Actions and Detail Panel
Fri 21 April 2017, 09:30 – 10:30 CEST
Paper: What do the People (Still) Want? Conceptions of Democracy
EU policy towards its Southern Neighbourhood aims to achieve security for its Member States through development and democracy. This project is underpinned by the assumption of shared understandings of democracy, security and prosperity, and Western-style market democracy as the main tool to achieve this. Although public opinion polls citizens of Arab countries show strong support for democracy, the Arab Transformations project data shows respondents mostly reject the EU brand of formal liberal democracy in which civil and political rights remain decoupled from social and economic rights, they do not think the EU has done a good job of facilitating a transition to democracy in their country, nor do they have much appetite for EU involvement in the domestic politics of their countries. This session discusses data and possible policy options in detail.
Paper: Perceptions of the EU in MENA Public Opinion: Arab Transformations
An ‘arc of instability’ surrounds the European Union’s (EU) on its eastern and southern borders undermining the European Neighbourhood Policy which aimed to secure its own security by bring democracy as the form of government that best supports security to its Southern Neighbourhood. New findings from the 2014 ArabTrans research in six MENA countries shed light on what citizens think of the EU and whether its policies address their concerns. Does the current approach meet the needs and expectations of states and their citizens? The survey shows that citizens are less concerned with procedural democracy and more with corruption, the rule of law and social justice on the one hand and the economic consequences of liberal developmental policies on the other. The EU is not seen as currently promoting stability and relatively few see it as promoting democracy. When asked what policies the EU should prioritise, their emphasis is on economic support and development.