so far taken place. 119

Freedom of expression continues to be severely restricted and, in May

120

2008, the state of emergency in place since 1981 was extended for an ad-

ditional two year-period.

The scope for the ENP process to promote a real democratic transfor-

mation in Southern Mediterranean (SM) countries is hindered primarily

by the fact that ruling elites in Morocco, Egypt and Jordan are undoubt-

edly more interested in improving their trade and economic co-operation

with the EU than in engaging in a real political dialogue. Since their

main aim is to ensure their survival, the regimes have not discussed the

ENP reform agenda with opposition parties and civil society groups, and

have agreed to adopt only the reform policies that do not threaten the

status quo and internal security. This certainly weakens the chances for

EU/Egypt Action Plan, 5-6, http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/documents_en.htm,

118

consulted on September 2007.

Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report-Egypt, Brussels,

119

2008.

For details and examples, see Freedom House, Egypt’s Country Report, 2008,

120

www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2008, consulted on April 20-

09; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Media and Human Rights Crack-

down; Brotherhood Leaders Released”, Arab Reform Bulletin, October 2007; Carnegie

Endowment for International Peace, “State of Emergency Extended; Bread Riots

Resurface; Anti-Monopoly Law”, Arab Reform Bulletin, June 2008.

59

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

the ENP process to contribute to real political improvements in SM coun-

tries since the implementation of its objectives requires both the willing-

ness of governments to reform and the acceptance of the majority of so-

ciety. For example, the main recommendations made by some Egyptian

NGOs with regard to the Egypt’s AP, include, among other things, the

lifting of the state of emergency, the independence of the judiciary, and

Similar

free and fair elections, which are not contemplated in the AP. 121

demands were put forth by Jordanian activists. 122

The current geopolitical context also affects the willingness of the re-

gimes to promote political reform and may hinder the process of political

transformation, including the ENP, especially in Mashreq countries. In

Jordan, where external factors count more than in Morocco and Egypt,

deep political reform has been hindered particularly by the Israeli-

Palestinian conflict and the Iraqi conflict, which have placed security

considerations above all others. For example, as long as the Palestinian-

Israeli conflict is unresolved, the monarchy will avoid reforming the elec-

toral law and settling the question of Palestinian Jordanian representa-

tion in the kingdom: although the majority of the Jordanian population is

of Palestinian origin, the current electoral law is designed to disfavour

them and over-represent segments of the population allied with the re-

gime.

123

The chance for the ENP process to foster a real democratic transforma-

tion in SM countries is also heavily constrained by the fact that opposi-

tion parties, particularly the secular ones, are weak and co-opted. Al-

though there are differences from country to country, opposition parties

generally suffer from elitism, are based on feudalised structures and

have been careful not to antagonize those in power. The opposition in

124

Jordan and Egypt is even weaker and more fragmented than in Morocco.

In Egypt, for example, the new protest movements such as Kifaya and

various networks of human rights activists have failed to mobilize sig-

Moataz El Fegiery, Erwan Lannon European Neighbourhood Policy: Human Rights in

121

EU-Egypt Relations, Recommendations of Egyptian Non Governmental Organizations for

the EU-Egypt Action Plan, Seminar organized by the Euro-Mediterranean Human

Rights Network in cooperation with the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies in

Cairo, January on 26-27, 2006, www.euromedrights.net/usr/00000020/00000055/000

00 751. pdf consulted on Sep-tember 2007.

See J. Choucair, op.cit.

122 Ibid.

123 For Morocco, see M. Ottaway and M. Riley, op.cit; for Egypt, N. Brown, M. Dun-

124

ne, and A. Hamzawy, op. cit; for Jordan, J. Choucair, op.cit.

60

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

nificant popular support for their prodemocracy platforms since they are

primarily a movement of students, intellectuals and middle-class profes-

sionals. Moreover, the marginal role of parliament in the political proc-

ess, several laws that pose obstacles to the emergence of any significant

political force, and a strong security apparatus also hinder the opposi-

tion’s ability to promote its goals in SM countries. In addition, in all three

countries reviewed here, secular parties have not succeeded in exerting

sufficient pressure on the regimes, partly because, in order to stop the

rise of the more popular Islamist organisations, they have preferred to

renounce a vigorous political reform. 125

The only opposition that poses some challenge to the regimes’ monop-

oly on power are the moderate Islamist movements, although they are

still unable to challenge the regimes. For example, in Morocco, the

126

Justice and Development Party (PJD) has gained power and influence,

thanks to the country’s socio-economic problems and to the foreign pol-

icy context created by the aftermath of September 11 , 2001. However,

th

the current electoral law poses obstacles to a strong electoral victory of

the PJD, as confirmed by the recent parliamentary elections held on Sep-

tember 7 , 2007 and won by the Istiqlal party, a member of the govern-

th

ing coalition. Similarly, in Jordan, in the November 2007 parliamentary

elections, only 6 out of 22 candidates of the Islamic Action Front (IAF)

won seats, while in Egypt no candidate backed by the Muslim Broth-

127

erhood was elected in the 2007 elections.

128

The fact that the strongest opposition to the governments comes from

the moderate Islamic movements may be a challenge to a real democratic

transformation, in general, and to the ENP process, in particular. In fact,

Islamist groups reject outside interference in internal affairs, especially in

the political domain, more strongly than the other political and social

actors. The ambiguous approach of many Islamist groups to some

129

crucial issues such as human rights, universal citizenship, women’s is-

sues and legal matters, may raise doubts about their real commitment to

Ibid.

125 For the Jordanian Islamic Action Front (IAF) and the Egyptian Muslim Brother-

126

hood, which are not discussed here for reasons of space, see, respectively, J. Chou-

cair, op.cit. and N. Brown, M. Dunne, and A. Hamzawy, op.cit.

Freedom House, Jordan’s Country Report, 2008, op.cit.

127 Inter-parliamentary Union, Egypt: Shoura Assembly, http://www.ipu.org/parline

128

/reports/2374.htm#last, consulted on April 2009.

S. Şenyücel, S. Güner, and S. Faath, and H. Mattes, op.cit.

129 61

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

There are risks to excluding non-violent Islamists from the

democracy.

130

political sphere as well. Since they represent a large section of the popu-

lation, their exclusion from political life is likely to weaken the chances of

democratic transformation in the region and to alienate the population

further from the political process. As noted by Haddad and Pogodda

131

“by engaging with Islamists in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Morocco

and Tunisia, the EU might not only develop a mutual understanding

between itself and a real ‘other’, but it will also give credence to an alter-

native discourse to that of the ruling government, and invite a third

party into negotiations that may in fact be more representative of the

partner countries than the current”. Moreover, in countries where gov-

ernments treat moderate Islamist movements with hostility and use vio-

lence against them, more conservative and potentially violent Islamist

factions can rise, as is in the case of Egypt, where a new wave of politi-

cally-oriented Salafism, more dogmatic than other Islamist factions, is

gaining support particularly among the lower classes of northern cit-

ies.

132

However, there are also promising developments underway. The cases

of Morocco, Jordan and Egypt indicate that moderate Islamists have ac-

cepted the current rules of the game governing their participation in

politics and have not destabilised the countries. For example, the PJD in

Morocco has claimed that “the establishment and strengthening of de-

mocracy in Moroccan political life depends on the existence of democ-

ratic political parties which have clear visions and programs capable of

enhancing the people’s representation in all public institutions”. More-

133

over, although differences between secular groups and Islamists remain

relevant, the degree of convergence over national priorities is growing.

For example, in 2005 in Egypt, a coalition of eleven political parties and

groupings, covering virtually the whole of the opposition, including the

Muslim Brotherhood, formed the United National Front for Change call-

ing for comprehensive constitutional reform, an end to corruption and

See A. Hamzawy, “The Key to Arab Reform: Moderate Islamists”, Policy Brief,

130

Carnegie Endowment, No. 40, July 2005, www.carnegieendowment, consulted on

September 2007.

S. Haddad and S. Poggoda, “The European Neighbourhood Policy: A View from

131

the South”, GO-Euro Med Working Paper, No. 0614, 2006, 16, www.goeuromed.org,

consulted on September 2007.

N. Field, and A. Hamem, ‘Salafism making inroads’, Arab Reform Bulletin, March

132

2009.

A. Hamzawy, op.cit.

133 62

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

authoritarianism including the annulment of emergency laws, equality

between the sexes and the bolstering of national unity. 134

In conclusion, support for real political reform is urgent as long as the

worsening economic situation and the regimes’ loss of political legitima-

tion are determining a loss of political consensus, especially in those so-

cial strata marginalised by recent economic reforms. Based on the APs

negotiated by the EU with Morocco, Jordan and Egypt so far, it seems

unlikely that the ENP will be able to yield the expected benefits to pro-

mote substantive democratic change. Yet, the ENP process should at-

tempt to push for substantive political reforms that introduce a fairer

electoral system, strengthen parliament powers and guarantee judicial

independence. Similarly, successful implementation of the ENP requires

a wider constituency for the reform agenda and the involvement of a

broad spectrum of actors. Ways should be found to build up the consen-

sus for reforms in all political parties, including Islamic groups. The key

challenge is to balance leadership from above with demands from below

in order to create public pressure and support for real reforms. Finally,

the EU should engage in supporting a real process of internal reform of

political parties.

Economic Costs and Benefits

Within the ENP framework, the SM countries are expected to benefit

greatly from a stable macro-economic framework and market-oriented

reforms. For example, with more trade and foreign direct investment

(FDI), SM countries are assumed to achieve higher rates of growth, cre-

ate more jobs, and improve the knowledge, skills and productivity of

their labour force. The potential benefits offered by the liberalisation of

trade in the area of services are regarded as being even higher than those

offered by free trade.

135

In recent years, economic reforms in Morocco, Jordan and Egypt have

proceeded faster than political reforms. The priority actions included in

the APs reflect the usual set of macro-economic and structural reforms

F. Farag, “Cracks in the Façade: How Much Unity is there in the United National

134

Front for Change”, Al-Ahram Weekly, 2-9 November 2005, http://weekly.ah ram. org.

eg/2005/767/eg6.htm, consulted on September 2007. For examples on Morocco, see

A. Hamzawy, op.cit.

D. Müller-Jentsch, Deeper Integration and Trade in Services in the Euro-Mediterranean

135

Region: Southern Dimensions of the European Neighbourhood Policy, World Bank and

European Commission, 2005, http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2005/july/tra

doc_124235.pdf 63

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

that Morocco, Jordan and Egypt have been committed to implementing

since the adoption of their first structural adjustment programs in con-

junction with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World

Bank (WB), respectively in 1983, 1989 and 1991. However, even though

the three countries have succeeded in improving their macro-economic

performance and have engaged in a gradual process of liberalization and

privatization, such policies have been unable to deliver the expected

benefits of long-term growth, increased investment, strong productivity,

competitiveness, and employment. On the whole, economic reforms

have favoured the economic interests of the elite group, while the bene-

fits for the rest of the population have not yet materialised.

Progress on the macro-economic front remains vulnerable in so far as

the economic reforms have not addressed the structural causes of fragile

growth: the economies of SM countries continue to be barely diversified,

vulnerable to natural and external shocks and highly dependent on ex-

ternal rents. For example, Jordan still confronts high dependency on

various types of rents, including aid, remittances and loans. Moreover,

although governments claim to be strongly committed to economic re-

forms, structural reforms continue to be slow, selective or incomplete,

particularly in Jordan and Egypt. In addition, economic reforms such as

trade liberalisation and privatisation are not, by themselves, sufficient to

provide long-lasting solutions to the countries’ economic challenges.

Most local enterprises are small in size and have difficulty accessing es-

sentials factors of production, and are therefore incapable of competing

on the EU and other foreign markets. Indeed, despite the fact that the

136

three countries have signed numerous international trade agreements,

FDI and export of manufacturing goods have neither increased nor

stimulated local production capacity and supply as expected. More-

137

over, the current global financial crisis is likely to hinder meaningful and

inclusive economic reforms in many Southern Mediterranean countries.

Although most SM countries, including Morocco, Jordan and Egypt,

have remained so far relatively immune vis-à-vis the current financial

crisis, the impact on the real economy is likely to be felt heavily, espe-

cially in those countries with strong linkages with Europe in trade and

tourism. These SM countries will feel the negative impact of the financial

A. Hemal, “Enhancing Neighbourhood Policy through FDI”, in F. Attinà and R.

136

Rosa, (eds.), European Neighbourhood Policy: Political, Economic and Social Issue, The

Jean Monnet Centre “Euro-Med” Department of Political Studies, Catania, 2004.

Ibid.

137 64

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

crisis through the depressed European demand for imports and tourism

spending and will also receive less FDI and financial aid from Europe.

The evidence provided above suggests that promoting a stable macro-

economic context and market-oriented economic reforms are not suffi-

cient conditions to boost economic growth, development and employ-

ment in the region. There are indeed serious political economy con-

straints to economic reforms that need to be addressed. For example,

while the ruling elites are currently putting higher priority on economic

reforms than on political reforms, they have shown a marked preference

so far for a gradual pace of economic reform. This is for two main rea-

sons: first, established elites have resisted deep structural reforms such

as privatisation, administrative reform and trade liberalisation out of

concern that they would harm their economic or political interests; sec-

ond, they fear that full-scale economic reforms could entail social dislo-

cations and politically destabilise the country. In Jordan, for example,

structural reforms in key areas are now proceeding slowly because the

policies the King must adopt to face the challenge of economic develop-

ment - particularly administrative reform and privatization - threaten the

monarchy’s traditional support base, namely the citizens of Transjorda-

nian origin who dominate the public sector. Moreover, economic re-

138

forms have been used by ruling elites as a strategic tool for maintaining

and reorganising the system of privileges that has served them, allowing

for the regime’s survival. Privatisation programs are a case in point. In

all three countries reviewed here, privatisation programs have benefited

a few well-connected businessmen, friends and relatives of regime

members (as well as the royal family in the case of Morocco and Jor-

dan).

139

There is evidence, at least in Egypt and Jordan, that most political ac-

tors outside the elite give priority to political over economic reforms and

are critical of the government's continued emphasis on economic mat-

While Transjordanians have traditionally dominated the public sector, Jordan

138

citizens of Palestinian origin have led private sector activities. See S. Alissa, “Rethink-

ing Economic Reform in Jordan: Confronting Socio-Economic Realities”, Carnegie

Paper, No. 4, July 2007, www.CarnegieEndowement.org, consulted on September,

2007; Ryan, C., op.cit.

B. Dillman, “Facing the Market in North Africa”, The Middle East Journal, Vol. 55,

139

No. 2, 198-215, 2001; S. Heydemann, Networks of Privilege in the Middle East, The Poli-

tics of Economic Reform Revisited, Palgrave, 2005. For Jordan, in particular, see C. Ryan,

op.cit. 65

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

It seems, however, that opposition groups, including the moder-

ters. 140

ate Islamist groups, question the validity of foreign initiatives in the field

of democratisation, and are more inclined to accept cooperation with the

. In Morocco, for example, even left-wing par-

EU in the economic field

141

ties and trade unions appear to lend their support to cooperation with

the EU in the field of economic and developmental policies. The Islamists

of the PJD also share this view in their official declarations.

Finally, an essential pre-condition for any genuine economic reform is

the existence of independent entrepreneurs. In recent years, in all three

countries, the reform process has led to the emergence of a new oligar-

chy of young businessmen, who have become an important source of

support for the regime beside the old support base. These new busi-

nessmen are more Western oriented, are prone to accelerate economic

reforms and enjoy extensive support from the regime. The tension

142

between the old and the new elites is likely to affect economic reform

efforts in the future. However, this new business class is unlikely to pro-

mote a real process of economic reform in so far as its success will con-

tinue to depend on its privileged and strong links to the regime. So far,

in none of the three countries is there evidence of the emergence of a

class of businessmen independent of the government. Because an

autonomous private sector is still lacking, independent business interests

cannot provide an effective lobby in favour of economic reforms. Cor-

ruption is widespread and only wealthy and well-connected business-

people receive special treatment.

In conclusion, the economic prescriptions indicated in the APs will be

unable to deliver the expected benefits to the majority of the population

unless the ENP puts effort into addressing the political economy con-

straints that continue to hinder the implementation of effective and

transparent economic reforms. This means that addressing political is-

sues should be viewed as a crucial complement to economic reform pro-

grams. Progress is thus needed to improve effective governance, anti-

For Jordan see C. Ryan, op. cit; for Egypt see S. Gauch, “Egypt’s Opposition Tar-

140

gets Reforms”, The Christian Monitor, 23 March, 2006, http://www.csmonitor.com-

/2006/0323/p07s02-wome.html, consulted on September 2006.

For Jordan, see W. Abu-Dalbouh, “Jordan and the Euro-Mediterranean Partner-

141

ship”, in H. A. Fernandez, and R. Youngs, (eds), The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership:

Assessing the First Decade, Real Instituto Elcano and FRIDE, October 2005, www.

fride.org/eng/Publications/publication.aspx?item=832 consulted on September 20-

07; for Morocco, see S. Şenyücel, S. Güner, and S. Faath, and H. Mattes, op.cit.

For example, for Jordan, see S. Alissa, op.cit.

142 66

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

corruption enforcement mechanisms and, above all, political participa-

tion.

Social Costs and Benefits

Unemployment is considered one of the most important challenges fac-

ing SM countries: 20 million jobs would have to be created by 2010 to

prevent the already high average unemployment rates of 15% of the

working population from increasing. Moreover, although poverty

143

does not manifest itself with the same intensity as in other developing

countries, living conditions are very poor in rural areas and the areas

surrounding the big cities.

144

While the EMP, since its inception, has not effectively contributed to

the

creating employment or improving the socio-economic situation,

145

ENP seems to introduce some positive changes with regard to social

issues, offering an opportunity to redress this balance and contribute to

promoting social development. In particular, the APs for Morocco, Jor-

dan and Egypt entail the promotion of policies against poverty and un-

employment as well as the enhancement of dialogue and cooperation

with the EU on social matters.

Over the past years, the countries reviewed have taken a series of pub-

lic initiatives to reduce unemployment and poverty. This suggests that

146

the governments feel increasingly pressed to deal with unemployment,

job creation and poverty reduction. However, there is the risk that such

initiatives are more cosmetic than real. With regard to Jordan, for exam-

ple, the last EU progress report notes that the implementation of the em-

ployment and poverty reduction strategy inaugurated by the King in

H. Handoussa and J. L. Reiffers, Femise 2003 Report on the Euro-Mediterranean Part-

143

nership, Institut de la Méditerranée, Marseille, 2003, http://www.femise.org/Pub

indic/an-03.html#gb, consulted on September 2007.

See M. Karshenas and V. M. Moghadam. (eds), Social Policy in the Middle East,

144

Palgrave Macmillan..

See I. Barreñada and I. Martín, “Employment and Social Protection in the Euro-

145

Mediterranean Partnership Status, Perspectives and Proposals for Action”, paper

presented for the “Barcelona + 10 Civil Event” organised by the EuroMed Non Gov-

ernmental Platform, Malaga, 30 September and 1-2 October 2005, http://www.

eco.uc3m.es/immartin/EmpleolargaEnglishrevisada.doc, consulted on September

2007.

See Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report–Jordan, 2006

146

and 2008; Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report–Morocco,

2006 and 2008; Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report–

Egypt, 2008. 67

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

2006 suffered from a general lack of consistency and coordination, which

led to the delay of the European Community assistance programme on

In Morocco, in spite of the approval of a regula-

poverty alleviation.

147

tory framework on child labour, women’s and workers’ rights, its con-

crete application is still difficult. The fact that the action lines indicated in

the APs remain too generic and are not translated into speci fic/ di-

rect/concrete measures to boost employment and alleviate poverty may

contribute to favouring rhetorical endorsement by countries’ ruling el-

ites. Another explanation is that, alongside the spread of public initia-

tives to address poverty and unemployment, the state is actually retreat-

ing from the provision of social services because of declining financial

resources . For example, the state is increasingly delegating its social

148

welfare functions to private actors such as non-governmental organisa-

tions, while social spending is no longer sufficient to prevent the deterio-

ration of the quality of health and educational services. This means that,

in the long run, the social policies so widely publicised by SM govern-

ments are likely to turn out to be unsustainable. With regard to Morocco,

for example, budget constraints are raising concerns about the sustain-

ability of the National Initiative for Human Development (NIHD)

launched in 2006, which the first EU progress report considers “a key

149

instrument for reducing social disparities and combating poverty”. In

150

this regard, the European Commission has devoted € 60 million to sup-

porting the implementation of the NIHD. However, the global finan-

151

cial crisis of 2008-9 is likely to exacerbate budget constraints in most SM

countries, including Morocco, Jordan and Egypt, through a reduction in

international aid.

A second factor to be considered in the cost-benefit analysis is that the

current employment and social policies implemented by SM countries,

Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report–Jordan, 2008, 6.

147 See M. C. Paciello, “Income Distribution in the Middle East and North Africa,

148

1960-2000”, in J. Baudot and J. K. Sundaram (ed.), Flat World, Big Gaps: Economic Lib-

eralization, Globalization, Poverty and Inequality, Zed Books, 2007; for Egypt, A. Bayat,

“The Political Economy of Social Policy in Egypt”, in M. Karshenas and V. M.

Moghadam (eds), Social Policy in the Middle East, Palgrave Macmillan, 135-155.

S. Radwan and N. El Oraby, “Poverty Reduction Strategies in North Africa Coun-

149

try Cases for Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia”, Paper prepared for the United Nation’s

Economic Commission for Africa, June 14, 2006, www.uneca.org/prsp/cairo/docu-

ments/NA_Paper.pdf, consulted on September 2007.

Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report–Morocco, 2006, 7.

150 Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report-Morocco, Brus-

151

sels, 2008. 68

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

and encouraged in the APs, seem to be rather ineffective in dealing with

unemployment and poverty. Similarly, they fail to benefit the needy

population. In Morocco, for which more information is available, despite

the social security reform called for in the AP and launched in 2005, the

system continues to be highly discriminatory in so far as it excludes the

majority of workers, the self-employed, as well as wage earners in the

As noted by the last EU progress report on Morocco

informal sector. 152

, a health insurance for the poor has not been established yet although

153

its creation was announced by the year 2006. Although the reform of

154

the Labour Code approved in 2004 and supported in the AP is indis-

putably a major contribution to the modernization of industrial relations

in Morocco, nonetheless, it imposes restrictions on the right to strike, and

introduces little flexibility regarding labour contracts . SM countries,

155

including the countries reviewed here, generally lack a coherent and

comprehensive national employment strategy so that governments tend

to deal with job creation through piecemeal measures . In this regard,

156

the lines of action indicated in the APs are still too generic and need to be

translated into specific measures to effectively boost employment and

alleviate poverty.

Finally, the outcome of many of the economic reforms envisaged in the

AP will not produce positive results immediately and are likely to have

high social costs in the short term. The economic policies implemented

so far by Morocco, Jordan and Egypt, which are the same as those pre-

scribed within the ENP framework, have been associated with lower

living standards and labour market outcomes. In the coming years, as

tariffs on the nationally produced consumer products that are most sen-

sitive to competition from European products are dismantled, Southern

In 2005, the government established the Assurance Maladie Obligatoire (AMO) that

152

consists in a compulsory health insurance system for public and private wage earn-

ers in the formal sector and for holders of pension.

Commission of the European Communities, ENP Progress Report-Morocco, Brus-

153

sels, 2008.

The system of health assistance for the poor is called Régime d'Assistance Médicale

154

pour les Populations Démunies (RAMED).

I. Martin, “The Social Impact of Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Areas: A First

155

Approach with Special Reference to the Case of Morocco”, Mediterranean Politics,

Vol.9, No.3, 2004, 422-58.

N. El-Megharbel, “The Impact of Recent Macro and Labor Market Policies on Job

156

Creation in Egypt”, ECES Working Paper, No. 123, May 2007. For Jordan, see EU/ Jor

dan Strategic Paper, 2007-2013, http://ec.europa. eu/world/enp/documents_en.

htm#1, consulted on September 2007. 69

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

Mediterranean citizens will start to feel the negative effects of the Euro-

Since many small- and

Mediterranean Free Trade Areas (EMFTA).

157

medium-sized firms in SM countries are unable to compete with higher

quality EU goods both within the EU and in their domestic markets, the

problems of unemployment and labour market flexibility are likely to

increase. In addition, since custom duties have traditionally been an im-

portant source of revenue for those countries’ national budgets, trade

policy reform will generate a drop in taxes on international transactions

and therefore a reduction in state income. This could translate into fur-

ther cuts in social spending. In spite of this, the APs–with the exception

of the AP for Egypt – make no mention of adopting specific measures

that compensate for the social costs of economic reforms. Failure to

158

adopt countermeasures against the possible negative effects of economic

reforms could aggravate the social situation and generate serious costs in

terms of social and political sustainability of reforms.

Up to now, civil society, unions and political parties have been too

weak to resist or influence economic and social policies. They are unable

to mobilise large sectors of the society and lack a popular constituency.

The regimes have rarely involved the various social actors in the design

of social and economic policies, including the EMP and ENP processes.

However, in all three countries reviewed here, economic reforms have

met with significant popular resistance because they have worsened

people’s standard of living. People seem to be more concerned with the

negative implications of economic reforms for the labour market than for

lack of political reforms. Islamic movements in the countries are gaining

popular support thanks to deteriorating social and economic conditions.

Recently, there have been signs of growing opposition to the negative

social effects associated with economic reform, particularly with the ac-

celeration of privatisation programs. For example, between 2006 and

2007, Egypt saw the longest and strongest wave of worker protest since

the end of World War II, spreading throughout the major industrial cen-

tres of the Delta to denounce privatisation programs.

159

If economic reforms continue to go ahead, while political reforms are

postponed and benefits for the low-middle social strata do not material-

See A. Hemal, op.cit.; for Morocco, see I. Martin, op.cit.

157 See EU/Jordan Action Plan, op. cit; EU/Morocco Action Plan, op. cit; EU/Egypt Action

158

Plan, op. cit.

J. Beinin and H. El Hamalawy, “Strikes in Egypt Spread from Center of Gravity”,

159

Middle East Report, May 9, 2007, http://www.merip.org/mero/mero050907.html

consulted on September 2007. 70

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

ise, incumbent regimes could go through serious crises of legitimacy.

This could bring about greater political instability and violent forms of

resistance, halting both political and economic reform. As the impact of

the global financial crisis in many SM countries will be directly felt on

employment and household incomes, it could further undermine the

legitimacy of incumbent regimes, unless adequate and coherent social

policies are implemented. As a result, the EU should attempt to stren-

gthen the social dimension of the ENP process as much as possible to

avoid the risk of political and social instability in SM countries. More-

over, the whole society is likely to benefit from the implementation of

fair and effective social policies. In addition, all actors, including the rul-

ing elite, seem to agree on the importance of addressing the unemploy-

ment and poverty problems. As mentioned before, ruling elites fear the

socially and politically destabilising effects of economic reforms, and

therefore, in the name of security, may have a strong interest in dealing

with the issue of the social costs of economic reforms. Similarly, they are

aware that failing to respond to the unemployment and poverty prob-

lems through appropriate social policies could lead to social and political

repercussions which they may not be able to control.

Overall Cost-Benefit Assessment

The ENP has the potential to deliver political, economic and social bene-

fits to SM countries, but up to now it has not yielded any concrete positi

ve results. At all levels, ruling elites have benefited the most, to the disad

vantage of the majority of citizens.

As highlighted by the examples provided above and the literature on

the ENP , there are a number of shortcomings in the APs that seem to

160

hinder the effectiveness of the process and, therefore need to be redress-

sed:

- APs are imprecise, cautious and not specific in policy-operational de

tail, particularly with regard to political and social issues, despite the fact

that the initial objective of these Action Plans was to spell out the actions

needed to implement specific goals based on the priorities of each coun-

try;

See, for example, S. Radwan, and J. L. Reiffers, FEMISE Report on the Euro-

160

Mediterranean Partnership 2006: Analysis and Proposals of the Euro-Mediterranean

Forum of Economic Institutes, September 2006, www.femise.net/PDF/Femise_-

A2006gb.pdf consulted on September 2007; M. Emerson and G. Noutcheva, “From

Barcelona Process to Neighbourhood Policy: Assessments and Open Issues”, CEPS

Working Paper, No. 220, Brussels, March, 2005

71

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

- APs are not supported by clear indications of the incentives offered

to the partner states, and on what conditions;

- APs provide no specific dates or modalities for implementation.

Their time dimension is lost when terms as “short term” and “medium

term” are used without defining the length of time intended. The non-

specification of the time frame in the AP could result in a slowdown of

the whole process.

On the political front, the reforms envisaged in the ENP are unlikely to

contribute to stimulating a real process of democratic transformation or

to meeting and satisfying citizens’ expectations.

To sum up, the major constraint to substantive political reforms in

Southern Mediterranean countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Morocco is

the fact that ruling elites in these countries are more interested in im-

proving their economic cooperation with the EU than in engaging in a

political dialogue for real democratic change. Their main concerns re-

main political stability and security, which are necessary for their sur-

vival. As for the opposition groups, particularly the secular ones lack

popular constituency, are weak and co-opted by the regimes, and there-

fore unable to promote real political change. On the other hand, the

moderate Islamic groups are the only real opposition to SM governments

with a popular constituency. Their exclusion from political life is likely to

weaken the chances of democratic transformation in the region and en-

courage the emergence of violent and radical Islamist movements. In

addition, the ENP reform agenda was not discussed with major political

actors and civil society organisations, but was instead negotiated by a

select group of senior policy-makers who ensure that reforms do not

destabilize their hold on power, and the EU has done little to promote

local pro-reform voices, including moderate Islamic groups. Last but

161

certainly not least, an unfavourable geo-political context hinders political

reforms, particularly in Jordan.

As far as the favourable factors for the implementation of reforms are

concerned, it has to be recalled that some elements from trade unions,

civil society groups and opposition parties are calling for a real political

transformation, and seem inclined to cooperate with the EU in the eco-

nomic field. Given that there has been very little public discussion of the

ENP in SM countries, it is not clear to what extent these groups support

See R. Youngs, “Europe’s Flawed Approach to Arab Democracy”, Centre for Euro-

161

pean Reform, 2006. 72

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

the ENP process, but they favour political over economic reform, sug-

gesting a favourable context for the ENP to address the political econ-

omy constraints to economic reforms and implement political reforms

step by step alongside economic reforms. Also, moderate Islamic groups

seem to have accepted the current rules of the game governing participa-

tion in legal politics and are calling for deep political reform.

Generally speaking, economic reforms have undoubtedly proceeded

more quickly than political reforms. However, progress on the macro-

economic level remains vulnerable in so far as the structural causes of

fragile growth have not been addressed. Structural reforms continue to

be hesitant and unable to deliver the expected economic benefits to the

majority of the population. The global financial crisis is likely to pose

additional challenges to the economies of Southern Mediterranean coun-

tries in terms of declining economic growth and export performance.

As for the major constraints to effective, transparent and equitable eco-

nomic reforms, there are first of all serious political economy obstacles

that continue to stand behind the implementation of reforms: established

elites resist reforms that will harm their economic or political interests,

while they use reforms in a way that allows the existing regimes to sur-

vive and favours their economic interests. Secondly, a business sector

independent of the government is still lacking and finally there is no

dynamic and competitive business sector that is able to take advantage

of trade and investment opportunities.

Unemployment and poverty remain the most important challenges

facing Southern Mediterranean countries. The current financial crisis

could worsen the labour market situation in most SM countries follow-

ing the return of migrant workers from both Europe and Gulf countries.

The ENP framework seems to introduce some positive changes with

regard to social issues, offering an opportunity to contribute to promot-

ing social development in SM countries. However, the ENP may fail to

deliver real social benefits. First, the social initiatives launched by the

governments seem to be more cosmetic than real. Second, social policies

are hardly effective in dealing with unemployment and poverty. Third,

the outcome of many of the economic reforms envisaged in the APs will

not be immediately positive and are actually likely to have negative ef-

fects in the short term, especially in the low-middle social strata. Among

the major constraints to delivering effective social benefits are the follow-

ing:

- Because of budget constraints, the state is increasingly unable to sup-

port effective social policies; the ENP framework does not seriously take

73

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

into account the side-effects of implementing economic reforms; civil

society, unions and political parties are still too weak to resist or influ-

ence economic and social policies and are rarely involved in social con-

sultation, including in the ENP process

- As for the favourable factors, the majority of local actors including

incumbent elites and opposition groups, agree, albeit for different rea-

sons, that there is an urgent need to address the unemployment and

poverty problems through appropriate social policies and that an accel-

eration of economic reforms will entail possible negative effects that

need to be taken into account.

Finally, it is too early to assess what kind of impact the Union for the

Mediterranean (UfM) may have on the implementation of the ENP-

induced reforms in Southern Mediterranean countries. Not only was this

initiative recently launched (July 2008), it is also having a very difficult

start, following Israel’s intervention in Gaza in December 2008-January

2009 and the reactions that action triggered in Arab countries.

Potential Suggestions for Other Incentives

This analysis shows that the EU is having difficulty in trying to adopt a

conditionality strategy with Southern Neighbours. The most effective

incentive that the EU ever devised to persuade third countries to reform

their political, economic and social system was enlargement policy, no-

tably the pre-accession strategy. These models have indeed influenced

the ENP scheme, which was initially conceived for Eastern neighbours

and was subsequently extended to Southern ones. However, if the

162

membership perspective is not present at all, not even in the long run,

trying to apply conditionality to Southern Neighbours in a similar fash-

ion as it was applied vis-à-vis candidate countries or even Eastern

neighbours will not work. In addition, unlike their Eastern counterparts,

Southern neighbours do not aim at upgrading their contractual relations

with the EU, at least in the short run. They already have in force Associa-

tion Agreements with the EU under Article 310 of the Treaty of the

European Communities, which are for the moment the most advanced

contractual agreements between the EU and third countries short of

membership. Moreover, it is not yet clear whether the socalled “Neigh-

See M. Comelli, “The Challenges of the European Neighbourhood Policy”, TheI-

162

international Spectator, Vol. 39, No. 3, 2004, 99. R. Del Sarto and T. Schumacher, “From

EMP to ENP: What’s at Stake with the European Neighbourhood Policy towards the

Southern Mediterranean?”, European Foreign Affairs Review, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2005, 17-38

74

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

bourhood Agreements” will be stipulated and what their provisions will

be. This is why other kind of incentives should be devised, such as: 1)

relaxation of the visa regime; 2) more trade liberalisation for agricultural

products; 3) more funds for the countries that show better performance

in domestic reforms.

Improving the perspectives for lawful migration and movement of

persons through, for example, establishing a more flexible visa system

could be a possible incentive to persuade SM countries to carry out sub-

stantive reforms. More liberal migration policies and visa regimes are

A possible fa-

probably among the main desiderata of the SM states. 163

cilitation of legal labour migration from the SM countries to the EU is

seen by SM countries as a way of diminishing demographic pressures

and, partly, alleviating the problem of unemployment. Offering substan-

tial improvements on the visa side, particularly for some categories of

people, such as students, by providing simpler and faster procedures,

perhaps in exchange for a readmission agreement, could provide an in-

centive for reform in the partner countries and would result in a better

knowledge and perception of the EU in the SM countries. However, the

ENP has not yet allowed for significant progress in improving the

movement of partner countries’ citizens to the EU. In the APs, there is

still very little that regards visa policy or legal migration. In the case of

Jordan for example, the AP only includes the possibility of “examining

the scope for visa facilitation for short stay for some categories of persons

to be defined jointly” . In Morocco, the negotiation rounds on visa fa-

164

cilitation and readmission agreement have been stuck since 2007.

165

The second incentive that might prove effective in persuading SM

countries to carry out substantive reforms is in the field of agriculture,

which is an area of high economic potential and interest for SM coun-

tries. As most of the SM countries have a comparative advantage in agri-

culture, particularly fruit and vegetables, improved access to the EU ag-

ricultural markets is important to stimulate export growth, create jobs,

and provide sustainable livelihoods to farmers in these countries. It is

estimated that Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories and

S. Jones and M. Emerson, “European Neighbourhood Policy in the Mashreq Coun-

163

tries: Enhancing Prospects for Reform”, CEPS Working Document, No. 229, September

2005, www.isn.ethz.ch/pubs/ph/details.cfm?lng= en&id=13877, consulted on Sep-

tember 2007.

EU/Jordan Action Plan, op.cit, 3

164 On the contrary, in June 2007 the EU concluded a visa facilitation agreement and a

165

readmission agreement with Ukraine. 75

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

Syria could generate 119,000 new jobs, making a profit for producers of

$498 million and adding $756 million to the value of their economies, just

by meeting the EU’s unmet demand for strawberries, grapes, dates,

Access to EU markets, however, re-

green beans, and sweet melons. 166

mains characterised by tariffs, quotas, exceptions and timetables. Also,

the APs are still cautious with regard to extending freedom of movement

of goods to agricultural products, even though there are differences be-

tween countries. In the case of Jordan, the AP only contemplates the

“possibility for further liberalization of trade in agricultural products”,

without mentioning any concrete measures. As for Morocco’s AP, al-

167

though agricultural reform is aimed at fostering conditions for the crea-

tion of a free trade area with the EU, most measures, while useful for

promoting agriculture, are aimed at exchanging information on agricul-

tural policies, not explicitly at liberalization. 168

With regard to the funds aimed at rewarding the best-performing

neighbouring countries, in 2006 the EU launched the so-called Govern-

ance Facility within the European Neighbourhood and Partnership In-

strument (ENPI), the financial instrument aimed at the ENP countries.

The point is that the funds allocated to the Governance Facility are only

300 million euro. This is insufficient if one considers that it covers the

period from 2007 to 2013 and is potentially directed at all neighbouring

countries. It should therefore be increased, but this appears to be particu-

larly difficult at a time when the financing of the Union for the Mediter-

ranean relies, among others, on ENP financial sources. In addition, the

169

funds of the Governance Facility will be allocated to reward governance

reform rather than genuine democratic change.

170

A related problem is that the governments of Southern Mediterranean

countries have a kind of veto on granting money from the EU to third

parties. In fact, the ENPI envisaged that the funding for non-govern

mental organisations would receive the prior approval of the recipient’s

government, with the result that in Jordan, for example, much of the

Oxfam International, Euro-Med: Ensuring a Fair Deal, Oxfam Briefing Note, 26

166

November 2005.

