There is not just a geographical proximity between Europe and North Africa but also a long common history of conquest and cooperation. With the advance of globalization and the diffusion of risks and threats, the forthcoming European Union (EU) enlargement eastwards and southwards, and the apparent paradigm shift after 11September 2001, what are Europe’s current security interests in its southern neighbourhood? The EU - as a ‘civilian power’ - is obliged to consider its security interests in the region in terms of challenges and partnerships. Challenges include not only the root causes of conflict, such as poverty, underdevelopment and socio-economic unrest, but also cross-cutting issues such as international terrorism, narcotics trafficking, illegal migration and energy dependence. Europe’s stake in the Mediterranean region goes well beyond the risk of potential spillovers: it is anchored deeply in a colonial legacy and an increasingly troublesome presence of North Africa inside Europe. The al-Qaida attacks on New York, and also the killing of German tourists in Djerba in Tunisia in April 2002, demonstrated a dangerous connection between Europe’s North African diaspora and international terrorism. The danger lies also with xenophobic over-reactions by European politicians that could lead to a strengthening of ‘Fortress Europe’ - a development that would invalidate the EU’s efforts to engage in political, economic and civil society partnerships in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
To respond to these challenges, Europe is struggling to develop a coherent strategy for the Mediterranean. To achieve this strategy, the EU needs internal cohesion and an external identity. This chapter argues that these requirements are currently not present: the EU’s internal cohesion is challenged by national exceptionalisms and the inadequate use of multilayered policymaking instruments, such as the intergovernmental Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) as well as the Common Mediterranean Strategy (CMS), and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) with its MEDA programme. 1The EU’s external identity is largely absent because the EU