Academic journal article Geopolitics, History and International Relations

From Lisbon to Barcelona - All the Forgotten Eu Instruments

Academic journal article Geopolitics, History and International Relations

From Lisbon to Barcelona - All the Forgotten Eu Instruments

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT.

There is a claim currently circulating the EU, both cynical and misleading: 'multiculturalism is dead in Europe'. No wonder, as the conglomerate of nation-states/EU has silently handed over one of its most important debates - that of European identity - to the wing-parties, recently followed by the several selective and contra-productive foreign policy actions. Europe's domestic cohesion, its fundamental realignment as well as the overall public standing and credibility within its strategic neighborhood lies in the reinvigoration of its everything but institutions transformative powers - stipulated in the Barcelona process of the European Neighborhood Policy as well as in the Euro-Med partnership (OSCE).

Keywords: Europe, Euro-Mediterranean partnership, European Neighborhood Policy, Barcelona Process, multiculturalism, Middle East, OSCE, democratization, useful idiot

There is a claim currently circulating the EU, both cynical and misleading: 'multiculturalism is dead in Europe'. No wonder, as the conglomerate of nation-states/EU has silently handed over one of its most important debates - that of European identity - to the wing-parties, recently followed by the several selective and contra-productive foreign policy actions.

Europe's domestic cohesion, its fundamental realignment as well as the overall public standing and credibility within its strategic neighborhood lies in the reinvigoration of its everything but institutions transformative powers - stipulated in the Barcelona process of the European Neighborhood Policy as well as in the Euro-Med partnership (OSCE).

By correlating the hydrocarbons with the present political and socioeconomic landscape, scholar Larry Diamond reveled that currently 22 states in the world, which earn 60% or more of their respective GDP from oil (and gas) are a non-democratic, authoritarian regimes. All of them with huge disparities, steep socio-economic cleavages, sharp political inequalities and lasting exclusions, not to mention dismal human rights records. These represent nearly half of the countries considered by the Freedom House's annual reports as 'not free'- the very same that are predominantly held accountable by the western media for domestic and regional insurgences, international armed conflicts, famines as well as for terrorists harboring and financing. Hence, as many as 9 of the 11 top crude exporters are usually labeled as dictatorships and/or despotic monarchies by the leading academia. Prof. Diamond calls it democratic recession. If so, there is not a single economic or political indicator for the MENA (Middle East-North Africa) region to imply a successful 'Spring' of anything lately, but only a (permeated perpetuation of a) severe and lasting recession.

Indeed, modern history is full of examples where the crude exporting countries' development was hindered by the huge windfall revenues. Far too often, the petro-cash flow did not assist but actually delayed or derailed necessary economic diversification and political reform. It also frequently paved the way up for the elites, domestically felt as predatory, and externally instrumented as - to use CIA jargon - 'useful idiots.' Conveniently though utilizing revenues to buy and otherwise subsidize social peace, those regimes (of rentier states) were/are actually creating self-entrapment - ever stronger psychological and political dependence on hydrocarbons. Therefore, a real 'Spring,' for the Middle East and rest of us, will only come with a socioeconomic decoupling and diversification, socio-political horizontalization, with a decisive de-psychologisation of and departure from oil-dependence. By no means, it would ever come by a pure cosmetic change of the resident in the presidential palace.1

Fearing the leftist republican pan-Arabism and Nasserism, the US encouraged Saudi Arabia to sponsor the existing and establish a new large network of madrasah all over the Middle East - Prof. …

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