EU/Jordan Action Plan, op.cit, 3.

167 EU/Morocco Action Plan, op.cit., 9-10.

168 In particular, these sources are the ENPI Euro-Med envelope, the Neighbourhood

169

Investment Facility and the cross-border cooperation instrument within the ENPO.

Joint Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, Paris, 13 July 2008.

R. Youngs, “Europe’s flawed approach to democracy”, Centre for European Reform

170

essays, October 2006, 3. 76

Michele Comelli, Maria Cristina Paciello

MEDA ‘civil society support’ has been received by non-govern-mental

A

organisations (NGOs) headed by members of the royal family. 171

strong effort should be made to change this regulation and make it pos-

sible, at least to a certain extent, for non-governmental organisations to

be able to receive funds without the government’s approval, as is already

the case with the main financial instrument aimed at promoting democ-

racy worldwide, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human

Rights (EIDHR).

The ENP should be communicated better to the Southern Neighbours,

both at the elite and the popular level. First of all, the EU should explain

more clearly the goals and instruments of the ENP to the governments of

these countries, in order to avoid misunderstandings and reinforce the

idea that the policy is jointly owned by the two counterparts, and it is not

only an EU-led policy. Similarly, the main advantages should be stress-

sed, and the new elements pointed out, also in relation to the Union for

the Mediterranean, which has taken over from the Barcelona process: the

relationship between the ENP and the UfM is yet to be clarified. More

effective EU involvement in crisis management and conflict settlement,

especially in the Middle East, would also give the EU a much more

credible image in the eyes of the Southern Neighbours, both among the

elites and among ordinary citizens. The above mentioned measures, such

as relaxation of the visa regime, trade liberalisation for agricultural

products being exported to the EU would, apart from their material ef-

fects, greatly help to improve the image and credibility of the EU in the

Southern Mediterranean countries.

Ibid.

171 77

a Cost/Benefit Analysis

Boş Sayfa

78

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

From EU Association Agreements to EU

Neighbourhood Policy and Union for the

Mediterranean:

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU

Regional Trade Policy?

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

In 2003 the EU announced a new initiative, the European Neighbour-

hood Policy (ENP) aimed at its Eastern and Southern neighbours. The

future of the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements (AAs) that

evolved out of the Barcelona Process of 1995 has since been open to sev-

eral question marks. Would the ENP mark a departure from Association

Agreements signed with South Mediterranean countries (SMCs ) in-

172

cluding Egypt (even though AAs still constitute the legal basis for the

EU’s relations with SMCs)? Or would the ENP represent a continuation

of the Association Agreements as far as the content of the cooperation is

concerned? Or would the two initiatives work in tandem with each

other? Moreover, and besides the unclear technicalities in the new ENP,

including the big black box “stake in the market” which is supposed to

be the carrot that EU would provide to cooperative SMCs, the Egyptian

community has started to question how Egypt benefits from approving

this new initiative.

SMCs include: Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Turkey,

172

Cyprus, Malta, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.

79

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU Regional Trade Policy?

This article tries to evaluate the process of shifting from the Euro-

Mediterranean Partnership (also known as the Barcelona Process) and its

Association Agreement to the ENP and its Action Plan from an Egyptian

perspective. While both the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement

and the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan include many eco-

nomic, political and social aspects, including security and cultural issues,

the focus of our article is on the economic and specifically trade-oriented

aspects. We adopt an analytical approach where we discuss the pros and

cons of each alternative and try to reach some sort of objective opinion

towards the best option for Egypt. We also provide a short ex-ante ap-

praisal of what can be expected from the new Union for the Mediterra-

nean from an Egyptian perspective.

In Section One we shortly review EU regional trade policy and raise

the question of whether the changes of such policy are good or bad for

EU trading partners. In Section Two we provide a comparison between

the Association Agreement signed between EU and Egypt in 2002 and

the elements included in the Action Plan of Egypt signed in 2007, within

the ENP’s framework. Section Three provides an assessment of the ENP

and the Egyptian Action Plan in light of the Association Agreement. Sec-

tion Four discusses what would have been best for Egypt, given its so-

cial, economic, and political status while reflecting on the elements in-

cluded in the two initiatives. Section Five provides a short overview on

the prospects of Union for the Mediterranean Initiative for Egypt. Section

Six concludes with some important lessons.

Section One:

EU Regional Trade Policy Change: Good or Bad and for Whom?

In many cases the EU has announced that its regional trade policy needs

to be revised to overcome its pitfalls. This has been the case with the EU

policy towards SMCs under the context of the General Cooperation

Agreements framework which started in the early 1970s and has since

changed repeatedly as a result of recognition by the EU that a new policy

should be adopted towards the SMCs.

The EU’s regional trading partners have been obliged to adapt to such

changes in EU regional trade policy. Such adaptation does not necessar-

ily mean that they agreed to the changes, but their bargaining power

with the EU did not allow them to challenge EU policies. Hence, the de-

termining player in all relations has been the EU, which has chosen a

specific way in its negotiations. The European Commission prefers to

80

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

deal with countries in regional contexts, however when it comes to nego-

tiations it negotiates on a bilateral basis. For example, the Barcelona

Process identified 12 Mediterranean countries which have been consid-

ered for a new policy by the European Commission, but each of the 12

countries has its own specific association agreement with the EU, in

some cases similar (e.g. the Tunisia and Morocco Association Agree-

differing completely (e.g. the Israel As-

ments), but in other countries

173

sociation Agreement compared to the Egypt agreement). Such policy (i.e.

dealing with countries in two contexts, regional and bilateral) has its

pros and cons. Its pros include ensuring a certain degree of harmony

among the EU policies adopted towards a certain geographical region

which helps to lessen the burden of huge diversification among different

countries. Moreover, it provides the countries negotiating or dealing

with the EU with precedents on certain issues during negotiations or

implementation of certain trade commitments, which builds some sort of

understanding among trade negotiators of what can and what cannot be

achieved when dealing with the EU. Its cons include the absence of

specificity for each country, which in turn can lead to negative conse-

quences in the process of dealing with countries in a regional context as a

result of the aggregation process.

In fact, in its regional trade policies the EU has always oscillated be-

tween the need to have some sort of harmonized regional policy and the

need to consider the specifics of each country it is joining it in a regional

trade agreement. As a result the EU has been always changing its policies

towards the SMCs to emphasize one of the two aspects. The balance be-

tween achieving the two objectives is difficult and it seems that the EU is

still trying to strike it.

Academic literature available on how the EU regional trading partners

perceive such changes in policy is scarce. Most of the literature that is

produced are official documents of the European Commission arguing

that the EU has discovered there are pitfalls in its regional trade policy

and hence has decided to shift to its new policy or that there is a need to

strengthen the existing policy through an additional new mechanism.

The academic and official literature produced on the other end by the

regional partners cannot argue much as they confirm that there have

been pitfalls in the old policy but cannot produce the same judgments as

the European Commission regarding the new policy since they have not

R. Aliboni, A. Driss, T. Shcumacher, and A. Tovias, "Putting the Mediterranean

173

Union in Perspective", EuroMesco Paper, No. 68, June 2008.

81

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU Regional Trade Policy?

tested it, and hence any argument they use will have a subjective and not

an objective basis. This implies that the EU has adopted an interesting

intellectual approach in tackling the change of its regional trade policy

by starting to criticize itself by arguing that such regional trade policy

has not achieved its desired objectives and there is a need for a change.

The EU has proposed such change and added influential wording in its

documents such as sustainable development and enhancement of South-

South cooperation. Such approach has its appealing comfort among the

partners and the international community that the EU is admitting its

mistakes and undertaking self-correction mechanisms. Examples include

the announcements that the Barcelona Process did not fully achieve its

expected results in 2003, as none of the Mediterranean countries that

started to implement the Association Agreements have fully imple-

mented it. The main reason behind announcing Barcelona was not ac-

hieving its expected results was to promote the new European Neigh-

bourhood Policy and the associated Action Plans.

However, there are other ways to look at the change in the EU regional

trade policy. The change in policy responds to specific EU interests

which as we have argued above are dynamic. This implies that the inter-

ests of the regional partners are always a secondary priority. Though

protecting the priorities of the EU is rather justifiable, we argue that the

continuous change in the EU regional trade policy has created a high

degree of uncertainty among the regional trading partners and in many

cases this could lead to more costs than gains. So, contrary to the Euro-

pean Commission’s argument in its documents that changes are under-

taken to correct the pitfalls of a certain regional trade or financial system

or arrangement, that has not been the case. For example, it was argued

that the financial protocols system, adopted in the era of Cooperation

174

Agreements between the EU and the SMCs from the 1970s till the mid

1990s, causes many delays in disbursing the aid for beneficiaries and

hence it was replaced by MEDA lines (accompanying the Association

Agreements) which were supposed to overcome this problem, among ot-

hers. The practice shows that the delay in disbursing aid has not been

overcome under the MEDA lines system. MEDA lines were just a

175

Financial Protocols were the system adopted by the European Union to provide

174

funds for SMC during the period of Cooperation Agreement. The Financial Protocols

were designed for five years each and each country was allocated a certain budget to

be disbursed over the five years.

A. F. Ghoneim , Issues of Regional Trade Integration among Industrialized and Develop-

175

ing Countries: The Case of The Egyptian-European Partnership Agreement, Unpublished

82

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

change in the title of the system used for disbursing aid, but did not

change the content of the system itself. What we argue here is that the

change is not always desirable especially if it does not add something

positive and/or does not overcome something negative for the regional

trading partners.

Section Two:

Differences and Similarities between the Euro-Mediterranean Association

Agreements and the European Neighbourhood Policy

The Barcelona Process of 1995 announced the start of a new type of co-

operation replacing the old forms where reciprocity in terms of market

access was included, and political, security, cultural, and social dimen-

sions were added to the list of cooperation, beside the traditional eco-

nomic, trade and financial cooperation. The Association Agreements

between the EU and the 12 SMCs were the new legal instruments within

the Barcelona Process. They included elements of deep integration

176

where they embodied specific provisions on standards, conformity certi-

fication, competition rules, etc. In many cases the words "enhancing",

"cooperating" and "developing" were used, but no specific dates to reach

any form of deep integration were given, with the exception of setting

dates to start negotiations on further liberalization of services and agri-

culture. It is relatively early to assess the impact of the Association

Agreements as little time has elapsed since their entry into force and in

many cases, they are experiencing their transitional period and hence it

would be wrong to comment on the impact of the Association Agree-

ments on the SMCs. For example, in the case of Egypt, implementation

started in 2004 and the transitional period extends twelve years. How-

ever, some studies already exist that point out that there are a number of

factors behind the modest role of the Association Agreements in boost-

ing trade between the EU and the SMCs. These factors include long tran-

sitional periods, high propensity to agricultural protectionism in the EU

and the modest levels of funds provided by the EU to the SMCs.

177

PhD thesis submitted to Friedrich-Alexander-Univeristaet, Erlangen-Nuermberg,

Germany, 2000

Deep integration is a term coined by Lawrence (1996) which implies tackling "be-

176

hind the border" issues in contrast to the shallow integration which deals only with

tariffs at the boarders.

M. Montanari, "The Barcelona Process and the Political Economy of the Euro-

177

Mediterranean Trade Integration", Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol 45, No. 5,

2007, 1011 -1040 83

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU Regional Trade Policy?

In 2003 the EU announced the adoption of the ENP, the official docu-

In fact it was

ments of which still emphasized the Barcelona Process. 178

emphasized that the ENP would be implemented through the Barcelona

The ENP sets up

Process and the Association Agreements with SMCs. 179

Action Plans allowing the SMCs to define their own priorities where

they can closely cooperate and deeply integrate with the EU. The Euro-

pean Commission emphasized that the ENP does not replace the Barce-

lona Process, but rather it builds upon it to deepen trade integration be-

tween the EU and the SMCs.

The Commission has emphasised in different documents that the ENP

is not a substitute for the Association Agreements or the Barcelona Proc-

ess in general. Yet in many documents reviewed (e.g. European Com-

mission, 2004; European Commission, 2006), the reality is that the MEDA

financial instruments, the financial resources provided within the fra-

mework of the Association Agreements, were replaced by the new Euro-

pean Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). The change of

the financial instrument, as well as other issues, is creating a lot of ambi-

guity regarding whether the ENP is a substitute or a complement to the

Association Agreements.

Initially, the ENP proposed the carrot for its non-EU neighbours of a

stake in its internal market and an extension of the four freedoms of the

EU including goods, services, capital and labour. But are not the four

freedoms given only to members of the EU and hence there is no way

that a country like Egypt will have access to the EU internal market? As

mentioned in the European Commission documents: the aim of the ENP

is “to provide a framework for the development of a new relationship

which would not, in the medium-term, include a perspective of member-

ship or a role in the Union’s institutions. A response to the practical is-

sues posed by proximity and Neighbourhood should be seen as separate

from the question of EU accession.”

Whether ENP will bring much to SMCs is highly debatable. The reason

is that it does not add much to the Barcelona Process and has no strong

enforcing mechanism that can push forward the deep integration as-

pects. For example, as stated by the European Commission (2004) “In the

Commission of the European Communities, Communication from the Commis-

178

sion to the Council and the European Parliament Wider Europe—Neighbourhood: A

New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours, Brussels,

12.05.2004, 4.

European Commission, “More unity and more diversity: The European Union’s

179

biggest enlargement”, Brussels: European Commission, 2003

84

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

south, the ENP will also encourage the participants to reap the full bene-

fits of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (the Barcelona Process), to

promote infrastructure interconnections and networks, in particular en-

ergy, and to develop new forms of cooperation with their neighbours.”

All such issues have been previously mentioned in the Barcelona Proc-

ess, besides being vague targets that include anything and everything.

The European Commission in its communication in 2006 realized the

vagueness of the phrase “stake in the internal market” and hence

eliminated it, emphasizing that the aim of the ENP is deepening trade.

Some experts think the ENP provides a way to deepen the existing As-

sociation Agreements. Given the criticisms against the Association Ag-

reements for their shallowness, the ENP offers the SMCs including Egypt

an opportunity to deepen their relationship with the EU. However, we

believe that the Association Agreements contained the necessary pro-

visions for such deep integration but these were rather postponed to the

future or worded vaguely.

The question that then follows is what are the additions in terms of

incentives for a country like Egypt to join the ENP? The deep integration

aspect could have been achieved without adopting the ENP and the

market access issues were already part of the built-in agenda of the

Association Agreement, however they were either vaguely mentioned or

postponed to future negotiations. Table 1 shows that the aspects of deep

integration that have been mentioned in the Association Agreement

were repeated without substantive changes in the Action Plan. The

substantive change has been establishing special committees and sub-

committees - provided by the Association Agreements themselves - as

stated below that oversee the priorities and follow the implementation of

programs agreed upon between Egypt and the EU, which is considered a

change in the mechanism of implementation, and hence can lead to more

effective integration between Egypt and the EU. The Action Plan indi-

cates that the mechanism established under the Association Agreement

will be responsible for the implementation and monitoring of commit-

ments under the Action Plan. These mechanisms are, first, the Egyptian

European Association Council, which was established as per article 74 of

the Association Agreement. It meets once a year at a ministerial level.

Second, the Association Committee, which was established as per article 77

of the Agreement and is composed of senior government officials. Third,

Sub-Committees were established as stipulated in article 80. In this regard,

both parties agreed to establish nine subcommittees, for example on

internal markets, industry, trade, services and investment, transport,

85

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU Regional Trade Policy?

environment and energy, information society and audiovisual, research

and innovation as well as on political matters (human rights and de-

mocracy), plus one working group on migration, social and consular af-

fairs. Such committees and subcommittees are a reflection of the joint

ownership concept that is a core element in what EU announces in its

Barcelona Process and ENP.

Table 1. Aspects of Deep Integration in the Euro-Mediterranean Association

Agreement and the ENP Action Plan* between Egypt and the EU

Association Agreement Action Plan

Tariffs / quotas X

Standards: (SPS, TBT) X X

Investment X XX

IPR X X

Trade facilitation (mainly X X

transport)

Trade defence X X

Services X X

Network industries (mainly X XX

energy)

Govt procurement X X

Comp. policy X X

Dispute settlement X X

* If one X is included in the Action Plan then it replicates to a large extent

what has been mentioned under the AA. If XX is included, then this

implies that there has been some kind of extra deepening efforts.

Nevertheless what remains to be decided is the implementation met-

hod or answering the “how” question. We believe that the EU, building

on the reservoir of experience it has accumulated in its integration and

enlargement processes, is capable of handling each case following its

specific nature. This can be done by defining milestones and guidelines

for each SMC and each element of deep integration to be met, but most

86

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

importantly results should be measured and means to achieve those re-

sults should be made clear. Reviewing the EU documents shows that the

vague wording of cooperation and harmonization in the field of customs

and technical regulations still prevail. There has been emphasis on pro-

gressivity, however approaches adopted by the European Commission

remain general and far from being country specific as has been an-

nounced by the European Commission in its communications. This

could imply that the ENP and Action Plans do not add a significant

value added to the provisions of the Association Agreements. The Action

Plan of Egypt does not contain more details than the Association Agree-

ment. It appears vague, including terms like working on harmonization

or streamlining without specific dates set or deadlines. Moreover, it has

filtered the provisions of the Association Agreements into a wide set of

priorities that do not necessarily reflect the interests of Egypt. For exam-

ple, it provides more details than what has been included in the Associa-

tion Agreement on issues related to energy, environment and migration

which are issues that tend to be more of a priority to the EU than to

Egypt. Moreover, the specific bilateral relationship between the EU and

each of the countries which signed Action Plans remained weak due to

the "general size fits all" approach still embedded in the Action Plans

which highly resemble each other. For example, in 2008 the European

Commission commented in its evaluation of the progress of Action Plans

implemented so far that “The experience gained so far during the im-

plementation of the first generation of Action Plans suggests that future

adaptations should lead to documents that are more closely calibrated to

the partner countries’ specific ambitions and capacities, reflecting the

differentiated relations of the EU with its partners, whilst also promoting

achievable steps towards regulatory convergence with EU legislation

and standards."

180

Section Three:

Assessing the ENP and its Action Plans in Light of the Association Agree-

ments

Comparing the ENP’s Action Plan with the Euro-Mediterranean Associa-

tion Agreement in deepening the relations of Egypt with the EU requires

indepth analysis. When compared to the Association Agreement, the Ac-

European Commission (2008), “Communication from the Commission to the

180

Council and the European Parliament on Implementation of the European Neigh-

bourhood Policy in 2007”, Brussels, 3 April 2008.

87

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU Regional Trade Policy?

tion Plan potentially enjoys a number of virtues including being a mutu-

ally agreed document between the EU and Egypt, being more detailed in

terms of the Association Agreement, covering a wider range of topics

and finally including a more comprehensive follow-up mechanism for

monitoring the developments of Egyptian-EU relations.

Other scholars had a different view. They argued that the ENP process

The process adopted an

is ineffective in achieving deep integration.

181

excessively broad set of objectives which is considered to be a major ob-

stacle. If few areas alone were targeted, progress would have certainly

been faster. The process mobilizes a great number of countries, which

inevitably leads to divergence of the interest of the EU away from SMCs

towards other countries included in the ENP (as Eastern neighbours).

Indeed, the logical interpretation is that the EU wants to extend the pref-

erences provided to its Barcelona partners to other new neighbours

which are potential members and hence it has replaced it reflecting the

priorities of the EU and underestimating the priorities of the SMCs in-

cluding Egypt. In addition, the commitments mentioned in the Action

Plans are not clear, general, and do not specify the needed steps to work

with or the levels of harmonization needed to close the gap between

Egyptian regulations and laws and their international or European

equivalents. So far enhanced cooperation as predicted between EU and

the SMCs has not materialized. In addition, the implementation process

is plagued with bureaucracy and complicated procedures.

Looking closely at the setup of the Action Plans, we do not observe the

“deepness” aspect promised in European Commission communications

and reports. It is true that the Action Plan includes a time dimension,

stating that it ranges from 3 to 5 years, however no reference is made to

any time element. Also, a closer look into the Action Plans reveals that

priorities identified are so many to the extent that there is no priority.

Table 2 shows that almost all aspects that were raised before in the

Association Agreements were repeated for all countries, more or less

using the same language in their Action Plans.

H. Kheir-El-Din and A. F. Ghoneim, “Trade relations Between the European Un-

181

ion and the Southern Mediterranean Countries: Prospects for Export Based on the

Enlargement of the European Union, the New Neighbourhood Policy and the Barce-

lona Process in F. Praussello (ed.), Sustainable Development and Adjustment in the Medi-

terranean Countries Following the EU Enlargement. Franco Angeli, Milan, 2006, 540.

88

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

Table 2. Economic Related Areas of Priorities as Identified in the Action

Plans Jordan Israel Morocco Pales- Tuni- Lebanon Egypt

tine sia

Free Movement of Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Goods

Industrial goods Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes

Agricultural, Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

fisheries, & proc-

essed agricultural

products

Right of Estab- Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes

lishment

Payments and Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes

capital movements

Economic coopera- Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (named

tion (public (public (public (public (public economic

finance) finance) finance) fi- finance) develop-

nance) ment)

Education Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Scientific & techno- Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

logical cooperation

Environment Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Industrial coopera- Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

tion

Standards & con- Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

formity assessment

Approximation of Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

laws

Information & Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

telecommunications

Energy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Investment Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Customs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Consumer protec- No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes

tion

Social matters Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Migration Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes

Export potential Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

89

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU Regional Trade Policy?

Services Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Poverty reduction Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Transport Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Business climate No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Competition law Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

and policy

Source: Action Plans and Country Report of Lebanon

The European Commission (2006) pointed out the areas where deep

integration should proceed. However, many of these areas were already

mentioned by the Association Agreements. For example, the liberaliza-

tion of services, which is essential for deep integration, cannot be viewed

as an ENP initiative. It was already part of the Association Agreement

(Articles 29 and 30 of the Egyptian Association Agreement). Moreover,

the ENP has identified Sanitary and Phytosaintary (SPS) as a priority

based on the European Commission (2007), arguing that SMCs should

adopt EU standards for the market access of their agricultural exports in

the EU market. However it is worth noting that this objective has already

been mentioned in the Association Agreement (related Articles 45 and

50) though not as specifically as by the European Commission. More-

182

over, there have been several new cooperation mechanisms that have

been announced by the EU including for example “twinning” projects.

The basic idea here is that the Action Plan was supposed to act as a de-

vice for deeper integration by enacting the provisions that came under

the Association Agreement, but this has not taken place so far. The new

implementation mechanisms in the form of committees and sub-

committees could overcome such deficiency if they appropriately tackled

the issue of vagueness of measures and lack of time dimension. How-

ever, since the system of committees and sub-committees has not yet

yielded tangible outcomes, it is difficult to assess its role.

183

European Commission (2007), “European Neighbourhood and Partnership In-

182

strument (ENPI) Regional Strategy Paper (2007-2013) and Regional Indicative Pro-

gramme (2007 -2010) for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership”.

Ghoneim Ahmed Farouk , (coordinator and main author with M. El Garf, M.

183

Gasiorek, and P. Holmes), “Examining the Deep Integration Aspects of the EU-South

Mediterranean Countries: Comparing the Barcelona Process and Neighbourhood

90

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

Finally, among the virtues of deep integration as stated in the related

literature is its ability to push and anchor reforms. However, the system

of the ENP has acted so far on the policy/regulatory aspect of deep inte-

gration, setting and designing aims of cooperation through joint pro-

grams, whereas the infrastructure aspect (including labs, equipment,

etc.) has been left un-tackled especially in light of absence or vagueness

of concrete measures with exact dates to be implemented. Moreover,

among the main challenges facing the Southern partners is that the EU

programs to assist ENP Action Plan implementation are very slow to

come due to internal procedures inside the EU institutions which could

be a result of limited funding. The funding available to support the ENP

reform agenda remains relatively modest, notwithstanding the ENP’s

ambition to address a very comprehensive reform agenda. For example,

during the period 1995-1999, the EU allocations to Egypt under the

MEDA (I) reached around 686 million Euros, which represents about

20% of the total funds allocated by the EU for the SMCs in the first phase

of the program. During 2000-2006 and under the second phase of the

program (MEDA II), the allocated amount of funds to Egypt reached 351

million Euros, which represented about 6.5% of the total funds under

MEDA (II). Overall under the MEDA program (I & II) Egypt’s share

reached almost 12% of the total funds allocated by the EU under the two

phases. The payments received by Egypt over the period 1995-2003

amounted to 328.5 million Euro as opposed to 879.7 million Euro com-

mitted by the EU over the same period. The disbursement rate (ratio of

payments/commitments) for Egypt over the period 1995-2002 was

nearly 40%, slightly above the average in the region. A total of 558 mil-

lion Euros was allocated to Egypt under the 2007-2013 National Indica-

tive Programme of Egypt (European Commission, 2007), 8.8% of the

184

total ENPI funds allocated by the EU to SMCs over the same period. Ac-

cessing and effectively using these funds is difficult for Egypt, because

the majority of the ministries and different governmental or non-go-

vernmental entities that can benefit from these programs still have a

Policy, the Case of Egypt”, FEMISE Project No. FEM31-08, 2007 (financed by Euro-

pean Commission)

See also <http://www.eu-delegation.org.eg/en/eu_funded_programmes/overv

184

iew.htm>, http://www.eudelegation.org.eg/en/eu_funded_programmes/overview

.htm, and the ENP country strategy paper for Egypt, and European Neighbou hood

and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) FUNDING 2007-2013 from the EU commi sion

website at: <http://www.ec.europa.eu/world/enp/pdf/country/0703_enpi_ figur

es_ en.pdf> 91

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU Regional Trade Policy?

worrying lack of knowledge about the EU, its norms, procedures and

standards and developing such knowledge requires time and effort.

185

Section Four:

The Optimal Mechanism for Egypt Given its Social, Political, and Economic

Situation.

186

The Association Agreements have been criticized for being shallow in

their nature. Though some commentators might argue that the Asso-

187

ciation Agreements have contained elements of deep integration (e.g.

intention of approximation of laws and regulations, future negotiations

on liberalization of services), we believe that they can be rather qualified

as quasi shallow agreements. On the other hand, deep integration such as

188

those regional trade agreements (e.g. free trade areas) signed between

developed countries such as the United States with several developing

countries have been criticized by not fitting the developmental needs of

such countries and stretching too thin their financial and technical capa-

bilities. The question that follows is how we classify the ENP. Is this a

189

form of shallow or deep integration? In our view, the ENP provides a

new model of eclectic deep integration or an à la carte type of approach where

the developing countries choose what is appropriate for them in terms of deepen-

ing their trade relationship with the EU.

From a theoretical perspective, we cannot think of a better model for

developing countries where such eclectic deep trade integration appro-

ach allows them to pick and choose from the deep aspects of the EU,

A. F. Ghoneim, 2007, op. cit., 12

185 This section depends heavily on Ghoneim, Ahmed Farouk (2006), A Trial to

186

Evaluate the Impact of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) on the South

Mediterranean Countries, background paper prepared for ERF on FEMISE Annual

Report, 2006.

R. Aliboni et. al, 2008 op. cit., 2.

187 Shallow regional trade agreements do not include investment aspects among their

188

provisions. Investment, competition, and harmonization of standards are among the

issues considered as deep elements of integration.

For example, the United States’ rules on investment forced Chile, when a US-Chile

189

free trade area, was signed to change its domestic laws and regulations to modify its

controls on capital inflows that were designed to curtail destabilizing hot money

inflows. The IMF claimed that such modifications were not to the benefit of Chile’s

macroeconomy (World Bank, 2005). In the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region,

both Qatar and United Arab Emirates have stopped their negotiation talks with the

US, declaring that the US regulations and demands in the proposed free trade areas

with them would not benefit their countries (ITC, 2006).

92

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

hence preserving their developmental requirements, and at the same

time allowing them to have a better market access for their exports in the

EU market. The problem is how such model can be implemented in real-

ity. What are the modalities for implementation, what type of policies

and measures can be adopted, and how can the monitoring mechanism

be put in place? Such questions imply that despite the good intentions of

the EU in respecting the developmental aspects of developing countries,

the problematic implementation of such intentions might end up being a

rhetorical approach that sounds great from the outside but is rather pre-

empted when it comes to implementation due to an absence of clear mo-

dalities that can be adopted.

From a theoretical point of view the ENP serves as a first best option

for Egypt. Reasons include that it gives Egypt the option to harmonize

on what it sees better and affordable from the EU norms and regulations

and accordingly Egypt will be appraised by the EU with extra finance

and/or a stake in the internal market. Moreover, from the EU perspec-

tive it has solved its historical problem of striking the balance between

countries as groups in its regional trade initiatives and the specificities of

each individual country. Hence the approach adopted under the ENP

seems to be the best for both Egypt and the EU from a developmental

perspective.

However, life is not as rosy as it seems to be in theory. On the contrary,

application shows that there is “devil in the details”. First of all the EU

has thought of the Action Plans in theory as if they were a democratic

process (co-designed between the EU and the concerned countries on a

bilateral basis) and documents where both partners (the EU and Egypt)

would agree on the items of the Action Plan. However, after reviewing

the Action Plan available and the Country Report, it is difficult to call the

process democratic. On the contrary it is a one-sided track developed by

the Commission with predetermined priorities. The room for changes to

be undertaken by Egypt or any other similar country is minimized. If

this is the case in reality, then the practice contradicts the theory and the

flexible deep integration supposedly brought by the ENP appears to be a

myth rather than a reality.

What is best for Egypt is a consistent approach, incremental and realis-

tic, necessary to avoid backlashes and negative social and political dis-

turbances. One fault that should be avoided is comparing SMCs with

each other when it comes to deep integration issues, as such issues are

different between countries and hence using one country as a yardstick

for the other is completely irrelevant in this case. Hence, arguing that

93

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU Regional Trade Policy?

Morocco or Jordan has agreed upon a certain definition for human rights

or democracy does not give the EU leverage that Egypt should agree on

the same definition. This simply reminds us of an evident problem that

used to prevail between France and Germany when it came to deep inte-

gration, regarding some friction about the percentage of alcohol allowed

in the beer till the Single Market Act came into force and solved the prob-

lem via mutual recognition. If we agree on room for disagreement on the

percentage of alcohol in beer, which is rather a trivial issue, shouldn’t we

give more room for more serious issues such as political and social pri-

orities?

Section Five:

Union for the Mediterranean: Implications for Egypt

President Sarkozy's initiative in 2007 of creating a Union for the Mediter-

ranean generated a lot of debate and skepticism among both EU mem-

bers as well as SMCs. The basic idea was to create some kind of special

190

relations between a set of EU’s Southern member states which are con-

cerned about the SMCs and SMCs themselves. President Sarkozy saw

191

the initiative as a way of promoting peace between Israel and its Arab

neighbours, as well as pushing forward the Barcelona Process in a num-

ber of fields including energy and migration. However, Sarkozy's initia-

tive did not differ much from what has been included under the Barce-

lona process as it included a large variety of issues (political, cultural,

economic), and too many countries were involved which was expected

to cause a divergence of opinions and delays in taking decisions and

implementation. After a series of political meetings, the EU decided to

adopt Sarkozy's initiative under a new setup called first “Barcelona Proc-

ess: Union for the Mediterranean” and then only ‘Union for the Mediter-

ranean’ (UfM), which was officially launched in Paris on the 13 of July

th

2008. In the European Commission communication the main features of

21

UfM were set. Again the emphasis was to enhance the Barcelona Process.

It is too early to evaluate what are the main advantages and disadvan-

tages from an Egyptian perspective of so new an initiative. But one of the

main advantages at the outset that seems to be on the positive track is

F. V. Joachim, "The Sarkozy's Mystery", Spotlight Europe 2/2008, Berstelmann

190

Stiftung, February 2008 http://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/cps/rde/xbcr/ SID0A

000F140B8C8005/bst/spotlight_02_2008_Sarkozy_ Mystery.pdf

R. Aliboni et. al, 2008 op. cit., 2.

191 94

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

the new institutional setup designed to govern this initiative. The new

institutional setup includes a co-presidency, a joint permanent commit-

tee, and a secretariat. However, the main pitfall of the ENP, the dilution

of the Barcelona Process due to the inclusion of many stakeholders, was

not overcome. The UfM diluted the Barcelona Process in another way.

The large number of partners involved in it, 44 countries including all

EU member states in addition to SMCs and Libya, Mauritania, Albania,

Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Monaco, implied that

there is a new element of dilution in the specific nature of Barcelona. 192

,

Moreover, after reviewing the European Commission communication

193

it is not clear whether there is additional funding allocated for such a

new initiative or not. The document only identifies that funding for the

initiative will come from existing resources such as the ENPI and other

sources. In our view, UfM is just another layer of changes in the EU pol-

icy which just add vagueness and complexity to EU-SMC relations, spe-

cifically in the case of Egypt. The advantage of the new institutional

setup could have been easily included in the existing functioning setup

of the Barcelona Process (through enforcing the existing provisions by

setting joint programs for implementation and specific deadlines), with-

out a new initiative that remains vague in terms of objectives, means of

implementation and funding.

Conclusion and Policy Implications:

This article showed that the EU regional trade policy needs to be restruc-

tured, putting the priorities of its regional partners, on an individual

basis, at the core of any new policy it adopts. The main problem with the

EU is that its revision of its regional initiatives has always been guided

by EU priorities without allowing the regional partners’ priorities to play

an explicit role in its decision. This is not to say that the EU should ne-

glect its priorities, but rather we advocate that more emphasis should be

put on the regional partners’ priorities looked at from the regional part-

ners’ view. Moreover, the fast changes adopted in changing EU regional

trade policy should be slowed, and changes, if needed, should be based

on an objective assessment.

ENP might in theory look perfect at the outset as a form of flexible deep

integration, but reality and practice reveal that this is not the case as

many practical issues show that the policy is far from being well-

Ibid.

192 European Commission, 2008 op. cit., 21.

193 95

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU Regional Trade Policy?

implemented to reap the benefits of flexible deep integration. The design

of the ENP, with Action Plans that are far from concrete, don’t reflect the

priorities of the SMCs and have lax time tables and ineffective method of

evaluating performance, entail the failure of this mechanism even before

it is implemented. The Association Agreement, on the other hand, was

never fully implemented, was not given the chance to be examined and

needed more time to assess its results. This is not to say that the Barce-

lona Process is a success or a failure, it is just premature to determine its

real effect. “The level of ambition of the relation-

Also, as stated by the Council,

194

ship with each neighbour will depend on the degree of the partner's

commitment to common values as well as its capacity to implement

jointly agreed priorities”. Hence, a modest Action Plan would imply

fewer resources. As a result, neighbouring countries would negotiate

ambitious Action Plans that might be beyond their capacity of imple-

mentation in order to have more assistance, or might negotiate modest

Action Plans due to their limited ability of implementation and hence the

end result will be getting less assistance than they need. Linking Action

Plans to level of assistance provided as the sole variable is definitely

wrong, however it should be considered among and other factors that

help to upgrade the level of development in the neighbouring countries

should be considered.

Action Plans, even before they start being implemented in other SMCs

than Egypt, are falling short of expectations, as they do not represent any

form of real action plans. They use the same words that have been used

in the Association Agreements, such as enhancing and developing, etc.,

without specific dates. They do not identify the means of implementa-

tion and modes of cooperation. Although they were mainly thought of to

identify priorities, the list of priorities for all countries became so long

that the priority aspect was either lost or generalized. Time dimension

was lost when words such as medium and long-term were set without

identifying what is meant by such terms. Means of implementation were

rather absent whether in type of cooperation or in means of financial

and/or technical assistance. The joint ownership or rather the setting of

priorities from SMCs is just rhetoric, as the Action Plans echo the Coun-

try Reports that were prepared by the Commission staff and hence many

European Commission, “European Neigbourhood Policy Strategy Paper Commu-

194

nication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on

Strengthening the European Neighborhood Policy”, COM(2004) 373 final.

96

Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim

crucial priorities for SMCs were left out (e.g. unemployment) whereas

the priorities were set based on the wish list of the EU.

The word “stake” in the internal market which was often used as the

prize for the SMCs whenever they implement their Action Plans is vague

(it has been finally deleted in the Communication of the European Com-

mission in December 2006). No single document of the European Com-

mission identifies what is meant by stake. Stake is definitely not a syno-

nym to market access, since theoretically SMCs already have market

access to the EU, and stake is not membership in the EU. Hence, vague-

ness of terminology used, absence of time dimension in specific terms,

generalization of targets and means of implementation are all signals

that Action Plan are devices that lack all means of achieving tangible

results.

As mentioned by the Commission, the only binding aspect set ex ante

in the trade relations between the EU and SMCs is the institutional and

contractual arrangements of the Association Agreements. The ENP is an

additional channel to further integrate deeply with the EU, which re-

mains optional. However, the Commission has introduced a wave of

changes: as an example, the ENPI financial instrument is replacing

MEDA.

Regarding replacing ENP for the Barcelona Process, better than falling

into the trap and comparing them, we should take a step back and ask

why are we doing this and why the EU has introduced the ENP in the

presence of the Association Agreement. Wouldn’t it have been wiser to

have a new mechanism for the Eastern neighbours and leave the Asso-

ciation Agreement ongoing without the need for the ENP? A cost benefit

analysis by the EU should have been undertaken prior to the announce-

ment of the enacting of the ENP to identify the benefits of the new

mechanism and the vivid pitfalls of the old one before embarking on the

new initiative. Finally, the newly launched UfM is not likely to return the

specific nature of the Barcelona Process and effectively activate Associa-

tion Agreements due to the large number of countries included in it and

its vague objectives and mechanisms, despite the positive aspects related

to the improvement in its institutional setup.

97

Does Egypt Need This Change in EU Regional Trade Policy?

Boş Sayfa

98

Amel Boubekeur

Energy supplier or

political partner?

Algeria’s marginalization

and opportunities in

EU policies

Amel Boubekeur

195

Introduction

Algeria is the only « neighbour » in the Maghreb which has officially

refused to be part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) despite

or even because of its strategic position in the region. Being a founding

member among the other Arab countries of the Euro Mediterranean

Partnership (EMP) in 1995, Algeria always argued that its priority would

be given to the completion of this process. Algerian leaders put the em-

phasis on the EMP as they engaged in this partnership at a time where

they were suffering from political isolation. The suspension of the elec-

toral process in 1992 and the violent conflict that ensued for most of the

decade weakened the Algerian leaders’ credibility and reliability among

the international community. This painful history with European part-

ners, perceived as indifferent to the suffering of the Algerian people at

that time, may also be considered a reason why Algeria has refused to

conduct negotiations on the ENP in 2004. According to publicly-made

This paper is based on interviews conducted by A. Boubekeur with Algerian and

195

European officials carried out in 2007 and 2008, in Algiers, Paris and Brussels.

The author thanks M. Huijer, who is a research assistant at the Carnegie Middle East

Center, for his readings and comments. 99

Algeria’s marginalization and opportunities in EU policies

arguments by President Bouteflika in 2007, the EU is now willing to open

negotiations with a recovering and affluent Algeria while no real sup-

port has been provided when his country “fought terrorism alone” and

“faced a violence which blocked its process of reform and democratization”

while “Europe welcomed and supported its violent opponents.”

196

Algeria’s colonial history is also creating difficulties for the country to

consider cooperation as a balanced process. Furthermore, any tentative

EU inquiries into the lack of political pluralism that has been instituted

by the army’s ruling élite and the historical National Liberation Front

(FLN) single party has often been presented as neo-colonial interference.

In that respect, the ENP’s main concept of “sharing values” is under-

stood as sharing control over the country.

Although there is a lot of criticism of Algeria’s attitude on the EU

side, targeting mainly Algeria’s lack of involvement, one should also

question to what extent the EU is offering a true inclusive political part-

nership to Algeria, including constructive negotiations on duties and

rights between equal partners.

So far, EU priorities toward Algeria have not given such a political

role to the country and have mainly been:

- Energy: The EU’s main priority in its dealings with Algeria revolves

largely around energy security. Algeria is a key supplier of oil and gas to

the EU and as such is treated differently than the other Euro Med coun-

tries.

- Security: The EU focus on security and the Islamist threat leads also

to a vision of a neighbourhood which is a place for conflict and instabil-

ity and which should be domesticated by the ENP.

- Migration control: The EU has mainly asked Maghreb countries such

as Morocco, Algeria and Libya to be migration control partners acting as

a buffer zone between Europe and Africa.

197

The EU and Algeria have tacitly agreed on not having a political de-

manding partnership. This chapter will put forward that this current

political status quo is not sustainable in the long-term. The status quo

will generate structural problems in Algeria which will have severe re-

percussions on the EU. Currently the EU and Algeria focus on the Asso-

ciation Agreement (AA) of the EMP and appear in the short-term to be

Public statement made on television by the President Bouteflika in March 2007.

196 It should be noted however that these countries have recently refused to resign the

197

agreement obliging them to readmit illegal immigrants from Europe. See Le Maroc,

l'Algérie et la Libye refusent les accords de réadmission avec l'UE, African Manager,

March 12 2009. 100

Amel Boubekeur

benefiting from it. However, the missing genuine exchange of views that

the ENP should have as a central element as well as the lack of a real

new and important role for Algeria put forward by the recently formed

Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) make an EU-Algerian long-term

involvement difficult. This chapter will illustrate the Algerian perspec-

tives on the shortcomings of EU policies within the EMP, the ENP and

the UfM in developing a more constructive partnership, and by exten-

sion it will put forward a variety of recommendations on how the part-

nership can be improved.

Algeria and the Barcelona Process

Algeria decided to sign up to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, or the

Barcelona Process as it is more commonly known, at a time of great civil

unrest. The 1990s were marked by a bloody civil war and regional politi-

cal isolation. Algeria was also heavily indebted and the Barcelona Proc-

ess provided an opportunity for the country to receive support for some

debt relief and focus on increasing its trade relations with its Northern

neighbours. After some hesitations on the Association Agreement,

Bouteflika, who was elected in 1999, assured the EU that he was in fa-

vour of a free-market system and supported liberal economic policies in

addition to exploiting Algeria’s vast energy resources. It has been argued

that in that context Algeria’s commitment to the Barcelona Process and

its Association Agreement can be best explained by pointing to oppor-

tunistic reasons rather than to a genuine interest in EU-Mediterranean

relations. At the time, this all but strategically negotiated political part-

198

nership was beneficial to Algeria. It allowed the country to regain credi-

bility on the international scene as an energy supplier without being

obliged to act as an accountable partner on the national situation of

blocked pluralism. Because it was seen as a weakened neighbour, Alge-

ria also refrained from condemning the EU’s security policy and con-

trolled migration demands, despite their being designed for only the

EU’s benefit instead of a balanced partnership. It should also be men-

tioned that Algeria’s attachment to the EMP in 1995 was also an oppor-

tunity to provide a counterbalance to the US’ growing influence in the

region, especially following the Gulf War. The counterbalance was gen-

erally welcomed by the Arab states and Algeria implicitly saw itself as

I. Stein, “EU energy policy vis-à-vis Algeria: challenges and opportunities”, Bolo-

198

gna Center Journal of International Affairs, fall 2008, http://bcjournal.org/2008/eu

energy-policy-vis-a-vis-algeria 101

Algeria’s marginalization and opportunities in EU policies

mandated to represent Arab interests and particularly those of the Pales-

tinian people, especially because of its long “third world leader” history

and historical support to the OLP since the 1970s. Because of that very

specific type of partnership, Algeria considers itself to have a relatively

important place within the EMP, which they are afraid they may lose if

they choose to sign up to the ENP.

With a markedly changed internal situation in 2009 and a regained in-

ternational credibility, is Algeria still happy with this weak political

partnership with the EU?

It should be stated that the EMP still represents a privileged position

for negotiations with the EU. After September 2001, the EU was more

interested in cooperating on matters such as security, terrorism issues

and immigration within the EMP; this gave Algeria the opportunity to be

a key partner. In this framework the then Minister of Foreign Affairs

Bedjaoui even proposed in 2005 to adopt the EuroMediterranean Charter

on immigration to rely on the EU’s interest for the issue. However, and

following Algerian officials and civil society statements, Algeria has re-

cently become more and more disappointed by the outcomes of the EMP.

After his re-election in 2004 Bouteflika has continued to implement eco-

nomic reforms, even if he has been slow in initiating crucial judicial and

governmental reform. The country’s relative stability compared to the

1990s made it able to diversify its export markets by forging closer eco-

nomic links with other countries. Algeria has gradually tried to become

economically less dependent on the EU, by strengthening its economic

ties with countries such as India, Turkey and Russia, thereby improv-

199

ing its negotiating position with the EU on painful concessions towards

political reform, good governance and democratization. Algeria is also

pursuing a strategy of developing closer relations with some Mediterra-

nean EU member states such as Italy, Spain and Portugal, again using its

energy resources as a key incentive.

The way the Association Agreement of the EMP has been negotiated

and implemented is illustrating Algeria’s strategy of trying to profit from

both its political marginalization and economic opportunities provided

by its partnerships with the EU.

India-Algeria Economic and Commercial Relations, Federation of Indian Cham-

199

bers of Commerce; http://www.ficci.com/international/countries/algeria/algeria

commercialreltions.htm 102

Amel Boubekeur

The Association Agreement: Toward a trade, security, and non-political part-

nership

Algeria signed the Association Agreement with the EU in 2002 in Valen-

cia and the Algerian parliament ratified it in March 2005. It came into

force in September 2005. The AA replaced the original Cooperation Ag-

reement that dated back to 1976. The Association Agreement includes

demands such as adherence to human rights, good governance and po-

litical reform that the signatories have to live up to. In exchange for

commitment to these principles, the EU offers access to its internal mar-

kets and a variety of aid programs. AA’s are from the legal point of view

international treaties and are therefore legally-binding. Their focus is

mainly on political, judicial and economic reform issues and theoretically

the EU can apply negative conditionality to pressure signatories to fulfill

their commitments through the so-called human rights clause.

200

Algerian reactions to this Agreement have been diverse but in the ma-

jority of cases the added value was often overlooked. The political par-

ties that are part of the presidential alliance (the former single party Na-

tional Liberation Front (FLN), the right-wing National Democratic Rally

(RND) and the Islamist Hamas have predictably considered it as an im-

portant means to enhance the country’s economy. Others have been qu-

ite skeptical. The more critical has been the oldest opposition party FFS,

which argued that the Article 2 of the Agreement focusing on human

rights is not even respected by the Algerian ruling élite. The FFS also

criticized the fact that the Agreement has been accepted with no public

debate among Algerian citizens. The opposition Islamist party al Islah

voted for the Agreement in the parliament. To its leaders, the opportu-

nity to profit from the EU’s technical knowledge was the real benefit of

the Agreement, rather than a genuine sign of shared values. Finally the

PT, the Trotskyist party, voted against, fearing that Algeria would only

become a market for European products. Other political actors were

201

underlining the necessity to ensure political pluralism in the country in

order to make the Agreement successful.

Civil society groups have been the more critical actors and have ac-

cused the EU of neglecting its supposed adherence to its own human

The EU-Algeria Association Agreement; EU External Relations

200

http://ec.europa. eu/external_relations/algeria/agreement/index_en.htm

M. Ait Ouarabi, Accord d’association Algérie-union européenne, La classe politi-

201

que partagée, El watan, 16 March 2005. 103

Algeria’s marginalization and opportunities in EU policies

especially regarding the freedom of association and

rights clauses,

202

expression, ban on torture and disappearances that are overshadowed in

the Agreement by greater priority accorded to economic, energy and

security integration.

It is true that so far, the reinforcement of security in Algeria has been

On the EU side, the way the AA

the crucial point in negotiations. 203

played down the need for political pluralism, the lack of free movement

of Algerian people in Europe and the reinforcement of human rights can

be understood through the EU’s fears of 1990s Algerian history. The fear

of terrorism and of radicalization of Islamist parties seemed indeed to be

the key reasons for negotiations of this kind. The EU considers the

204

prioritisation of security in cooperation with Algeria as also linked to

other problems than the political exclusion of Islamists. In order to tackle

the “security threat” it encourages Algerian Islamists to get involved in

intercultural dialogue initiatives carried out by the EMP’s non-political

institutions and which do not oblige the Algerian ruling élite to enlarge

its political scene. New initiatives have been introduced in the last five

years, presented by the EU as part of its strategy for the promotion of

democracy in the region. These include: the Dialogue between Cultures

and Civilizations, the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, the

Euro-Mediterranean Nongovernmental Platform, Euromed economic

networks, the Euromed Youth Platform, the Ana Lindh Foundation and

the Euromed Heritage programme. We are therefore witnessing the

shunning of the political treatment of democratisation and political plu-

ralism issues in favor of economic integration and security cooperation,

and the absence of an autonomous democratisation programme outside

the intercultural dynamic in the Barcelona process.

In that context, this pre-eminence of security and trade issues allowed

Algeria to use the post-11 September security situation as a tool for nego-

tiating with the EU, particularly to obtain more funds. The AA has

205

Amnesty International Country Report Algeria 2008; http://www.amnesty.org/

202

en/region/algeria/report-2008

The EU as a modest ‘force for good’: The European Neighbourhood Policy, Esther

203

Barbe and Elisabeth Johansson-Nogues in International Affairs, Chatham House, Vol.

84, No.1, January 2008.

A. Boubekeur, “Political Islam in Algeria”, CEPS Working Document, No. 268/May

204

2007.

See A. Jünemann, “Support for democracy or fear of Islamism? Europe and Alge-

205

ria” in: Hafez Kai (ed.), The Islamic World and the West: An Introduction to Political

Cultures and International Relations, London, Brill Academic Publishers, 2000. O.

Lamloum, “L’enjeu de l’islamisme au coeur du processus de Barcelone”, Critique

104

Amel Boubekeur

mainly helped Algeria to recover from the terrorist violence of the 1990s,

not to become a political and equal partner able to discuss and negotiate

with its interlocutors (on foreign policy and national politics levels), but

rather a security and energy supplier. Rather than using the EU partner-

ship to define new political objectives, Algerian policy makers have de-

cided to fit in this security framework, underlining its objective for the

“completion of national reconciliation” as implemented in the AA. The

way EU funds have been used in Algeria either to perpetuate the use of

the oil rent or to reinforce Algerian security identity are signs of that

shift.

The National Indicative Programme (NIP), which is outlined in the

Algeria strategy paper, focuses on the European Commission’s opera-

tional response, setting out the objectives and priorities in the mutual

areas of cooperation. The NIP for the period 2007-2013 has been allocated

around 220 million EUR. Between 1997 and 2005, Algeria has received a

total of 436 million EUR. In the period of 2002-2004 the NIP for Algeria

was allocated 150 million EUR and for the 2005-2006 period the alloca-

tion amounted to 106 million EUR. For the 2007-2013 period major

206

axes are the reform of justice, economic growth and employment and

reinforcement of public services. The two programs for 2007, namely the

PME II and the JUSTICE II, were aimed at upgrading Algerian compa-

nies and encouraging international standards for the judicial system and

the reintegration of former prisoners (mainly former Islamists or terror-

ists who have benefited from the national reconciliation). One of the key

missions in 2008 focused on strengthening and diversifying the econ-

omy. For 2009 the National Labor Agency is expected to go through a

modernization process. Finally for 2010 the projects include waste water

sanitization and reinforcing the institutions that are contributing to the

implementation of the Association Agreement. Cooperation between

207

Algeria and the EU has improved considerably, with the rate of pay-

ments reaching 28% of the amounts committed under MEDA at the end

of 2003, compared to only 14% at end 2001208. From 1995 to 2003, Alge-

Internationale, No.18, January 2003. Euromed Report, “Conséquences économiques

éventuelles des évènements du 11 septembre 2001. Eléments d’appréciation pourla

Méditerranée”, No. 50, 26 June 2002.

National Indicative Programme Algeria, ENPI.

206

http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/ pdf/country/enpi_csp_nip_algeria_en.pdf

Ibid.

207 European Commission, Europe Aid Cooperation Office, Mediterranean Program

208

(statistics). 105

Algeria’s marginalization and opportunities in EU policies

ria received MEDA funding to the amount of 345.8 million EUR. In spite

of the absence of new instruments, the EU declares in 2004 its intention

to reinforce programmes in Algeria promoting good governance, the

rule of law and civil society, such as the Justice, NGO and Media pro-

grammes, which remain however on a modest scale. While it is not de-

clared officially, the EU’s determination to step up the development of

programmes of this type is also linked to the future of Islamism and ter-

rorism, particularly in the context of the Civil Concord: “The develop-

ment of civil society, still fragile in Algeria, is essential for sustaining

dialogue and reconciliation mechanisms. The Commission supports the

institutional strengthening of a number of development associations

under MEDA. The activities of local NGOs can also be strengthened,

particularly in the areas of human rights, the effects of terrorism and

democratisation (specific budget heading).

209

Another opinion among Algerian observers is that the Agreement

served nothing but to allow Algeria to exit from its political isolation. It

has not materialized in any valuable incentives for change. Economic

210

analysts have criticized the imbalance between the two sides within the

agreement and referred to the obvious advantages the EU enjoys by

achieving a level of energy security without insisting on structural re-

form of the Algerian economy. The main complaint of Algerian citizens

is that these programmes are not implemented in a good governance

environment and thus are doomed to fail. For example, the EU was char-

acteristically silent when in November 2008 President Bouteflika amen-

ded the constitution to allow himself to run for a third term. Despite the

worrying indicators of deteriorating levels of pluralism in Algeria, trade

with the EU has gradually increased, and Algeria is actually one of the

few countries that boasts a trade surplus with the EU, although it is

above all due to still comfortable oil prices, despite the global financial

crisis. Algeria is vital to EU energy needs, not only in terms of supply,

but also as a potential transit route for energy resources coming from

African countries such as Nigeria. Algerian gas alone accounts for 30% of

http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/europeaid/projects/med/financial/1995-2003.

pdf

http://ec.europa.eu/comm/external_relations/algeria/csp/02_06_fr.pdf

209 Union pour la Méditerranée: scepticisme autourdu projet à Bruxelles, Smaira Ima

210

dalou, http://www.algeriawatch.org/fr/article/pol/union_mediterranee/scepticis

me.htm, April 2008 106

Amel Boubekeur

Vice versa, the hydrocarbon sector accounts for 95%

EU gas imports. 211 En-

of Algeria’s exports, thus forming the backbone of its economy.

212

ergy is thus an important factor in EU-Algerian relations. The EU does

not appear very willing to broaden those relations by implementing the

democracy and human rights clauses in the Association Agreement.

Again neither the EU nor Algeria are willing to focus on politics in their

partnerships but rather on the advantages that trade and security are

giving to them.

The Algerian private sector views on the free trade zone agreement

Another major point of concern is the lack of protection of Algerian

companies in view of the free trade zone that the Association Agreement

is setting out for 2012, while at the same time international companies

are given more freedom to operate. For many Algerians this is a matter

of great concern, that their country is such a successful but undemanding

trade partner to the EU, not able to “join the party”.

213

On the Algerian side, officials have made it clear that the pursuit of

privatizing public companies will involve importing an economic élite

from European countries, including those from the Algerian diaspora,

but without coupling this with the real objective of a long-term devel-

opment of the Algerian managerial competencies. In the Algerian private

sector view, foreign companies are not helping to build a transparent

environment to invest in Algeria. Profiting from the reluctance of many

foreign companies to invest in the country, which is seen as unstable,

they are themselves enhancing corruption in order to obtain good mar-

kets from the government or from Algerian companies which import

their products.

Many private Algerian entrepreneurs believe that the political élite

did not negotiate the Association Agreement in their favour. They com-

plained that economic growth between the EU and Algeria without con-

solidating good political governance has been the main threat to the offi-

cial goals of the Association Agreement. Concerning the lifting of custom

rights with regards to European products imported into the Algerian

http://www.euractiv.com/en/energy/geopolitics-eu-energy-supply/article14266

211

5 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/AG.html

212 Menaces sur les entreprises algériennes’, El Watan, Norredine Grim, http://www.

213

algeri a-watch.org /fr/article/pol/dz_ue/menaces_entreprises.htm, September 20-

07 107

Algeria’s marginalization and opportunities in EU policies

market, Benslim Zouhir, president of the Association of Algerian Export-

ers, stated that “the dismantlement of the tariff system will benefit

Europe, so we shouldn’t be lured in. Our non-hydrocarbon exports are

Because it is mainly based on Algerian importations

insignificant”. 214

from European companies and energy supply to Europe, the political

economy between Europe and Algeria does not favour the emergence of

private operators capable of accumulating capital thanks to their produc-

tion. The few large companies that are trying to participate in civil soci-

ety and join the public debate on employment and citizens participation

in politics (this sentence is not clear) such as CEVITAL, directed by Issad

Rebrab, see their dependence on imports increase, while their weight as

human resource creators decreases. 215

Euro Development PME, the European program that supports small

to medium sized businesses for the Algerian private industrial sector,

recorded average results for those companies (300) that were subscribed

to the program.

Nevertheless, this programme hurts itself in the absence of a political

will to clean up the climate of affairs, and even the Minister of small to

medium businesses, Mustapha Benbada, evokes the apprehension of

Algerian operators to join the programme for diagnostics of their busi-

nesses. 216

Even Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) remains very low due to the

weak infrastructure and institutions, the increased transaction costs and

the weak state of the market. In addition, it is very difficult for Alge-

217

rian businessmen to obtain visas to Europe. This has led to a trend over

the last ten years of Algerian businessmen looking towards places such

as the US, China or the Persian Gulf instead.

Therefore, the relative marginalization of the Algerian economic élite

within the EU-Algeria partnership shows that political reform cannot be

separated from economic reform.

H. Guemache, “A qui profite le démantèlement tarifaire ?”, Le Quotidien d'Oran, 2

214

September 2007.

M. Akli Achabou and S.Tozanli, “Mise en application de l'accord d'association UE-

215

Algérie: les conséquences sur l’industrie sucrière algérienne”, No. 9408, presented at

103 séminaire de l’European Association of Agricultural Economists, Barcelona,

ème

Spain, 23-25 April 2007.

http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/9408/1/sp 07ac01. pdf

“La mise à niveau des entreprises en Algérie piétine ”, Liberté, 8 May 2008.

216 P. Hugon, Les accords de libre-échange entre l'UE et les PSEM ont-ils favorisé un

217

développement et un partenariat durables conformes au projet de Barcelone ? Com-

munication au Colloque International "Barcelone, dix ans après", Le Caire, May 2005.

108

Amel Boubekeur

The partnership that Algeria has with the EU is more and more seen

by Algerian officials as not that advantageous. Is Algeria able to over-

come the following contradiction? : the AA has allowed the Algerians to

maintain their limited model of pluralism through the security channel

but could not be economically sustainable in the long term as the need to

diversify the rent is more and more understood to ensure their survival.

Under the pressure of such a choice, more and more Algerian officials

are realizing the need to negotiate their foreign policies in a strategic and

political way and exit from the energy supplier role.

Recent arguments from the Algerian leaders’ perspectives have begun

to emerge in order to reorient the AA. Critics focus on the centralization

of the decision making in the hands of Europeans, and particularly of

funding mechanisms, foreign direct investments, legal migration and

free circulation of people.

218

Algeria and the ENP

The European Neighbourhood Policy was proposed by the EU to Algeria

in 2004 in order to reduce the failure of the Euro-Med Partnership. Its

methodology, which differs from that of the EMP, nonetheless also se-

ems to evade the issue of political reforms, focusing on other areas in-

stead. For example, the ENP offers neighbouring countries the possibility

to establish a common bilateral market, to share civil society standards

etc., but without access to shared institutions, giving preeminence to

economic questions rather than democratic reform. Algeria has since

2004 officially stated that it is not interested in the ENP. However, the

EU officially still states that there is a future for Algeria in the ENP, as

the European Ambassador in Algiers recently said: “It is not correct to

say that Algeria is not part of the European Neighbourhood Pol-

icy…Algeria benefits from the financial component of the ENP, and it’s

up to Algeria to choose how the neighbourhood relationship should be

established.” Also, since the launch of the ENP, the European Com-

219

mission was supposed to draft the ENP action plan for Algeria which is

officially reported to still be a work in progress and due to be published

soon, despite the disinterest in the ENP process officially displayed by

Algeria. 220

A. Boubekeur personal interviews with Algerian officials in Algiers, October 2007,

218

March and May 2008.

UPM : l’impasse, Le Jeune Indépendant, 17 February 2009.

219 L’Algérie et la dictée européenne”, Le Quotidien d’Oran, 12 November 2006.

220 109

Algeria’s marginalization and opportunities in EU policies

As illustrated above, under the Euro-Med Partnership, democratiza-

tion and good governance programmes concentrated far more on train-

ing for government officials (police, judges, etc.) than on the inclusion of

civil society associations and NGOs. This situation does not seem to have

evolved under the new ENP, which seems to prioritize the ‘stable’ nature

of this good governance rather than real political reforms. Contrary to

the negative political conditionality of the EMP, that foresaw economic

and political sanctions where human rights were not respected in part-

ner countries (although never applied), the European Neighbourhood

Policy instead gave prominence to the principle of “positive condition-

ality”, meaning granting neighbouring countries rewards in exchange

for political and economic reforms. The “positive conditionality” fore-

seen by the Neighbourhood Policy allows greater access to markets

where “good results” in terms of respecting human rights and democ-

ratic principles are achieved by member countries. But is the ENP (and

221

the reforms that it foresees) really in the interest of Algeria and the EU

partnership? Some analysts underlined that the EU simply “lacked de-

termination'” in implementing its conditionality with Algeria. What is

222

behind this lack of determination? Algeria is not an eastern European

country. If the possibility of accession to Europe was a motivation for

reform in Eastern Europe, such a perspective cannot be offered to Alge-

ria, which is not a European country and therefore is not eligible for an

EU membership perspective. Even more, the view of Algerians officials

is that reforms undertaken will not lead to a greater integration into EU

markets but on the contrary could threaten the restricted control of the

Algerian ruling élite on market agreements with the EU. It is clear that

the EU will not implement reforms or positive conditionality because it

runs the risk of destabilizing the status quo especially with regards to the

energy markets, which appears to be beneficial to both sides.

On the Algerian side, a formal commitment to the ENP is rejected, as

it will also entail an obligation to produce specific results that Algeria is

not ready to assume. One of the main advantages of the ENP is sup-

See European Commission, “Wider Europe-Neighbourhood: A New Framework

221

for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours”, Communication from the

Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, 11 March 2003. Neighbourhood

Policy–Strategy Paper, (Communication from the Commission to the Council and the

European Parliament) COM, 2004, 373, 12 May 2004.

A. Güney and A. Çelenk, ‘The European Union’s democracy Promotion Policies in

222

Algeria: Success or Failure?’ The Journal of North African Studies, Vol. 12, No 1, March

2007. 110

Amel Boubekeur

posed to be found in shared objectives for reforms designed by the coun-

try itself. Is Algeria able to take on such a commitment? Another expla-

nation is that it is due to the “authoritarian nature” of the Algerian re-

gime which in principle rejects joint negotiations on reform. However,

the authoritarian aspects of some Moroccan and Tunisian policies have

not prevented these countries from engaging in the ENP. Getting in-

volved as a political partner, accountable and able to design reforms in a

coherent way, also means an obligation to good political results for the

country. Since 1999, Algeria has not recovered its leadership capabilities.

Another point often raised by critics is that there is no need for more

reform programs to be introduced, instead better management is re-

quired of existing ones and can be facilitated by spreading appropriate

training skills.

The lack of consensus among the ruling élite, and the failed efforts to

design a new type of political leadership and a coherent vision for new

policies, both nationally and regionally, has confined Algeria to the role

of energy and security supplier, and made it unable to answer the ENP

challenge as a political actor.

Algeria’s economy has gradually improved since the early 2000s and

has been performing better than expected. As mentioned before, Alge-

223

ria has been diversifying its export markets, making it less dependent on

the EU. After it ratified the Association Agreement in 2005, it passed

measures to liberalize its internal markets to facilitate foreign companies

doing business in Algeria. However, limited leadership skills are still an

important driving element to understand why it is changing its policies

that often. Over the last few years, for example, it has combined incen-

tives for European Foreign Direct Investments together with a legislation

that limits these foreign investments when they prove not to be in favour

of the country in transferring technology and reinvestment of the bene-

fits. Due to the lack of confidence in its leadership skills, especially when

facing the EU, Algeria fears to be overcome by its foreign partners. Alge-

ria is also trying to gain membership in the WTO, but according to the

former EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson, it still needs to go fur-

ther in its reforms. Algeria would need to drop its double pricing sche-

224

Algeria Country Report, Oxford Business Group;

223

http://www.oxfordbusiness group.com/country.asp?country=10

WTO in brief: Energy, services, holding back Algeria’s WTO accession talks;

224

http://ictsd.net/i/news/bridgesweekly/66 22/

111

Algeria’s marginalization and opportunities in EU policies

me between the internal and the external gas market as a precondition

for WTO accession.

Is this focus on energy marginalizing Algeria as a regional political

and economic force? It is true that the free market policies that the EU

promotes within the Mediterranean Partnership or the Neighbourhood

Policy do not necessarily lead to reforms, especially not in Algeria Nei-

ther does the concept of positive conditionality in terms of financial in-

centives, considering Algeria’s current financial reserves. Algeria’s lack

of clear policies on most reform issues except for energy is costing the

Algerian private sector dearly. If the integration of Algerian companies

in the internal EU market with as little obstacles as possible is presented

by Algerian officials as one Association Agreement advantage, they also

know that there are only a couple of Algerian companies that are capable

of operating in the EU market, namely energy companies Sonatrach and

Sonelgaz.

To justify their lack of interest toward the ENP, Algerian officials also

underlined that the government has only been given permission by the

Algerian parliament to negotiate the EMP Association Agreement ac-

cord, not an ENP accord. They also object that they were not even con-

sulted before the launch of the ENP. In any case there is a strong feeling

not only within policy circles but also amongst Algerians that the ENP

project still involves a level of subordination to the EU as its “neighbour”

and not its equal partner. To underline this, they sometimes reject the

ENP and claim that they would have also liked to see more emphasis on

addressing the problems that Algerians face within Europe, such as ra-

cism or Islamophobia.

The problem with the neighbourhood dimension

The reasons for Algeria to refuse the ENP are also linked to the rejection

of the concept of new ‘neighbourhood’ politics.

First, there is a feeling in Algeria that while trying to impose a view

for its neighbourhood, Europe is itself suffering a regression of a com-

mon European policy in favour of national politics promoted by its State

Members. It is relevant to Algeria, which is receiving different policies

from various member states such as France or Spain. To Algerians, this

new neighbourhood dimension is more an opportunity for Europe to

dodge the idea of a reconfiguration of borders?, which is a very sensitive

issue with regards to the competition in the region. Algerians feel par-

ticularly strong about the fact that the ENP seems to benefit the countries

112

Amel Boubekeur

east of the EU as opposed to the southern Mediterranean countries. By

labelling the signatories to the ENP merely as neighbours, Algerians feel

that it does not represent an intention of equal partnerships. Full bilateral

relations are considered much more important than just restricting the

relationship to issues such as trade. Ultimately, Algeria still considers the

ENP to be too Euro-centric, especially considering the fact that its con-

tent did not go through a consultation process, and that conditions were

placed on Euro Med countries to qualify as neighbours.

Second, the ENP ignores the current difficulties Algeria has in think-

ing of itself as part of a Maghreb neighbourhood mainly because of its

competitive dynamics with Morocco. How can Algeria represent a uni-

fied region together with the other Maghreb countries if it cannot solve

the question of the south-south cooperation, which has already led Mo-

rocco to quit the African Union after the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Re-

public (SADR) was accepted into the process in 1984? Moreover, the

borders between Morocco and Algeria have been closed since 1994. The

real construction of a Maghrebi space seems a crucial prerequisite to a

successful implementation of the ENP. One of the main obstacles in in-

ter-Maghreb or inter-Arab relations is the relatively low trade between

the various countries. For example, trade with Morocco and Egypt

makes up no more than 0.6% and 0.8% of Algeria’s total trade respec-

tively. The Maghreb Union has so far been unsuccessful in seriously

225

addressing the low inter-Maghreb trade and it has also been hampered

by existing disputes between its members, most prominently the Alge-

ria-Morocco dispute over the status of Western Sahara.

The latest development:

The Union for the Mediterranean

Since 2008, a new initiative, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), has

been added to the EU–Algeria cooperation framework. This initiative

inherited and exploited even further the vision that the EU has put for-

ward since 1995 for its policies towards the Southern Mediterranean and

especially towards the Maghreb region, with a focus on economic out-

comes rather than on genuine political exchanges.

Launched in July 2008 following the original idea by Nicolas Sarkozy,

the UfM is not supposed to replace the EMP and the ENP but to “com-

Eurostat Algeria report 2007; http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2006/sep

225

tember/tradoc_113343.pdf 113

Algeria’s marginalization and opportunities in EU policies

plement” them with new cooperation tools like a series of biannual sum-

mits, bilateral joint projects and shared institutions like a North-South

joint secretariat. The projects of the Union for the Mediterranean will be

able to benefit from funds from the European Neighbourhood and Part-

nership Instrument (ENPI), but on a very limited scale (a maximum of

50m EURO a year).

226

Algeria, like other Arab countries, has not been consulted on the de-

sign and objectives of the project. In this UfM framework, Algeria has

mainly been solicited by the French on three points: illegal immigration,

struggle against terrorism and the gas market.

Morocco and Tunisia quickly supported the project, seeking a strate-

gic role in the region and seeing the possibility to benefit from EU mem-

ber state’s investments. Algeria, which was not offered such interesting

partnerships but mainly maintained its energy and security supplier

role, has been less enthusiastic.

The first critique coming from Algerian officials highlighted the UfM

as a unilateralist initiative. They explicitly asked for the priorities of the

Union for the Mediterranean to be reoriented towards the construction

of “a Mediterranean Schengen” and they expressed their discontent over

the inclusion of Israel in the project. Some commentators have gone fur-

ther and even claimed that the French diplomatic strategy seeks to iso-

late Algeria.

227

Interestingly, some business actors have shown an interest in the ini-

tiative, like the Forum des Chefs d’Entreprises (FCE) who met with the

French MEDEF during the initiative’s brainstorming sessions. Usually

marginalized by the focus on the exporting energy market, they found

an opportunity to be more present on EU–Algerian trade niches. It

should also be noticed that the problem of how to fund the UfM initia-

tives regarding the limited access to the ENP funds has favored the idea

of other private funding channels in which Algerian entrepreneurs can

then have a more important role in strategic decisions. Finally they also

have been seduced by the UfM promise of more visas to be given to eco-

nomic actors. However, the FCE explicitly expressed its willingness to

E. Soler i Lecha, Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean Genesis, evolu-

226

tion and implications for Spain's Mediterranean Policy, Documento de Trabajo, CIDOB,

28,2008.

See Projet de l’Union pour la Méditerrané, la vision discordante de l’Algérie, in El

227

Watan, 30 March 2008 and L’algérie marque sa différence sur le projet d’union pour

la Méditerranée, in La Tribune, 30 March 2008.

114

Amel Boubekeur

stay “far from any political turbulence that could slow down or impede

the process. 228

Algeria’s participation in the UfM however is still unclear. Israel’s

participation in the process has particularly angered the Algerians, espe-

cially after the Gaza war in January 2009 and the EU’s lacklustre re-

sponse.

Conclusion:

Prospects for a renewed EU–Algerian partnership

Through its various partnerships with the EU, Algeria has mainly bene-

fited from its energy market exchanges and a reinforced security role.

However, these partnerships with the EU have not helped Algeria to

renew its political leadership nor have pushed for political reforms. After

the reelection of President Bouteflika for a third mandate in April 2009,

Algeria is more than just a country focusing on economy and security

without really being able to think about a new orientation in its foreign

policies. In 2007, Mourad Medelci, former minister of finance, was ap-

pointed as Foreign Affairs minister. Nominating the person who negoti-

ated the WTO accession the debt reimbursement with the Paris club, and

is a former director of several public companies is also clearly a sign of

Algeria’s primary interest in economics exchange in its foreign policies.

However, in times of a global economic crisis this may not be enough to

ensure the country a favorable place on the international scene. Signifi-

cant direct investments by the EU are still lacking and Bouteflika’s early

2000s promise to favor Arab investments as an alternative to the cautious

European investors has not achieved its goal. Despite a global Arab in-

vestor’s market estimated at 500 billion USD, the administrative and

229

institutional weaknesses of the Algeria market have discouraged poten-

tial Arab investors as well. With the prospect of a free trade zone by

230

2012, the risk for the Algerian public sector to disappear is high. It is

doubtful that a renter state like Algeria will carry on and still be able to

import products from Europe if it does not improve its capability to

think about a new partnership with the EU. Algeria can be a strong po-

M. Rabhi, “Une délégation de 60 chefs d’entreprises du FCE à Paris”, El watan, 26

228

June 2007.

R. Madouni, “Investissements arabes en Algérie: entre mirage et réalité ” in Le soir

229

d’Algérie, 19 March 2008.

M. Saadoune, “Capitaux arabes, tropismes européens” in Le quotidien d’Oran, 9

230

June 2007. 115

Algeria’s marginalization and opportunities in EU policies

litical actor in its partnership with the EU but for that it needs first to rely

on stable institutions and second to involve its private sector.

On its side, the EU has to renounce its illusive vision that it can count

on politically inefficient but economically resourceful importing partners

south of its borders. Good governance is obviously needed in markets,

even if some European analysts have been recently trying to put China

To be realistic, one can argue that good

as a model for Arab countries.

231

governance will serve at better managing energy resources not at

232

changing in the short term the ruling élite. EU’s offer to Algeria should

seek political reform in the country’s management, focus on a transpar-

ent and pluralistic use of institutions and implementation of regulations

that already exists rather than continuing to talk about democratization

at large .

233

For example, the EU has recently begun to consider the role of the

economic élite as the new miracle recipe for democratization. But this

economic élite is in any case deeply dependant on the political élite. The

EU soft power vision, which consists of supporting categories of actors

or regimes in place of supporting countries in their whole, should be

revised. This search for influential partners able to favour its interests

234

outside any reinforcement of pluralistic and transparent institutions is

not sustainable. Further, discourses on economic reforms without any

focus on democratic institutions have favoured the redeployment of non-

democratic practices in alternative crony and non-productive net-

works. On the contrary to what the EU thought when launching the

235

EuroMed partnership in 1995, the opening of markets and policies of

See “L’UE ne pratique pas une politique néo-impérialiste avec l’Algérie” in Liberté,

231

9 juin 2007. I. Martin, “Algeria’s political economy (1999-2002): an economic solution

to the crisis ?” in The Journal of North African Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 2003. M.

Timmerman, “Le mythe de la transition démocratique en Chine” in La vie des idées, 20

May 2008.

R. Young, “Energy: A reinforced obstacle to democracy ?”, CEPS working docu-

232

ment, no 299, July 2008.

E. Bellin, “The political–economic conundrum: The affinity of economic and po-

233

litical reform in the Middle East and North Africa”, Carnegie Papers, Democracy and

Rule of Law project, no 53, November 2004.

Such as underlined in report made by a French policy group underdirection of the

234

French Foreign affairs ministry “Maghreb–Moyen-Orient: Contribution pour une

politique volontariste de la France”, Avicenne, April 2007.

D. Brumberg, “Authoritarian Legacies and Reform Strategies in the Arab World,”

235

in R. Brynen, B. Korany and P. Nobles (eds.), Political Liberalization and Democratiza-

tion in the Arab World, Boulder: Lynne Reinner Publishers, 1995.

116

Amel Boubekeur

privatization have not led to a greater political stability but rather to a

new design of renter networks unable to act as political and accountable

partners in EU policies.

236

Euro-Algerian partnerships cannot continue to be viewed as separate

entities with on one side Algeria’s interest in the rent and on the other

the EU’s interest in the exporting market, controlled migrations and fight

against terrorism on Europe’s doors. Common interests in the partner-

ships should be given priority in any policy. Both Algeria and the EU

should calculate their losses in not having an accountable partnership.

Interference should not be used as an excuse not to fight corruption for

example because both partners need to live up to their political responsi-

bilities.

Public debates on the agreements signed between the two parties and

then the assessment of EU policies by the Algerian civil society and its

involvement in institutional programs funded by the EU are crucial. Un-

til now the EU has divided its vision for supporting Med countries be-

tween a satellite civil society that needs to get more involved in intercul-

tural initiatives rather than make use of its national institutions on one

hand, and a state élite that is reinforced in its security-related aspects

(police, justice, prisons, etc) rather than being reinforced as an account-

able actor. It is important for the EU to support the stability of a country

as a whole process and not support only the stability of the ruling élite.

This is also crucial for Algeria’s international image and credibility. Mak-

ing its partnership accountable and accompanying Algeria towards more

pluralism provides a real benefit to Europe. If Algeria succeeded in di-

versifying its trade relationships, the EU’s focus on economics could

soon be appropriated by other emerging actors such as India, Iran or

South America which won’t hassle Algeria with obsessive security and

migration demands.

E. Gobe, “Secteur privé et pouvoir politique en Égypte : entre réformes économi-

236

ques, logiques rentières et autoritarisme néo-patrimonial” in Gérard D. Khoury &

Nadine Méouchy (dir.), États et sociétés de l’Orient arabe en quête d’avenir 1945-2005.

.

Dynamiques et enjeux II, Paris, Geuthner, 2007, 253-265

117

Algeria’s marginalization and opportunities in EU policies

Boş Sayfa

118

Sharon Pardo

Partnership without

Membership:

What the EU can offer

Israel within the

Framework of the European

Neighbourhood Policy

Sharon Pardo

237

Introduction

Historically, geographically and even religiously, it has been argued that

"Israel is from Europe, but not in Europe", and indeed the European

238

Union (EU) is Israel's economic, cultural and, in many respects, political

point of reference. Not only do Israel and the EU share common heritage,

but they also share something more profound that was built in Israel by

the survivors of the Holocaust who emigrated to Israel. Today, Israel

enjoys a unique status in the EU, a status that grants Israel extensive

rights in many areas such as research and development and economics.

For all these reasons, one of Tzipi Livni's most important public state-

ments on Europe, as Israel's foreign minister, was dedicated to declaring

her belief in Israeli-European relations: "I truly believe that the road

This chapter is an updated and condensed version of a EuroMeSCo Paper titled

237

“Toward an Ever Closer Partnership: A Model for a New Euro-Israeli Partnership,”

EuroMeSCo Paper 72 (October 2008),

http://www.euromesco.net/images/paper72-eng.pdf (accessed March 8, 2009).

D. Diner, Europa-Israel, Tel-Aviv, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, 2007, 2.

238 119

What the EU can offer Israel within the Framework of the

European Neighbourhood Policy

should ultimately lead us to a significant participation of Israel in the

European integration project. And here the sky is the limit".

239

Yet for all its desire to partake in the European project, Israel is only

now beginning to think thoroughly about its relationship with the EU

and has not made yet a strategic determination as to its desired relations

In December 2008 the EU External Relations Council

with the EU. 240

adopted guidelines for strengthening the political dialogue structures

with Israel. The success of this process, however, depends on Israel and

the EU agreeing on how they want to craft a tailor-made model for their

relations.

This chapter tries to address this Euro-Israeli need. The chapter first

describes the bilateral relations between the EU and Israel and then turns

to presenting a new model for an ever-closer partnership between Israel

and the EU under the ENP. The 'Euro-Israeli Partnership' (EIP) is a new

model of aligning Israel with the EU below the level of full EU member-

ship. As a new form of association, the EIP should significantly upgrade

Euro-Israeli relations, first and foremost in economic terms, but also in

the political, security, joint-research, cultural and social/human fields.

The chapter also proposes an institutional structure that includes com-

mon decision-making and management bodies.

The chapter begins from the assumption that following the June 2008

statement of the EU-Israel Association Council (the 'Luxembourg State-

ment of 2008') to "mark a new phase" in Euro-Israeli relations and to

"upgrade" them , as well as the December 2008 call of the EU Council

241

for “the joint examination by the European Commission and Israel of the

usefulness and modalities of closer involvement by Israel in the Com-

munity’s main measures and programmes” , the time has come to im-

242

T. Livni, "Israeli European Relations," Newsletter of the Centre for the Study of Euro-

239

pean Politics and Society, 1 March 2007, 4.

For a discussion on principles underlying a future Israeli strategy toward the EU,

240

see Y. Dror and S. Pardo, "Approaches and Principles for an Israeli Grand Strategy

towards the European Union," European Foreign Affairs Review , Vol.11, No. 1, 2006,

17-44.

General Secretariat of the Council, Eighth Meeting of the EU-Israel Association Coun-

241

cil: Statement of the European Union 16 June 2008 (Luxembourg: General Secretariat of

the Council, 2008) : 1, The European Commission's Delegation to Israel,

http://www.delisr.ec.europa.eu/english/whatsnew.asp?id=1003 (accessed July 26,

2008).

Council of the European Union, Council Conclusions. Strengthening of the European

242

Union’s Bilateral Relations with its Mediterranean Partners (Brussels: Council of the

European Union, 2008) : 3, Council of the European Union, http://www.consilium.

120

Sharon Pardo

plement the Essen Declaration of 1994. In this Declaration, the European

Council stated that it "considers that Israel, on account of its high level of

economic development, should enjoy special status in its relations with

the European Union on the basis of reciprocity and common interest".

243

The proposed EIP model is based on the premise that a closer partner-

ship between the EU and Israel would benefit both sides and would con-

tribute to the improvement of mutual understanding and trust.

Finally, the chapter holds that the EIP model is also a prerequisite to

success if the ENP is ever going to evolve into anything other than ex-

pressions of European noblesse oblige. The current proposals to beef-up

the ENP are unlikely to suffice. The EIP could serve as model and as a

springboard from which the consolidation process of the Euro-Mediter-

ranean neighbourhood area can begin to take shape.

Israel-EU Relations

Israel and the EU first established diplomatic relations in 1959. The two

share a long history, marked by growing interdependence and coopera-

tion. In 1975 Israel and the EC signed their first Co-operation Agreement

and since then, trade, economic, political and cultural cooperation have

consolidated Israel-EU relations. The EU is Israel's most important trad-

ing partner. In 2007 35% of Israeli imports (except diamonds) came from

the EU, and 35% of Israeli exports (except diamonds; totaling about EUR

11 billion) were directed to the European market. The EU ranks first in

Israel's imports and second in its exports. Israel, of course, is a much

244

smaller trading partner for the EU, yet it is one of the EU's biggest trad-

ing partners in the Euro-Mediterranean area. In 2006, for example, Israel

ranked 30 in the EU's imports and 22 in the EU's exports.

th nd 245

europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/gena/104571. pdf (accessed Ma-

rch 8, 2009).

Council of the European Union, European Council Meeting on 9 and 10 December

243

1994 in Essen. Presidency Conclusions, Essen: Council of the European Union, 1994, 10,

Council of the European Union,

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/ec/0030

0-1.EN4.htm (accessed, July 11, 2008).

Central Bureau of Statistics, Monthly Israeli-EU Trade Statistics, Jerusalem: Central

244

Bureau of Statistics, 2008.

Approximately one percent of total EU trade; see Commission of the EC, DG

245

Trade,

http://ec.europa.eu/trade/issues/bilateral/countries/israel/index_en.htm (access-

ed July 12, 2008). 121

What the EU can offer Israel within the Framework of the

European Neighbourhood Policy

To intensify their political, economic and technological-scientific rela-

tions Israel and the EU have established and implemented several con-

tractual and political frameworks. These frameworks include:

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP)/Union for the Mediterranean

(UfM)

Israel is a full partner in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) and

participates in all its programmes. Because of the state of its economy

which is on par with that of many EU countries, Israel was not eligible

for bilateral assistance under the MEDA Programme. It has, however,

been involved in a wide variety of Euro-Mediterranean regional pro-

grammes initiated under the MEDA Programme.

As long as the Middle East Peace Process was proceeding, the Euro-

Mediterranean Partnership positively affected EU-Israel bilateral rela-

tions, but as soon as the process started to derail, the Partnership nega-

tively affected the bilateral relations. Altogether, while the direct eco-

246

nomic impact of the Partnership on Israel is negligible, politically it has

enhanced Israel's regional legitimacy.

Israel is also a full partner in the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)

and, as agreed by the November 2008 Marseille Summit of Euro-Medi-

terranean foreign ministers, an Israeli representative will be one of the

five UfM Deputy Secretaries General. Israeli officials and academics

247

remain sceptical as to what the added value of the UfM can be like and

most of them treat it as a lot of hot air with very little substance. Yet

there are some observers that believe that the UfM can be used to “relo-

cate Israel—i.e., to redefine the relevant geostrategic environment and

regional identity politics in terms of the rich mosaic of the Mediterranean

instead of the ‘Middle East’… or the ‘Arab world’… in which Israel will

always be … the continued target of hostility as a foreign insert.”

248

R. A. Del Sarto, Contested State Identities and Regional Security in the Euro-Mediter-

246

ranean Area Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, 111.

For the first term of office, the four other Deputy Secretaries General will come

247

from the following Euro-Mediterranean partners: Greece, Italy, Malta and the Pales-

tinian Authority; Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers, Final Statement: Marseille, 3-

4 November 2008, Marseille: Euro-Mediterranean Summit of Foreign Ministers, 2008,

6. European Parliament Archive,

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/intcoop/empa/home/final_statement_marseille_0

4nov2008_en.pdf (accessed March 8, 2009).

E. Lerman, The Mediterranean Idea. Envisioning a Brighter Future for All the Peoples of

248

the Mediterranean, Jerusalem: American Jewish Committee, 2007, 2.

122

Sharon Pardo

The EU-Israel Association Agreement

The EU-Israel Association Agreement, governed by the EMP, signed in

1995 and entered into force in 2000, forms the legal basis for Israel-EU

relations, replacing the 1975 EC-Israel Cooperation Agreement. It is

much more than a free trade agreement and it enables continuing dia-

logue and cooperation between Israel and the EU in a wide variety of

fields. The Agreement outlines the framework for regular political dia-

logue and aims at promoting peace, security and regional cooperation. It

includes provisions for the strengthening of economic and socio-cultural

cooperation on the widest possible basis, including freedom of estab-

lishment, liberalisation of services, unrestricted movement of capital, and

free market competition. The Agreement reaffirms and strengthens the

free trade arrangements for manufactured goods and other industrial

products. In 2003, the parties signed a new agreement liberalising recip-

rocal trade for most agricultural products. Negotiations on the further

liberalisation of trade in agricultural, processed agricultural and fishery

products terminated in 2008 and a new agreement should be signed by

both parties in 2009.

Israel-EU Agreements on Scientific and Technological Cooperation

Israel is the first of only two non-European/EEA/candidate countries

249

fully associated with the EU's Framework Programmes for Research and

Technological Development (FP) since 1996. Israel is an active member in

the EU's FP and has proved to be a source of innovation in both basic

and market-oriented research conducted in Europe. The EU is now Is-

rael's second biggest source of research funding, after the Israel Science

Foundation, and under the EU's Sixth Research Framework Programme

(FP6) Israeli research bodies participated in over 600 research projects in

consortia with their European counterparts. Israeli researchers partici-

pated in all activities under FP6 and were strongest in the information

society technologies. Israel will contribute approximately EUR 440 mil-

lion to the EU's Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) over the

period 2007-2013.

250

Switzerland is the second country.

249 By 16 June 2008, over 1,300 proposals involving Israeli researchers were received

250

under FP7. Of these 267 were accepted with EU contribution of over EUR 51 million.

123

What the EU can offer Israel within the Framework of the

European Neighbourhood Policy

The EU-Israel Action Plan

Following the launch of the ENP, the EU and Israel adopted the EU-

Israel Action Plan in April 2005 for a period of three years, which was

extended for another year until April 2009. According to the Action

251

Plan, the two parties are to intensify political and security cooperation,

introduce a significant element of economic integration, boost socio-

cultural and scientific cooperation and share responsibility in conflict

prevention and resolution. The Action Plan stipulates that the EU-Israel

political dialogue should also focus on the adoption of measures to com-

bat antisemitism, and on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruc-

tion. Furthermore, the economic dialogue focuses on actions to promote

further liberalisation of investment and trade between Israel and the EU.

According to Oded Eran, Israel’s former ambassador to the EU, the

Action Plan is "rich and comprehensive and [it] led to what can be de-

scribed as a civilised dialogue". The Action Plan "reflects a different

252

starting point for Euro-Israeli relations and it is also indicative of the

well-developed bilateral political and economic relations".

253

The Action Plan paved the way for Israel's participation in a number

of EU initiatives, with Israel being among the front-runners in making

use of the new possibilities for ENP partner countries to participate in

Community programmes. Thus, Israel is the first ENP partner country

254

to participate in the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Pro-

gramme (CIP) under which the EU promotes innovation, entrepreneur-

ship and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Following the February 2009 general elections in Israel and the formation of a new

251

Israeli government the following month, it is clear that the EU and Israel will not be

able to finish negotiations on a new instrument by April 2009. Therefore, there are

two options for the two parties: 1. to extend the Action Plan for another period; 2. the

Action Plan will come to an end.

House Committee on Foreign Affairs Archive, "Statement by Oded Eran, Director

252

General of the World Jewish Congress Office in Jerusalem at the Joint Hearing

'Europe and Israel: Strengthening the Partnership' held by the House Foreign Affairs

Subcommittees on Europe and the Middle East and South Asia, July 9, 2008", Wash-

ington DC: HCFA-A, 9 July 2008, http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/era070908.

pdf (accessed July 27, 2008).

R. A. Del Sarto and others. Benchmarking Democratic Development in the Euro-

253

Mediterranean Area: Conceptualising Ends, Means and Strategies, Lisbon: EuroMeSCo

Secretariat, 2007, 43.

General Secretariat of the Council, op. cit., 3.

254 124

Sharon Pardo

All in all, the Action Plan has provided the platform for developing

, and the ENP has acted

Euro-Israeli cooperation across various fields

255

as a catalyst in boosting Euro-Israeli relations and putting them on a new

and higher level.

The November 2005 Israeli-Palestinian Agreement on Movement and Ac-

cess to and from the Gaza Strip

Following the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in August 2005 and

the November 2005 Israeli-Palestinian Agreement on Movement and

Access to and from the Gaza Strip, Israel and the Palestinian Authority

invited the EU to be the third-party at Rafah Crossing Point on the Gaza-

Egyptian border. In response, the EU decided to launch the EU Border

Assistance Mission (EU BAM Rafah), to monitor the operations of the

Rafah border crossing point. The operational phase of the Mission began

on 30 November 2005 for a duration of 12 months.

256

The Mission actively monitored, verified and evaluated the perform-

ance of the Palestinian border control, specifically the security and cus-

toms officials working at the Rafah Terminal. The Mission was viewed as

a significant step forward for Israeli-EU relations, since it marked the

first time that Israel agreed to give the EU a responsibility in the 'hard

security' sphere.

In the wake of the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, EU

BAM Head of Mission declared a temporary suspension of operations at

Rafah Crossing Point; the EU monitors are now inactive, having with-

drawn their observers back to Israel. Following the January 2009 Israeli-

Hamas war, High Representative Solana declared that the EU is “ready

to return to Rafah and even to extend the mission if that is agreed by the

Commission of the EC, Commission Staff Working Document. Accompanying the

255

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament. Imple-

mentation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007. Progress Report Israel, SEC

(2008) 394, Brussels: Commission of the EC, 2008, Commission of the EC, (accessed

July 12, 2008).

In May 2007 the mandate of the Mission was extended until May 2008 and has

256

since been extended again until 24 November 2008. On 10 November 2008, the EU

Council extended the mandate of the Mission by a further year, until 24 November

2009. 125

What the EU can offer Israel within the Framework of the

European Neighbourhood Policy

parties and we are asked to do it… We are willing to do whatever is nec-

essary in that direction, with monitors in Rafah and in other places.”

257

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon ('UNIFIL II')

UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of August 2006 ended 34 days of a

war between Israel and Hizbollah. The Resolution called for a full cessa-

tion of hostilities, strengthened UNIFIL's mandate and increased the

number of UNIFIL troops in southern Lebanon from 2,000 to 15,000

(UNIFIL II). Resolution 1701 further called on 'UNIFIL II' troops to assist

the Lebanese military in taking steps toward the disarmament of armed

groups. EU Member States have provided more than 7,000 soldiers to

UNIFIL II.

Although UNIFIL II is not an EU operation, the European participa-

tion in the mission is the backbone of this new force. The remarkable and

impressive contribution of EU Member States to UNIFIL II clearly

strengthens the EU relations with Israel and is a testimony to the EU's

growing involvement in the Middle East in the field of hard security.

For the first time European troops exert operational control in the Mid-

dle East conflict. It remains to be seen whether the strong European

component within UNIFIL II will also open a new chapter in the Middle

East peace process.

The 'Luxembourg Statement' of June 2008

In March 2007 Israel and the EU established the so-called 'Reflection

Group', which was charged with examining areas in which cooperation

between Israel and the EU could be enhanced. Based on the preliminary

work of this Reflection Group, the EU-Israel Association Council con-

vened in Luxembourg on 16 June 2008, and expressed the political will to

intensify Euro-Israeli relations as well as agreed to develop these rela-

tions gradually within the framework of the ENP. The upgrade of rela-

tions is to be carried out in three areas: increased diplomatic cooperation,

Israeli participation in European agencies, working groups and pro-

grammes, and Israel’s integration into the European Single Market.

258

Council of the European Union, Summary of Remarks to the Press by Javier Solana EU

257

High Representative for the CFSP on the Gaza Crisis, Brussels: Council of the European

Union, 2009, 2, Council of the European Union,

http://ue.eu.int/uedocs/cmsUpload/090121%20Gaza.remarks%20to%20press.pdf

(accessed March 11, 2009).

General Secretariat of the Council, op. cit., 3.

258 126

Sharon Pardo

In order to implement this political decision, the EU and Israel started

negotiations reviewing the content of the EU-Israel Action Plan. The

process of identification of concrete actions in each area is carried out

jointly. Meetings of all joint subcommittees are tasked to develop the

content of the upgrade in each field, which is to be included in a docu-

ment that will guide Euro-Israeli relations past April 2009.

259

Strengthening EU-Israel Political Dialogue Structures: The December 2008

Council Guidelines

In December 2008 the EU reaffirmed its determination to upgrade bilat-

eral relations and issued guidelines for strengthening the political dia-

logue structures with Israel. These guidelines call for the following: con-

vening ad hoc summits at the level of Heads of State and Government as

well as three meetings a year at the Foreign Minister level; allowing for

each EU Presidency to invite, on an ad hoc basis, the Director General of

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to one of the meetings held during its

term of office; providing for hearings of Israeli experts by Council work-

ing parties and committees; organising systematic and broader informal

strategic consultations; intensifying exchanges on human rights and an-

tisemitism; encouraging Israel to remain in line with Common Foreign

and Security Policy (CFSP) positions; enabling cooperation in the context

of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP); encouraging Israeli

integration and involvement in multilateral forums; and intensifying

inter-parliamentary dialogue.

260

The Luxembourg Statement is now awaiting concrete translation into

action, and the success of this process, requires that Israel and the EU

both agree on how they want to craft a tailor-made model for their rela-

tions.

Now, after the 2004 accession of Cyprus to the EU, Israel and the EU

are closer even in geographic terms. The fifth enlargement and the Union

for the Mediterranean (UfM), alongside the upgrade process of Euro-

Israeli relations within the framework of the ENP, offer the EU and Israel

the opportunity to develop an ever closer relationship, going beyond

past levels of cooperation to gradual economic integration and deeper

political cooperation.

General Secretariat of the Council, op. cit., 2-3.

259 Council of the European Union (2008), op. cit., 2, 4-5.

260 127

What the EU can offer Israel within the Framework of the

European Neighbourhood Policy

Some Principles for the 'Euro-Israeli Partnership' (EIP)

The EIP would open new economic integration and cooperation perspec-

tives for Israel, and it would support Israel's aspiration to further inte-

gration into European economic and social structures. The EIP would

deepen the process of approximation of Israeli legislation, norms and

standards to those of the EU. In other words, the EIP is a new model of

aligning Israel with the EU below the level of full EU membership. It

should be emphasised that the EIP is not a stepping-stone to Israeli

membership in the EU. Rather, it is a new form of association and coop-

eration, and should significantly upgrade Euro-Israeli relations, first and

foremost in economic terms, but also in political, security as well as re-

search, cultural and social/human. As such, the EIP provides an alterna-

tive to EU membership.

261

The Legal Basis of the EIP

The EIP finds its roots in the Barcelona Process, the UfM, the EU-Israel

Association Agreement, the ENP, the EU-Israel Action Plan, the Luxem-

bourg Statement of June 2008 and the December 2008 Council Guide-

lines, and should be seen as the result of the long maturation of Euro-

Israeli relations. Therefore, from the point of view of both the EU and

Israel, the EIP would fall within the legal category of an 'association'.

The key article in the EU Treaties is Article 188 M of the Treaty of Lis-

bon (Article 310 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community

[TEC]; Article 217 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Un-

ion [TFEU]), offers the fundamental legal basis of the EIP. Article 188 M

states that:

"The Community may conclude with one or more third countries or

international organisations agreements establishing an association in-

volving reciprocal rights and obligations, common action and special

procedure."

Another legal source for the EIP is Article 7a of the Treaty of Lisbon

(new Article 8 in the consolidated version of the Treaty on European

In a survey from February 2007, which was conducted by the Konrad-Adenauer-

261

Stiftung together with the author of this chapter, an overwhelming majority of 75

percent of the Israeli public either strongly supported, somewhat supported or

tended to support the idea that Israel should join the EU. In addition, following the

January 2007 EU enlargement, about 42 percent of the Israelis were identified as

eligible for EU citizenship; see S. Pardo, Measuring the Attitudes of Israelis towards the

EU and its Member States, Jerusalem: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, 2007, 20.

128

Sharon Pardo

Union [TEU]). This article calls for the development of a 'special relation-

ship' with neighbouring countries of the EU, including Israel. Although

Article 7a uses different terms from Article 188 M, it has almost the same

legal consequences. It states that:

1. The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring

countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbour-

liness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close

and peaceful relations based on cooperation.

2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, the Union may conclude specific

agreements with the countries concerned. These agreements may contain

reciprocal rights and obligations as well as the possibility of undertaking

activities jointly."

Both Articles 188 M and 7a are intentionally vague and they allow the

development of an 'association' or a 'special relationship' that involves

reciprocal rights and obligations as well as joint/common actions and

special procedures. The articles leave open the actual content of the 'as-

sociation' or the 'special relationship'.

The EIP is legally based on the vagueness of Articles 188 M and 7a

and on the flexibility that they allow for the development of Euro-Israeli

relations. A tailor-made partnership, the EIP might suit the interests and

the needs of both parties. Since EU membership is restricted only to

'European states', the EIP model would entail less than full EU member-

ship but more than the current EU-Israel Association Agreement.

Since its establishment, the European Economic Community searched

for models for developing closer relations with non-EU Member States.

Referring to this issue, Walter Hallstein, the first President of the Euro-

pean Commission, stated on many occasions that the links with a non-

member country "can be anything between full membership minus one

percent and a trade and cooperation agreement plus one percent”.

262

In like manner, in a June 2008 report , MEP Brok argued that the EU

263

needed to develop "something between the European Neighbourhood

D. Phinnemore, Association: Stepping-Stone or Alternative to EU Membership?, Shef-

262

field: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999, 23.

Parliament of the European Union, Report on the Commission's 2007 Enlargement

263

Strategy Paper Brussels: Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2008, European Parliament

Archive,

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+

REPORT+A6-2008-0266+0+DOC+PDF+V0//EN (accessed July 27, 2008).

129

What the EU can offer Israel within the Framework of the

European Neighbourhood Policy

Policy and full-fledged membership". On this basis, in July 2008 the

264

European Parliament adopted a resolution in which the Parliament takes

the view that "the conceptual, political and legal gap existing between

the EU's Enlargement Strategy and its Neighbourhood Policy needs to be

filled" in order to respond to the expectations of the Union's neighbours.

The resolution further provides that with regards to those neighbours

that at present do not enjoy membership prospects but at the same time

fulfil certain democratic and economic conditions:

"the EU should establish an area based on common policies … [that]

… should be shaped jointly with the participating countries on the

basis of specific decision-making mechanisms … as a first step, these

relations should translate themselves into the establishment of a Free

Trade Area, to be followed by closer relations along the lines of a

European Economic Area Plus (EEA +), of a European Common-

wealth or of specific regional cooperation frameworks."

265

The 'special closer relations' with non-EU Member States have also been

inferred by a ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In its Meryem

Demirel Case the ECJ observed that the Community may conclude "an

266

agreement creating special, privileged links with a non-member coun-

try". While the ECJ refrained from any elaboration on the substance of

267

these 'privileged links' with the non-member country, the Court's state-

ment suggests that the relations should be based on more than just a

regular trade agreement.

EurActiv.com, "Close Relations' More Fashionable than Enlargement," EurActiv.

264

com, July 10, 2008,

http://www.euractiv.com/en/enlargement/close-relations-fashionable-enlargemen

t/article-174112 (accessed July 13, 2008).

Parliament of the European Union, European Parliament Resolution of 10 July on the

265

Commission's 2007 Enlargement Strategy Paper (2007/2271(INI) (Strasbourg: Parliament

of the European Union, 2008): Paragraphs18-20, European Parliament Archive,

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P62

008-0363+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN (accessed July 19, 2008).

The case involved a Turkish woman who came to Germany and was ordered to

266

leave the country when her visa expired. The ECJ ruled that, at that time, the rights

to family reunification were not covered by the EC-Turkey Association Agreement.

Commentators argued that the Court was seeking to increase its jurisdiction to pro-

mote its own conception of Community fundamental rights in the face of conflicting

Member State conceptions of national fundamental principles and rights; P. Craig

and G. De Búrca, EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford: Oxford University Press,

2003), 343.

Court of Justice of the European Communities, Case 12/86, Meryem Demirel v. Stadt

267

Schwäbisch Gmünd, ECR 1987: 3719-55: Paragraph 9.

130

Sharon Pardo

Certainly, a chief component of the EIP is its permanence, and both

Articles 188 M and 7a allow and imply a long-term relationship. This is

further implied by Article 188 L(2) of the Treaty of Lisbon (Article 300(7)

of the TEC; Article 216 of the TFEU) which stipulates that all interna-

tional agreements concluded between the EU and one or more third

countries or international organisations "are binding upon the institu-

tions of the Union and on its Member States." And indeed, in practice all

the Association Agreements and Partnership and Cooperation Agree-

ments between the Union and non-EU Member States were concluded

for unlimited or for renewable periods.

Another major component of the EIP is 'common action' or 'joint ac-

tivities' (Articles 188 M and 7a). In the Meryem Demirel Case the ECJ

affirmed that in the context of the "special, privileged links" with the EU,

the non-member country "must, at least to a certain extent, take part in

the Community system". It follows then, that any 'common action' or

268

'joint activities' should be in line with the EU's objectives. These actions

can cover any area under the competence of the Community and above

all they must depend on the interests of the two partners. In the Union's

jargon, the Partnership would be of a 'mixed agreement' nature, namely

a partnership that covers areas under Community external competences

and Member States competences.

269

A third component of the EIP is its institutional framework. By using

the term 'special procedures', Article 188 M implies the creation of an

institutional apparatus for the implementation of the agreement. It also

follows that the 'special procedure' should be an extraordinary one.

270

And indeed, the EIP would be equipped with its own institutional sys-

tem and decision-making mechanism.

The Partnership would extend the internal market and some EU poli-

cies to Israel. In particular, the EIP would be based on the acquis commun-

autaire concerning the Four Freedoms. That said, it is expected that the

'freedom of movement of persons' would touch a raw nerve both in the

EU and in Israel and that the partners would therefore prefer not to im-

plement this freedom in the short term. Accordingly, the EIP should

stipulate that this freedom would be extended to the Partnership subject

to adjustments in the EU and to a favourable change in the political

situation in the region.

Ibid.

268 D. Phinnemore, op. cit.

269 Ibid.

270 131

What the EU can offer Israel within the Framework of the

European Neighbourhood Policy

From the economic point of view, the EIP would not be of a customs

union nature and it would not cover all the products and fields of the

Union's activities. In addition, the institutional framework of the EIP

would monitor and manage the Partnership.

Objectives and Means

The principal objective of the EIP is to develop an ever closer relation-

ship between the EU and Israel, going beyond past levels of cooperation

to gradual economic integration and deeper political cooperation. The

EIP would promote continuous strengthening of economic trade and

political relations between the two parties with a view of creating a 'ho-

mogenous partnership economic area'. The homogeneity objective is a

cornerstone of the EIP and means that Israel would follow closely the

acquis and its monitoring system.

The fundamental means to achieve the Partnership's objectives would

be the Four Freedoms, competition rules, and Euro-Israeli cooperation in

several key areas. Thus the economic objective of the Partnership should

be achieved through the extension of the Community's common market

rules to Israel. The creation of a 'homogenous partnership economic area'

would be achieved through the application of common rules and the

updating of new Community rules.

It follows, then, that the EIP would be a very dynamic partnership as

it would follow closely major developments in the EU, and on a periodi-

cal basis would integrate relevant Community legislation. In other

words, Israel would face a cardinal challenge of incorporating the rele-

vant parts of the acquis which the Partnership would incorporate. In view

of Israel’s existential concerns, the Partnership would allow Israel the

freedom to make hard security decisions.

The Institutional Framework of the EIP

Currently, the Euro-Israeli relationship does not reflect the notion of an

ever closer partnership. Thus, under the EIP, the Euro-Israeli relation-

ship must achieve new levels of integration by strengthening the sense of

close partnership. Moreover, given the recent institutional structures

proposed by the Euro-Mediterranean leaders in the Paris summit of the

132

Sharon Pardo

the 'special procedures' under Article

Union for the Mediterranean,

271

188 M of the Treaty of Lisbon and given the dynamism and wide scope

of the EIP, it would be impossible to rely only on the current loose insti-

tutional framework of EU-Israeli relations—namely, the Association

Council, the Association Committee and its subcommittees and working

groups. For its full implementation and for its future development, the

EIP would have to upgrade the current loose institutional framework

and there would be a need to establish a new institutional system.

In order to become a proactive partnership that would engage the EU

and Israel in an equitable manner, the institutional framework of the EIP

should be based on two pillars: the EU institutions, and the light institu-

tional framework of the ENP.

Yet, some new common institutions are needed, in particular for joint

–decision-making and dispute settlement. The hope is that the EIP insti-

tutional framework would reflect the Partnership's principle of coopera-

tion, would strengthen EU-Israel relations, would turn the EIP into a

mechanism for consultations and negotiations and would limit the EU-

centric character of the EU-Israel economic and trade relations. 272

The EIP Council

Meeting at the ministerial level twice a year, the EIP Council would be

the highest political body of the Partnership and would consist of mem-

bers of the EU Council, the EU Commission and the relevant minister of

the Israeli government. Based on the current Association Council, the

new EIP Council would be responsible for giving the political impetus in

the implementation of the EIP objectives, and would lay the guidelines

for the work of the EIP Joint Monitoring Committee. The EIP Council

would be chaired by a rotating presidency for a set period of time (for

example, twelve months) by a member of the European Council and a

member of the Israeli government. Decisions by the EIP Council would

be taken by agreement between the Union and Israel.

Council of the European Union, Joint Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediter-

271

ranean. Paris, 13 July 2008, 11887/08 (Brussels: Council of the European Union, 2008):

13-16, Council of the European Union,

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/er/10184

7.pdf (accessed July 27, 2008).

The following sections draw on Thérèse Blanchet, Risto Piipponen and Maria

272

Westman-Clément, The Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). A Guide to the

Free Movement of Goods and Competition Rules (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994).

133

What the EU can offer Israel within the Framework of the

European Neighbourhood Policy

The EIP Council would fully reflect the equality, the negotiating, de-

cision-making and decision-shaping character of the Partnership.

The EIP Joint Monitoring Committee

Based on the work of the current Association Committee, the new EIP

Joint Monitoring Committee would be an independent committee char-

ged with administering the day-to-day business of the Partnership and

ensuring that the parties fulfil their EIP commitments. The establishment

of the Committee will develop Euro-Israeli relations to a genuine and an

equal partnership.

The Committee would decide on new legislation to be incorporated

into the Partnership. It would meet once a month and would consist of

an equal number of high officials and senior diplomats from the EU

Commission and the Israeli government (for example, 5+5). The Com-

mittee would also be able to convene informal meetings to respond to ur-

gent situations. As in the case of the EIP Council, the Committee would

be chaired by the rotating presidency and decisions would be taken by

agreement between the Union and Israel. To assist in its task, the Com-

mittee would be able to establish subcommittees and working groups.

The EIP Parliamentary Committee

The parliamentary dimension is also an important feature to be taken

273

into consideration when analysing the possible structure of the EIP. The

EIP Parliamentary Committee would be based on the current European

Parliament (EP) Delegation for Relations with Israel and the Knesset

Delegation for Relations with the EP, and would be composed of an

equal number of members of the EP and the Knesset (for example, 10 +

10). The Committee would act through dialogue and debate to ensure

better understanding between the Union and Israel in the areas covered

by the Partnership. The Committee would express its views on all mat-

ters relating to the EIP and in particular would monitor the 'homogenous

partnership economic area'. The Committee would not have any deci-

sion-making powers but would be able to adopt resolutions and submit

reports and recommendations to the EIP Council with a view to achiev-

ing the objectives of the EIP.

See chapter by Roderick Pace.

273 134

Sharon Pardo

The EIP Court of Conciliation and Arbitration

In order to settle disputes that may arise between the EU and Israel in

the framework of the EIP, the partners would establish a Court. The EIP

Court would act by means of conciliation and, where appropriate, arbi-

tration. Its rulings would be binding. To cut the Court's expenses, the

Court would not be a permanent tribunal but rather a roster of concilia-

tors and arbitrators from both sides. Accordingly, the Court would act as

an ad hoc Conciliation Commission or an ad hoc Arbitral Tribunal, con-

vening only when a dispute is submitted to it. In addition, Israeli courts

would be allowed to ask the EIP Court for an advisory opinion on the

interpretation of the Partnership. National courts of EU Member States

would be allowed to ask for preliminary rulings from the ECJ.

The EIP would establish an obligatory conciliation procedure leading

to a non-binding concluding report. If within thirty days the partners

decide not to accept the report's conclusions, the report would be for-

warded to the Arbitral Tribunal and its ruling would be binding.

Finally, if a dispute in question concerns the interpretation of Com-

munity legislation relevant to the EIP, it would be possible to ask the ECJ

to rule on the interpretation of the relevant legislation. The ECJ ruling

would be binding.

The Israeli Standing Committee

For its internal procedures, Israel would establish a Standing Committee

responsible for decision-making procedures, administration and man-

agement of the Partnership, as well as inter-ministerial coordination and

consultation. The Committee would also facilitate the elaboration of de-

cisions to be taken on the EIP level.

The Israeli Standing Committee would consist of representatives of all

Israeli ministries, including representatives of all relevant institutions

and agencies. Normally (and as often as on a monthly basis), the Stan-

274

ding Committee would meet at the level of high officials. In addition,

and as necessary, the Committee would meet at a ministerial level. The

Committee might set up subcommittees and working groups to assist it

in all its tasks. The decisions and recommendations of the Standing Com-

Such as the National Economic Council, the Standards Institution of Israel, the

274

Council on Higher Education, Israel Securities Authority, Israel Security Agency, the

Mossad, Israel National Security Council on National Security and others.

135

What the EU can offer Israel within the Framework of the

European Neighbourhood Policy

mittee would be taken by a majority vote and in some cases would also

need the approval of the Israeli government.

Decision-Shaping and Decision-Making Processes

Decision-Shaping

As the EIP is based on the Union's legislation, the Union would continue

to legislate using its own internal procedures. Any new Community leg-

islation relevant to the EIP would be incorporated into the Partnership

upon a joint decision of both the Union and Israel. Israel would be able

to take part in 'decision-shaping' when the EU judges the Community

legislation to be relevant for the EIP. In such a case, Israel would only

participate in the preparatory stages of the Union legislative process.

Under this process, once the European Commission drafts a new leg-

islation in an area the EU judges to be relevant to the EIP, the Commis-

sion would notify Israel and would send it a copy of the draft proposal.

If Israel wishes to discuss the proposal, a preliminary exchange of views

would take place in the EIP Joint Monitoring Committee. Furthermore,

the European Commission would ensure participation of Israeli experts

in the 'Comitology Committees'. The Commission may submit to the EU

Council the views of the Israeli experts as well.

Decision-Making

Once a relevant Community legislation has been formally adopted by

the Union's institutions, the EIP Joint Monitoring Committee would de-

cide on the incorporation of the legislation into the Partnership. The

Committee would also examine whether there is a need for technical

amendments, transitional periods or derogations. Such incorporation is

needed in order to guarantee the homogeneity of the EIP. The EIP Joint

Monitoring Committee would make its decisions as soon as possible in

order to allow a simultaneous application in the EU and in Israel. .

A decision by the EIP Joint Monitoring Committee would be taken

within a short period of time (for example, six months) following the

referral to it or from the date of entry into force of the relevant Commu-

nity legislation.

All decisions to extend Community legislation also to the EIP would

be published in a special EIP Section of the Official Journal of the Euro-

pean Union. Translation into Hebrew would be published in a special

EIP Series of the Official Gazette of the State of Israel ('Reshumot').

136


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Il file contiene il testo "THE EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY AND THE SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN", curato da Michele Comelli, Atila Eralp e Cigdem Ustun, contenente i contributi di Roberto Aliboni, Roderick Pace, Maria Cristina Paciello, Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim, Amel Boubekeurm, Sharon Pardo e Meliha Benli Altunışık. Vi si tratta delle politiche di vicinato dell'Unione Europea nei confronti dei paesi del Maghreb, dei Balcani e dei paesi europei non ancora membri; delle politiche di allargamento, degli accordi di associazione o pre adesione, dei rapporti con Israele e con la Turchia.


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Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in relazioni internazionali
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A.A.: 2011-2012

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher Atreyu di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Azione esterna dell’Unione europea: cooperazione e sicurezza e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Roma Tre - Uniroma3 o del prof Moccia Luigi.

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